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I'm creating a service like FriendFeed. For the database, what's the best to have the tables with InnoDB or MyISAM?

  • There are a lot of selects and Inserts.
  • The table must be serchable, sortable when a user is inserting something.
  • At the end, it must have quite a lot of rows. (Depending on the table).
  • First, the database will be in one server.
  • I would like backup without locking the tables.


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MyISAM won't allow you to backup without locking the tables on an unique server (without slave), and any insert will also locks the table... so you should choose InnoDB

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Only MyISAM supports mysql full-text search, whereas InnoDB supports foreign keys and such. Both sure are interesting for what you want to achieve.

If you can't decide, why not try a mix of both, combining their strengths by applying them selectively on tables where their respective qualities are needed ?

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Not only MyISAM, Sphinx too :) – sumar Sep 23 '10 at 12:27

MyISAM is better for read-heavy tables and InnoDB is better for write-heavy table. If you have a mix of reads and writes, and if it's possible to design your writes to use only 1 key read, then MyISAM would be better.

Not sure about the back-up part however. Does copying the database files in the filesystem directly work for you?

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