I have a MySQL InnoDB database with two tables related by a foreign key. Each time a row is inserted into one it uses an INSERT ... SELECT statement from the other to get the corresponding foreign key.

I have an application that is continuously doing a large number of these INSERT ... SELECT statements to populate this database. I have read that using a multiple row insert, i.e. INSERT INTO table (col1, col2, col3) VALUES (1,2,3), (4,5,6), ..., can be significantly faster than individual inserts. Unfortunately it appears that splitting the database into separate tables prevents me from taking advantage of this? Is there a workaround or another way to improve the speed of these inserts?


Would any of the following be likely to help?

  1. Combining the INSERT ... SELECT statements with a UNION.
  2. A multiple row insert into a temporary table followed by a JOIN and a single INSERT ... SELECT.
  3. Splitting the inserts among multiple threads.


  • Increase the size of your Log Buffer. The default value for innodb_log_buffer_size is 8M. You should make 256M or 512M. (Restart Required)
  • Turn off the Double Write Buffer. Set innodb_doublewrite to 0. (Restart Required)
  • OPTIONAL : Temporarily disable change buffering, which throttles secondary index updates.
  • OPTIONAL : In your application, you should limit the number of rows to insert. Try insert 500 or 1000 rows at a time. If the rows have long VARCHAR columns, then insert 100 or 200 rows at a time.


Add these lines to my.cnf

innodb_log_buffer_size = 256M
innodb_doublewrite = 0

then, restart mysql.

If these do not improve things, then try disabling the change buffering with

SET GLOBAL innodb_change_buffering = 'none';

You could always change it back to 'all' after a number of large bulk inserts.


  • Thank you for the suggestions, I will experiment with these. Do you know if there is any way I can better restructure the queries themselves? – Patrick May 3 '14 at 0:57

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