3 replaced http://dba.stackexchange.com/ with https://dba.stackexchange.com/
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Since you cannot upgrade at this time, you need to install the InnoDB Plugin. It was available since MySQL 5.1.38 (See the Release Notes). I wrote a post about it : http://dba.stackexchange.com/questions/18203/mysql-installing-innodb-plugin/18240#18240MySQL - Installing InnoDB Plugin

See my post http://dba.stackexchange.com/questions/8384/why-mysql-5-5-slower-than-5-1-linux-using-mysqlslap/8385#8385Why mysql 5.5 slower than 5.1 (linux,using mysqlslap)

I have mentioned the Plugin for InnoDB Before : http://dba.stackexchange.com/questions/14775/performance-settings-for-myisam-tables-keep-everything-in-memory/14850#14850Performance settings for MyISAM tables - keep everything in memory

Since you cannot upgrade at this time, you need to install the InnoDB Plugin. It was available since MySQL 5.1.38 (See the Release Notes). I wrote a post about it : http://dba.stackexchange.com/questions/18203/mysql-installing-innodb-plugin/18240#18240

See my post http://dba.stackexchange.com/questions/8384/why-mysql-5-5-slower-than-5-1-linux-using-mysqlslap/8385#8385

I have mentioned the Plugin for InnoDB Before : http://dba.stackexchange.com/questions/14775/performance-settings-for-myisam-tables-keep-everything-in-memory/14850#14850

Since you cannot upgrade at this time, you need to install the InnoDB Plugin. It was available since MySQL 5.1.38 (See the Release Notes). I wrote a post about it : MySQL - Installing InnoDB Plugin

See my post Why mysql 5.5 slower than 5.1 (linux,using mysqlslap)

I have mentioned the Plugin for InnoDB Before : Performance settings for MyISAM tables - keep everything in memory

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You can increase the innodb_buffer_pool_size, but do not exceed half the installed RAM. My suggestion is to setSet it to 20G.

Since MySQL 5.5, you can partition the InnoDB Buffer Pool to reduce I/O thread contention and reduce swapping

#3: You can snapshot the InnoDB bufferBuffer Pool to Disk

You can increase the innodb_buffer_pool_size, but do not exceed half the installed RAM. My suggestion is to set it to 20G.

Since MySQL 5.5, you can partition the InnoDB Buffer Pool to reduce I/O thread contention and reduce swapping

#3: You can snapshot the InnoDB buffer Pool to Disk

You can increase the innodb_buffer_pool_size, but do not exceed half the installed RAM. Set it to 20G.

Since MySQL 5.5, you can partition the InnoDB Buffer Pool to reduce I/O thread contention and swapping

#3: You can snapshot the InnoDB Buffer Pool to Disk

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If you stay with MySQL 5.1

Since you cannot upgrade at this time, you need to install the InnoDB Plugin. It was available since MySQL 5.1.38 (See the Release Notes). I wrote a post about it : http://dba.stackexchange.com/questions/18203/mysql-installing-innodb-plugin/18240#18240

Surprising fact: Percona already ahd the InnoDB in Percona Server 5.0.45 long before

Once you do, you need to set the following

You can increase the innodb_buffer_pool_size, but do not exceed half the installed RAM. My suggestion is to set it to 20G.

When you upgrade to MySQL 5.6

#1: Tune Read and Write I/O

InnoDB has new options to engage multiple CPUs. I wrote about this over the past 3 years

#2: Partition the InnoDB Buffer Pool

Since MySQL 5.5, you can partition the InnoDB Buffer Pool to reduce I/O thread contention and reduce swapping

#3: You can snapshot the InnoDB buffer Pool to Disk

You can use the following

There is so much more I could write, but I'll stop here.

CAVEAT : Why is this tuning necessary ?

See my post http://dba.stackexchange.com/questions/8384/why-mysql-5-5-slower-than-5-1-linux-using-mysqlslap/8385#8385

I have mentioned the Plugin for InnoDB Before : http://dba.stackexchange.com/questions/14775/performance-settings-for-myisam-tables-keep-everything-in-memory/14850#14850

GIVE IT A TRY !!!