"MySQL has an interesting architecture that sets it apart from
some other enterprise database systems. It allows you to plug in
different modules to handle storage. What that means to end users
is that it is quite flexible, offering an interesting array of
different storage engines with different features, strengths, and
tradeoffs. MySQL's Storage Engine Architecture
"The various storage engines as the name implies manage how data
is stored and retrieved on disk, and the features available
therein. One important thing to keep in mind however is that MySQL
doesn't manage transactions at the server level, but at the storage
engine level. This is great if you have a mix of InnoDB tables in a
query, or a mix of MyISAM ones, but if you have both in the same
transaction, not only might performance be impacted, but also
results may not be reliable. Although applications can use a mix of
different types of tables using different underlying engines,
single queries and transactions should not in general do this.
"Do you want to see what storage engines you have available?
Just query your MySQL variables as follows:"