Segmented key cache was introduced in MariaDB 5.2.0
About Segmented Key Cache
A segmented key cache is a collection of structures for regular MyISAM key caches called key cache segments. Segmented key caches mitigate one of the major problems of the simple key cache: thread contention for key cache lock (mutex). With regular key caches, every call of a key cache interface function must acquire this lock. So threads compete for this lock even in the case when they have acquired shared locks for the file and the pages they want to read from are in the key cache buffers.
When working with a segmented key cache any key cache interface function that needs only one page has to acquire the key cache lock only for the segment the page is assigned to. This makes the chances for threads not having to compete for the same key cache lock better.
Any page from a file can be placed into a buffer of only one segment. The number of the segment is calculated from the file number and the position of the page in the file, and it's always the same for the page. Pages are evenly distributed among segments.
The idea and the original code of the segmented key cache was provided by Fredrik Nylander from Stardoll.com. The code was extensively reworked, improved, and eventually merged into MariaDB by Igor Babaev from Monty Program (now SkySQL).
You can find some benchmark results comparing various settings on the Segmented Key Cache Performance page.
Segmented Key Cache Syntax
New global variable: key_cache_segments. This variable sets the number of segments in a key cache. Valid values for this variable are whole
64. If the number of segments is set to a number
64 the number of segments will be truncated to 64 and a warning will be issued.
A value of
0 means the key cache is a regular (i.e. non-segmented)
key cache. This is the default. If
1 (or higher) then the new key cache segmentation code is used. In
practice there is no practical use of a single-segment segmented key cache except
for testing purposes, and setting
key_cache_segments = 1 should be slower than any other option and
should not be used in production.
Segmented Key Cache Statistics
|The name of the key cache|
|total number of segments (set to |
|segment number (set to |
|memory for cache buffers/auxiliary structures|
|size of the blocks|
|number of currently used blocks|
|number of currently unused blocks|
|number of currently dirty blocks|
|number of read requests|
|number of actual reads from files into buffers|
|number of write requests|
|number of actual writes from buffers into files|