One Billion Tables in MySQL 8.0 with ZFS

one billion tables MySQL

The short version

I created > one billion InnoDB tables in MySQL 8.0 (tables, not rows) just for fun. Here is the proof:

$ mysql -A
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 1425329
Server version: 8.0.12 MySQL Community Server - GPL
Copyright (c) 2000, 2018, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its
affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective
Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.
mysql> select count(*) from information_schema.tables;
| count(*)   |
| 1011570298 |
1 row in set (6 hours 57 min 6.31 sec)

Yes, it took 6 hours and 57 minutes to count them all!

Why does anyone need one billion tables?

In my previous blog post, I created and tested MySQL 8.0 with 40 million tables (that was a real case study). The One Billion Tables project is not a real world scenario, however. I was challenged by Billion Tables Project (BTP) in PostgreSQL, and decided to repeat it with MySQL, creating 1 billion InnoDB tables.

As an aside: I think MySQL 8.0 is the first MySQL version where creating 1 billion InnoDB tables is even practically possible.

Challenges with one billion InnoDB tables

Disk space

The first and one of the most important challenges is disk space. InnoDB allocates data pages on disk when creating .ibd files. Without disk level compression we need > 25Tb of disk. The good news: we have ZFS which provides transparent disk compression. Here’s how the disk utilization looks:

Actual data (apparent-size):

# du -sh --apparent-size /mysqldata/
26T     /mysqldata/

Compressed data:

# du -sh /mysqldata/
2.4T    /mysqldata/

Compression ratio:

# zfs get compression,compressratio
mysqldata/mysql/data             compressratio         7.14x                      -
mysqldata/mysql/data             compression           gzip                       inherited from mysqldata/mysql

(Looks like the compression ratio reported is not 100% correct, we expect ~10x compression ratio.)

Too many tiny files

This is usually the big issue with databases that create a file per table. With MySQL 8.0 we can create a shared tablespace and “assign” a table to it. I created a tablespace per database, and created 1000 tables in each database.

The result:

mysql> select count(*) from information_schema.schemata;
| count(*) |
|  1011575 |
1 row in set (1.31 sec)

Creating tables

Another big challenge is how to create tables fast enough so it will not take months. I have used three approaches:

  1. Disabled all possible consistency checks in MySQL, and decreased the innodb page size to 4K (these config options are NOT for production use)
  2. Created tables in parallel: as the mutex contention bug in MySQL 8.0 has been fixed, creating tables in parallel works fine.
  3. Use local NVMe cards on top of an AWS ec2 i3.8xlarge instance

my.cnf config file (I repeat: do not use this in production):

default-authentication-plugin = mysql_native_password
log-error = /mysqldata/mysql/log/error.log
innodb_log_group_home_dir = /mysqldata/mysql/log/
innodb_doublewrite = 0
innodb_stats_persistent = 0
tablespace_definition_cache = 524288
schema_definition_cache = 524288
table_definition_cache = 524288

ZFS pool:

# zpool status
  pool: mysqldata
 state: ONLINE
  scan: scrub repaired 0B in 1h49m with 0 errors on Sun Oct 14 02:13:17 2018
        NAME        STATE     READ WRITE CKSUM
        mysqldata   ONLINE       0     0     0
          nvme0n1   ONLINE       0     0     0
          nvme1n1   ONLINE       0     0     0
          nvme2n1   ONLINE       0     0     0
          nvme3n1   ONLINE       0     0     0
errors: No known data errors

A simple “deploy” script to create tables in parallel (includes the sysbench table structure):

function do_db {
        db_exist=$(mysql -A -s -Nbe "select 1 from information_schema.schemata where schema_name = '$db'")
        if [ "$db_exist" == "1" ]; then echo "Already exists: $db"; return 0; fi;
        tbspace="create database $db; use $db; CREATE TABLESPACE $db ADD DATAFILE '$db.ibd' engine=InnoDB";
        #echo "Tablespace $db.ibd created!"
        for i in {1..1000}
                table="CREATE TABLE sbtest$i ( id int(10) unsigned NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT, k int(10) unsigned NOT NULL DEFAULT '0', c varchar(120) NOT NULL DEFAULT '', pad varchar(60) NOT NULL DEFAULT '', PRIMARY KEY (id), KEY k_1 (k) ) ENGINE=InnoDB DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1 tablespace $db;"
                tables="$tables; $table;"
        echo "$tbspace;$tables" | mysql
echo "starting..."
c=$(mysql -A -s -Nbe "select max(cast(SUBSTRING_INDEX(schema_name, '_', -1) as unsigned)) from information_schema.schemata where schema_name like 'sbtest_%'")
for m in {1..100000}
        echo "m=$m"
        for i in {1..30}
                let c=$c+1
                echo $c
                do_db &

How fast did we create tables? Here are some stats:

# mysqladmin -i 10 -r ex|grep Com_create_table
| Com_create_table                                      | 6497                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                |
| Com_create_table                                      | 6449

So we created ~650 tables per second. The average, above, is per 10 seconds.

