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InnoDB vs MyISAM Performance – Let’s discuss

by | Feb 27, 2021

InnoDB vs MyISAM performance – Which storage engine among these are the best?

MySQL supports multiple storage engines. Among them MyISAM and InnoDB are the most widely used.

As part of our Server Management Services, we help customers in choosing the right storage engine.

Today we’ll do an analysis of InnoDB vs MyISAM performance and see what makes them unique from each other.


More about InnoDB vs MyISAM performance

What are these storage engines? This is the basic question to be answered before everything.

A storage engine is a software component used by DBMS for creating, reading, updating and deleting data from it.

MyISAM and InnoDB are the two most widely used but there are many other storage engines including CSV, MRGMYISAM, BLACKHOLE, etc.

Recently, one of our customers approached us with the request that he is using Percona cluster and the tables are not replicating. When checked, we found that he was using MyISAM.

So, our Engineers suggested him to use InnoDB as it is the default storage engine for Percona.

Based on the requirements of our customers, our Engineers suggest the best among InnoDB and MyISAM.


What is locking?

Before moving to the comparison between InnoDB and MyISAM, let’s have a walk through this locking concept in MySQL.

MySQL exert locking in order to protect the integrity of the data stored within the databases. Simply, it protects the data from being accessed.

And, is necessary for ensuring the accuracy of data stored. The locking style varies in different storage engine depending on the data stored and query used.

In MyISAM table locking is used. Here, it locks the entire table even if only or two cells need to be updated or deleted.

Whereas, InnoDB locks only a range of rows while one or two cells needs to be updated or deleted.

Based on the requirement of the customer, we suggest the best as both InnoDB and MyISAM performs well.


What makes them different from each other?

MyISAM is the default MySQL storage engine. It performs well on large tables requiring vastly more read activity than write.

Because, locking the entire table is quicker than finding out which rows are locked in the table.

But, MyISAM won’t provide data integrity. Hardware failures, cancelled operations, etc cause data corruption.

Whereas, InnoDB records the data before the transactions into a system table space file.

In case of any crash, InnoDB would auto recover through the reply of those logs.

However, we can’t choose one over the other as both have their own pros and cons.


What are the pros and cons of InnoDB vs MyISAM performance?

We can’t say one is best over the other as these have their own pros and cons. Today, let’s discuss some of them.

InnoDB vs MyISAM performance

Regarding transactions by tables InnoDB is the best as MyISAM doesn’t support this. So, InnoDB is the best option for larger databases.

As it supports row-level locking inserting and updating is much faster than in MyISAM.

Whereas, MyISAM is simpler to design and create. And, is faster because of its simple structure.

Also,  tables in MyISAM are stored in separate files in compressed mode, while InnoDB using system table space file.

As there is no further optimization possible in innodb, MyISAM supports more optimization.

In choosing the best among InnoDB vs MyISAM on basis of their performance, the first step is in determining if you need the features provided by InnoDB. If not, then MyISAM is the next for consideration.

[Having trouble in choosing among InnoDB vs MyISAM? – Our Experts are available 24/7.]



In short, both InnoDB and MyISAM performs the best. Choosing one over the other depends only on the requirement and our Support Engineers always do their best in choosing the right one for our customers.


Never again lose customers to poor server speed! Let us help you.

Our server experts will monitor & maintain your server 24/7 so that it remains lightning fast and secure.


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