A key cache can be restructured at any time by updating its parameter values. For example:
mysql> SET GLOBAL cold_cache.key_buffer_size=4*1024*1024;
If you assign to either the
cache component a value that differs from the component's
current value, the server destroys the cache's old structure
and creates a new one based on the new values. If the cache
contains any dirty blocks, the server saves them to disk
before destroying and re-creating the cache. Restructuring
does not occur if you change other key cache parameters.
When restructuring a key cache, the server first flushes the contents of any dirty buffers to disk. After that, the cache contents become unavailable. However, restructuring does not block queries that need to use indexes assigned to the cache. Instead, the server directly accesses the table indexes using native file system caching. File system caching is not as efficient as using a key cache, so although queries execute, a slowdown can be anticipated. After the cache has been restructured, it becomes available again for caching indexes assigned to it, and the use of file system caching for the indexes ceases.