S3 Storage Engine Internals

MariaDB starting with 10.5

The S3 storage engine has been available since MariaDB 10.5.4.

The S3 storage engine is based on the Aria code. Internally the S3 storage inherits from the Aria code, with hooks that change reads, so that instead of reading data from the local disk it reads things from S3.

The S3 engine uses it's own page cache, modified to be able to handle reading blocks from S3 (of size s3_block_size). Internally the S3 page cache uses pages of aria-block-size for splitting the blocks read from S3.


ALTER TABLE will first create a local table in the normal Aria on disk format and then move both index and data to S3 in buckets of S3_BLOCK_SIZE. The .frm file is also copied to S3 for discovery to support discovery for other MariaDB servers. One can also use ALTER TABLE to change the structure of an S3 table.

Partitioning Tables

Starting from MariaDB 10.5.3, S3 tables can also be used with Partitioning tables. All ALTER PARTITION operations are supported except:


Big Reads

One of the properties of many S3 implementations is that they favor large reads. It's said that 4M gives the best performance, which is why the default value for S3_BLOCK_SIZE is 4M.


If compression (COMPRESSION_ALGORITHM=zlib) is used, then all index blocks and data blocks are compressed. The .frm file and Aria definition header (first page/pages in the index file) are not compressed as these are used by discovery/open.

If compression is used, then the local block size is S3_BLOCK_SIZE, but the block stored in S3 will be the size of the compressed block.

Typical compression we have seen is in the range of 80% saved space.

Structure Stored on S3

The table will be copied in S3 into the following locations:

frm file (for discovery):

First index block (contains description of the Aria file):

Rest of the index file:

Data file:

block_number is a 6-digit decimal number, prefixed with 0 (Can be larger than 6 numbers, the prefix is just for nice output)

Using the awsctl Python Tool to Examine Data

Installing awsctl on Linux

# install python-pip (on an OpenSuse distribution)
# use the appropriate command for your distribution
zypper install python-pip
pip install --upgrade pip

# the following installs awscli tools in ~/.local/bin
pip install --upgrade --user awscli
export PATH=~/.local/bin:$PATH

# configure your aws credentials
aws configure

Using the awsctl Tool

One can use the aws python tool to see how things are stored on S3:

shell> aws s3 ls --recursive s3://mariadb-bucket/
2019-05-10 17:46:48       8192 foo/test1/aria
2019-05-10 17:46:49    3227648 foo/test1/data/000001
2019-05-10 17:46:48        942 foo/test1/frm
2019-05-10 17:46:48    1015808 foo/test1/index/000001

To delete an obsolete table foo.test1 one can do:

shell> ~/.local/bin/aws s3 rm --recursive s3://mariadb-bucket/foo/test1
delete: s3://mariadb-bucket/foo/test1/aria
delete: s3://mariadb-bucket/foo/test1/data/000001
delete: s3://mariadb-bucket/foo/test1/frm
delete: s3://mariadb-bucket/foo/test1/index/000001

See Also


Comments loading...
Content reproduced on this site is the property of its respective owners, and this content is not reviewed in advance by MariaDB. The views, information and opinions expressed by this content do not necessarily represent those of MariaDB or any other party.