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LinuxPlanet: MySQL Storage Engines

“Data in MySQL is stored in files (or memory) using a variety of
different techniques. Each of these techniques employ different
storage mechanisms, indexing facilities, locking levels and
ultimately provide a range of different functions and capabilities.
By choosing a different technique you can gain additional speed or
functionality benefits that will improve the overall functionality
of your application.

“For example, if you work with a large amount of temporary data,
you may want to make use of the MEMORY storage engine, which stores
all of the table data in memory. Alternatively, you may want a
database that supports transactions (to ensure data
resilience).

“Each of these different techniques and suites of functionality
within the MySQL system is referred to as a storage engine (also
known as a table type). By default, MySQL comes with a number of
different storage engines pre-configured and enabled in the MySQL
server. You can select the storage engine to use on a server,
database and even table basis, providing you with the maximum
amount of flexibility when it comes to choosing how your
information is stored, how it is indexed and what combination of
performance and functionality you want to use with your
data…”

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