Counting the tables

It took > 6 hours to do “count(*) from information_schema.tables”! Here is why:

  1. MySQL 8.0 uses a new data dictionary (this is great as it avoids creating 1 billion frm files). Everything is stored in this file:
    # ls -lah /mysqldata/mysql/data/mysql.ibd
    -rw-r----- 1 mysql mysql 6.1T Oct 18 15:02 /mysqldata/mysql/data/mysql.ibd
  2. The information_schema.tables is actually a view:

mysql> show create table information_schema.tables\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
                View: TABLES
         Create View: CREATE ALGORITHM=UNDEFINED DEFINER=`mysql.infoschema`@`localhost` SQL SECURITY DEFINER VIEW `information_schema`.`TABLES` AS select `cat`.`name` AS `TABLE_CATALOG`,`sch`.`name` AS `TABLE_SCHEMA`,`tbl`.`name` AS `TABLE_NAME`,`tbl`.`type` AS `TABLE_TYPE`,if((`tbl`.`type` = 'BASE TABLE'),`tbl`.`engine`,NULL) AS `ENGINE`,if((`tbl`.`type` = 'VIEW'),NULL,10) AS `VERSION`,`tbl`.`row_format` AS `ROW_FORMAT`,internal_table_rows(`sch`.`name`,`tbl`.`name`,if(isnull(`tbl`.`partition_type`),`tbl`.`engine`,''),`tbl`.`se_private_id`,(`tbl`.`hidden` <> 'Visible'),`ts`.`se_private_data`,coalesce(`stat`.`table_rows`,0),coalesce(cast(`stat`.`cached_time` as unsigned),0)) AS `TABLE_ROWS`,internal_avg_row_length(`sch`.`name`,`tbl`.`name`,if(isnull(`tbl`.`partition_type`),`tbl`.`engine`,''),`tbl`.`se_private_id`,(`tbl`.`hidden` <> 'Visible'),`ts`.`se_private_data`,coalesce(`stat`.`avg_row_length`,0),coalesce(cast(`stat`.`cached_time` as unsigned),0)) AS `AVG_ROW_LENGTH`,internal_data_length(`sch`.`name`,`tbl`.`name`,if(isnull(`tbl`.`partition_type`),`tbl`.`engine`,''),`tbl`.`se_private_id`,(`tbl`.`hidden` <> 'Visible'),`ts`.`se_private_data`,coalesce(`stat`.`data_length`,0),coalesce(cast(`stat`.`cached_time` as unsigned),0)) AS `DATA_LENGTH`,internal_max_data_length(`sch`.`name`,`tbl`.`name`,if(isnull(`tbl`.`partition_type`),`tbl`.`engine`,''),`tbl`.`se_private_id`,(`tbl`.`hidden` <> 'Visible'),`ts`.`se_private_data`,coalesce(`stat`.`max_data_length`,0),coalesce(cast(`stat`.`cached_time` as unsigned),0)) AS `MAX_DATA_LENGTH`,internal_index_length(`sch`.`name`,`tbl`.`name`,if(isnull(`tbl`.`partition_type`),`tbl`.`engine`,''),`tbl`.`se_private_id`,(`tbl`.`hidden` <> 'Visible'),`ts`.`se_private_data`,coalesce(`stat`.`index_length`,0),coalesce(cast(`stat`.`cached_time` as unsigned),0)) AS `INDEX_LENGTH`,internal_data_free(`sch`.`name`,`tbl`.`name`,if(isnull(`tbl`.`partition_type`),`tbl`.`engine`,''),`tbl`.`se_private_id`,(`tbl`.`hidden` <> 'Visible'),`ts`.`se_private_data`,coalesce(`stat`.`data_free`,0),coalesce(cast(`stat`.`cached_time` as unsigned),0)) AS `DATA_FREE`,internal_auto_increment(`sch`.`name`,`tbl`.`name`,if(isnull(`tbl`.`partition_type`),`tbl`.`engine`,''),`tbl`.`se_private_id`,(`tbl`.`hidden` <> 'Visible'),`ts`.`se_private_data`,coalesce(`stat`.`auto_increment`,0),coalesce(cast(`stat`.`cached_time` as unsigned),0),`tbl`.`se_private_data`) AS `AUTO_INCREMENT`,`tbl`.`created` AS `CREATE_TIME`,internal_update_time(`sch`.`name`,`tbl`.`name`,if(isnull(`tbl`.`partition_type`),`tbl`.`engine`,''),`tbl`.`se_private_id`,(`tbl`.`hidden` <> 'Visible'),`ts`.`se_private_data`,coalesce(cast(`stat`.`update_time` as unsigned),0),coalesce(cast(`stat`.`cached_time` as unsigned),0)) AS `UPDATE_TIME`,internal_check_time(`sch`.`name`,`tbl`.`name`,if(isnull(`tbl`.`partition_type`),`tbl`.`engine`,''),`tbl`.`se_private_id`,(`tbl`.`hidden` <> 'Visible'),`ts`.`se_private_data`,coalesce(cast(`stat`.`check_time` as unsigned),0),coalesce(cast(`stat`.`cached_time` as unsigned),0)) AS `CHECK_TIME`,`col`.`name` AS `TABLE_COLLATION`,internal_checksum(`sch`.`name`,`tbl`.`name`,if(isnull(`tbl`.`partition_type`),`tbl`.`engine`,''),`tbl`.`se_private_id`,(`tbl`.`hidden` <> 'Visible'),`ts`.`se_private_data`,coalesce(`stat`.`checksum`,0),coalesce(cast(`stat`.`cached_time` as unsigned),0)) AS `CHECKSUM`,if((`tbl`.`type` = 'VIEW'),NULL,get_dd_create_options(`tbl`.`options`,if((ifnull(`tbl`.`partition_expression`,'NOT_PART_TBL') = 'NOT_PART_TBL'),0,1))) AS `CREATE_OPTIONS`,internal_get_comment_or_error(`sch`.`name`,`tbl`.`name`,`tbl`.`type`,`tbl`.`options`,`tbl`.`comment`) AS `TABLE_COMMENT` from (((((`mysql`.`tables` `tbl` join `mysql`.`schemata` `sch` on((`tbl`.`schema_id` = `sch`.`id`))) join `mysql`.`catalogs` `cat` on((`cat`.`id` = `sch`.`catalog_id`))) left join `mysql`.`collations` `col` on((`tbl`.`collation_id` = `col`.`id`))) left join `mysql`.`tablespaces` `ts` on((`tbl`.`tablespace_id` = `ts`.`id`))) left join `mysql`.`table_stats` `stat` on(((`tbl`.`name` = `stat`.`table_name`) and (`sch`.`name` = `stat`.`schema_name`)))) where (can_access_table(`sch`.`name`,`tbl`.`name`) and is_visible_dd_object(`tbl`.`hidden`))
character_set_client: utf8
collation_connection: utf8_general_ci

