Interestingly, in MySQL 5.5, you can now have multiple innodb buffer pools.
The parameters you care about are
In about a month, I am slated to implement 112 innodb buffer pools for a client. I'll let you know how it went.
UPDATE 2011-02-27 21:57 EDT
I found out the max value for innodb_buffer_pool_instances is 64
I decided to configure 144 GB , so I set innodb_buffer_pool_instances to 18 and innodb_buffer_pool_size to 8. I am currently loading the server with 450GB
UPDATE 2011-04-28 13:44 EDT
I tried out multiple InnoDB Buffer Pools. There was too much threading locking and contention. I changed over to a single 162GB Buffer Pool + setting read_io_threads and write_io_threads to 64 (maximum value). This worked way better.
UPDATE 2012-07-03 17:27 EDT
I learned something amazing about MySQL. If you allocate a single monolithic InnoDB Buffer Pool that is bigger that Total Installed Divided By Number of Physical CPUs, your will incite the OS to regular intervals memory swapping due to a full InnoDB Buffer Pool. MySQL 5.5's option known as innodb_buffer_pool_instances can be used to split up the buffer pool. Yesterday, I properly implemented this for the client I mentioned in my answer last year. I still have 162GB for the client's Buffer Pool. I have set the server's innodb_buffer_pool_instances option to 2 because each DB Server is dual hexacore. I was thinking of setting it to 12 but then a colleague showed me a blog from Jeremy Cole on MySQL and Swappiness. After reading it, I put it into practice immediately for my client. I ran this command
I saw a mapping of 192GB of server RAM as 96GB to each physical core. Therefore, I set the innodb_buffer_pool_instances to 2. Things are looking good right now. I will update my answer to see how this affects memory swapping for the next 2 montns.