Today, we’re going to take a journey through one of MySQL’s performance guardians – the
innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit has 3 valid values: 0, 1, and 2. Let’s see each of them.
Option 1: The Safe Harbor (innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit = 1)
By default, MySQL is set up with a focus on safety. Imagine this as saving your work every time you make a change; that’s what MySQL does with this setting. It writes your transaction data safely on the disk whenever a change and a commit happens. So, even with a power outage, your data remains secure. It’s a bit slower, but it’s the best choice if you want to play it safe.
Option 2: The Speed Racer (innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit = 2)
If you’re the kind who likes to live on the edge for a bit of speed, this one’s for you! This setting is faster because MySQL considers the write committed once it is present in the OS buffers. Then the OS will flush to disk roughly every 1 second. However, tread carefully, as choosing speed here means losing about a second’s worth of data if something goes wrong with the operating system. It’s a bit of a gamble, but it can be worth it if you’re after speed.
Option 3: The Speed Demon (innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit = 0)
Taking it up a notch, this setting is all about speed, but with it comes a higher risk. Here, MySQL considers a transaction good once it’s in the MySQL log buffer. That write then flushes from the log buffer to the redo log file on disk every 1 second or when the OS flushes, which means you could lose some recent transactions in case of a MySQL or an OS crash. It’s the fastest option but requires a bit of bravery due to the risk involved.
Here is a diagram to better illustrate the idea of each value:
Which One to Choose?
Playing it Safe (Option 1)
If you’re running a standalone MySQL setup and cannot afford to lose your data at any cost, sticking to the default setting is your best bet.
Daring Choices (Option 0/2)
If you are okay with taking some risks for enhanced performance, you might consider options 0 or 2. They can be handy when you have backup measures or if some data loss is acceptable. They can also be very useful for replicas and Galera or InnoDB clusters.
Think of the
innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit setting as a lever, you can pull to balance speed and safety according to your comfort level. If you’re just starting out, it’s great to know that MySQL has got your back with a safe default. As you get more comfortable, feel free to test out the faster settings to see what works best for your environment.
Remember, every setting has pros and cons, so choose the one that best fits your needs. Happy databasing!