and the explain plan looks like this:

mysql> explain select count(*) from information_schema.tables \G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
           id: 1
  select_type: SIMPLE
        table: cat
   partitions: NULL
         type: index
possible_keys: PRIMARY
          key: name
      key_len: 194
          ref: NULL
         rows: 1
     filtered: 100.00
        Extra: Using index
*************************** 2. row ***************************
           id: 1
  select_type: SIMPLE
        table: tbl
   partitions: NULL
         type: ALL
possible_keys: schema_id
          key: NULL
      key_len: NULL
          ref: NULL
         rows: 1023387060
     filtered: 100.00
        Extra: Using where; Using join buffer (Block Nested Loop)
*************************** 3. row ***************************
           id: 1
  select_type: SIMPLE
        table: sch
   partitions: NULL
         type: eq_ref
possible_keys: PRIMARY,catalog_id
          key: PRIMARY
      key_len: 8
          ref: mysql.tbl.schema_id
         rows: 1
     filtered: 11.11
        Extra: Using where
*************************** 4. row ***************************
           id: 1
  select_type: SIMPLE
        table: stat
   partitions: NULL
         type: eq_ref
possible_keys: PRIMARY
          key: PRIMARY
      key_len: 388
         rows: 1
     filtered: 100.00
        Extra: Using index
*************************** 5. row ***************************
           id: 1
  select_type: SIMPLE
        table: ts
   partitions: NULL
         type: eq_ref
possible_keys: PRIMARY
          key: PRIMARY
      key_len: 8
          ref: mysql.tbl.tablespace_id
         rows: 1
     filtered: 100.00
        Extra: Using index
*************************** 6. row ***************************
           id: 1
  select_type: SIMPLE
        table: col
   partitions: NULL
         type: eq_ref
possible_keys: PRIMARY
          key: PRIMARY
      key_len: 8
          ref: mysql.tbl.collation_id
         rows: 1
     filtered: 100.00
        Extra: Using index


  1. I have created more than 1 billion real InnoDB tables with indexes in MySQL 8.0, just for fun, and it worked. It took ~2 weeks to create.
  2. Probably MySQL 8.0 is the first version where it is even practically possible to create billion InnoDB tables
  3. ZFS compression together with NVMe cards makes it reasonably cheap to do, for example, by using i3.4xlarge or i3.8xlarge instances on AWS.

one billion tables MySQL



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