When benchmarking MySQL with InnoDB we quickly discovered
that using InnoDB Thread Concurrency set to 0 was an
improvement to performance since the implementation of
InnoDB Thread Concurrency used a mutex which in itself was
a scalability bottleneck.
Given that InnoDB Thread Concurrency is a nice feature that
ensures that one gets good performance also on an overloaded
server I was hoping to find a way to make the implementation
of this more scalable.
I tried out many different techniques using a combination of
mutexes and atomic variables. However every technique fell to
the ground and was less performant than setting it to 0 and not
using the InnoDB Thread Concurrency implementation. So I was
ready to give up the effort and move on to other ideas.
However after sleeping on it an inspirational idea came up.
Why use a mutex at all, let's see how it works by using the
OS scheduler to queue the threads that need to blocked. This
should be more scalable to use than a mutex-based approach.
There is obviously one bad thing about this approach and this
is due to that new arrivees can enter before old waiters. To
ensure we don't suffer too much from this a limit on the wait
So I quickly put together a solution that called yield once
and slept for 10 milliseconds twice at most and every time it
woke up it was checking an atomic variable to see if it was ok
to enter. After those three attempts it would enter without
I tried it and saw a 1% decrease on low concurrency and 5%
improvement on 32 threads and 10% on 64 threads and 15% on 128
threads. Voila, it worked. Now I decided to search for the
optimal solution to see how many yields and sleeps would be best.
It turned out I had found the optimal number at the first attempt.
The implementation still has corner cases where it provides less
benefits so I kept the possibility to use the old implementation by
adding a new variable here.
So currently the default in MySQL 5.4 is still 0 for InnoDB Thread
Concurrency. However we generally see optimal behaviour using
InnoDB Thread Concurrency set to around 24, setting it higher is
not bringing any real value to MySQL 5.4.0 and setting it lower
decreases the possible performance one can achieve. This seems
to be a fairly generic set-up that should work well in most cases.
We might change the defaults for this later.