In this article, we'll cover what a MySQL storage engine is and discuss the basics between the most popular two - InnoDB and MyISAM.

What is a MySQL Storage Engine?

A MySQL Storage Engine is a particular set of methods used to store and manage information in a database. Each storage engine offers a different way to store, index, and lock data. These differences are beneficial in some circumstances, but not others, and this is why you may have a need to change storage engines. One of the sophisticated features of MySQL is its ability to allow you to use more than one storage engine. In this article, we'll cover the basics between the two more popular storage engines, MyISAM and InnoDB.

Both MyISAM and InnoDB are supported by InMotion Hosting.

MyISAM vs. InnoDB

Discussing the ins and outs of database storage engines can be an exhausting task, especially if you're not very familiar with storage engines in the first place. Because of this, we've outlined some of the easier to understand differences between MyISAM and InnoDB

  • InnoDB has many more features and is a bit more complicated than MyISAM. As such, InnoDB uses more system resources (such as RAM) than MyISAM.
  • InnoDB is better for write-intensive websites, those sites that heavily utilize inserts and updates. MyISAM is better suited for read-intensive sites, those that heavily use select.
  • As InnoDB supports transactions, it is better suited for situations in which data and backups are essential, such as with banking applications.
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