Shared access to the key cache improves performance but does not eliminate contention among sessions entirely. They still compete for control structures that manage access to the key cache buffers. To reduce key cache access contention further, MySQL also provides multiple key caches. This feature enables you to assign different table indexes to different key caches.
Where there are multiple key caches, the server must know
which cache to use when processing queries for a given
MyISAM table. By default, all
MyISAM table indexes are cached in the
default key cache. To assign table indexes to a specific key
cache, use the
statement (see Section 18.104.22.168, “CACHE INDEX Statement”). For example,
the following statement assigns indexes from the tables
t3 to the key cache named
mysql> CACHE INDEX t1, t2, t3 IN hot_cache; +---------+--------------------+----------+----------+ | Table | Op | Msg_type | Msg_text | +---------+--------------------+----------+----------+ | test.t1 | assign_to_keycache | status | OK | | test.t2 | assign_to_keycache | status | OK | | test.t3 | assign_to_keycache | status | OK | +---------+--------------------+----------+----------+
mysql> SET GLOBAL keycache1.key_buffer_size=128*1024;
To destroy a key cache, set its size to zero:
mysql> SET GLOBAL keycache1.key_buffer_size=0;
You cannot destroy the default key cache. Any attempt to do this is ignored:
mysql> SET GLOBAL key_buffer_size = 0; mysql> SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'key_buffer_size'; +-----------------+---------+ | Variable_name | Value | +-----------------+---------+ | key_buffer_size | 8384512 | +-----------------+---------+
Key cache variables are structured system variables that have
a name and components. For
keycache1 is the cache variable name and
key_buffer_size is the cache
component. See Section 22.214.171.124, “Structured System Variables”,
for a description of the syntax used for referring to
structured key cache system variables.
By default, table indexes are assigned to the main (default) key cache created at the server startup. When a key cache is destroyed, all indexes assigned to it are reassigned to the default key cache.
For a busy server, you can use a strategy that involves three key caches:
A “hot” key cache that takes up 20% of the space allocated for all key caches. Use this for tables that are heavily used for searches but that are not updated.
A “cold” key cache that takes up 20% of the space allocated for all key caches. Use this cache for medium-sized, intensively modified tables, such as temporary tables.
A “warm” key cache that takes up 60% of the key cache space. Employ this as the default key cache, to be used by default for all other tables.
One reason the use of three key caches is beneficial is that access to one key cache structure does not block access to the others. Statements that access tables assigned to one cache do not compete with statements that access tables assigned to another cache. Performance gains occur for other reasons as well:
The hot cache is used only for retrieval queries, so its contents are never modified. Consequently, whenever an index block needs to be pulled in from disk, the contents of the cache block chosen for replacement need not be flushed first.
For an index assigned to the hot cache, if there are no queries requiring an index scan, there is a high probability that the index blocks corresponding to nonleaf nodes of the index B-tree remain in the cache.
An update operation most frequently executed for temporary tables is performed much faster when the updated node is in the cache and need not be read from disk first. If the size of the indexes of the temporary tables are comparable with the size of cold key cache, the probability is very high that the updated node is in the cache.
CACHE INDEX statement sets
up an association between a table and a key cache, but the
association is lost each time the server restarts. If you want
the association to take effect each time the server starts,
one way to accomplish this is to use an option file: Include
variable settings that configure your key caches, and an
init_file system variable
that names a file containing
INDEX statements to be executed. For example:
key_buffer_size = 4G hot_cache.key_buffer_size = 2G cold_cache.key_buffer_size = 2G init_file=/path/to/data-directory/mysqld_init.sql
The statements in
executed each time the server starts. The file should contain
one SQL statement per line. The following example assigns
several tables each to
CACHE INDEX db1.t1, db1.t2, db2.t3 IN hot_cache CACHE INDEX db1.t4, db2.t5, db2.t6 IN cold_cache