The MySQL Query Cache

Many database products can cache query execution plans, so the server can skip the SQL parsing and optimization stages for repeated queries. MySQL can do this in some circumstances, but it also has a different type of cache (known as the query cache) that stores complete result sets for SELECT statements.

The MySQL query cache holds the exact bits that a completed query returned to the client. When a query cache hit occurs, the server can simply return the stored results immediately, skipping the parsing, optimization, and execution steps.
The query cache keeps track of which tables a query uses, and if any of those tables changes, it invalidates the cache entry. This coarse invalidation policy may seem inefficient—because the changes made to the tables might not affect the results stored in the cache—but it’s a simple approach with low overhead, which is important on a busy system.

The query cache is designed to be completely transparent to the application. The application does not need to know whether MySQL returned data from the cache or actually executed the query. The result should be the same either way. In other words, the query cache doesn’t change semantics; the server appears to behave the same way with it enabled or disabled.

Source of Information : OReIlly High Performance MySQL Second Edition


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