Personal observation: more migrations from MyISAM to InnoDB

June 16, 2010

I'm evidencing an increase in the planning, confidence & execution for MyISAM to InnoDB migration.

How much can a single consultant observe? I agree Oracle should not go to PR based on my experience. But I find that:

  • More companies are now familiar with InnoDB than there used to.
  • More companies are interested in migration to InnoDB than there used to.
  • More companies feel such migration to be safe.
  • More companies start up with an InnoDB based solution than with a MyISAM based solution.

This is the way I see it. No doubt, the Oracle/Sun deal made its impact. The fact that InnoDB is no longer a 3rd party; the fact Oracle invests in InnoDB and no other engine (Falcon is down, no real development on MyISAM); the fact InnoDB is to be the default engine: all these put companies at ease with migration.

I am happy with this change. I believe for most installations InnoDB provides with a clear advantage over MyISAM (though MyISAM has its uses), and this makes for more robust, correct and manageable MySQL instances; the kind that make a DBA's life easier and quieter. And it is easier to make customers see the advantages.

I am not inclined to say "You should migrate your entire database to InnoDB". I don't do that a lot. But recently, more customers approach and say "We were thinking about migrating our entire database to InnoDB, what do you think?". What a change of approach.

And, yes: there are still a lot of companies using MyISAM based databases, who still live happily.

  • Do you think that the mysql and information_schema databases will ever transition to InnoDB?

    As someone who recently started on MySQL, I'm a bit confused on the InnoDB plugin topic:
    Does Oracle own the plugin? Will they merge it with the default distribution of MySQL? Will there always be an innoDB plugin as a separate entity with slightly more advanced features?

  • Hi,
    I'm not an authority here, but here's what I believe:
    1. The mysql database will not transition to InnoDB in the near future: it's just too much of a change for everyone.
    2. Oracle owns MySQL & InnoDB. They have owned InnoDB for the past 4 years, and they have developed the InnoDB plugin.
    Please see my earlier post on InnoDB plugin.


  • Hi Shlomi

    I don't believe there's been a significant shift in the existing trend, which was that people either deploy on or move to InnoDB.

    Somewhat relevant is that non-Windows storage engine default becomes InnoDB from 5.5, but that's something that others had already dealt with in my.cnf anyway. Nevertheless, good.

    In terms of development, we have not yet seen any releases from the new Oracle+Sun. What we've seen so far was the earlier work led by Ken Jacobs at Oracle for the InnoDB 1.1 plugin, and Sun's existing work on 5.5. Ken is no longer at Oracle. So we'll have to see what the next release looks like, when it comes.


  • Gwen: the INFORMATION_SCHEMA db does not contain any physical tables. They're materialised as memory or disk temporary tables if you run queries on them. There's other hideous inefficiencies related to the current implementation, but that's another matter.See if you want to peruse the source code on this.

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