Running MySQL on selected NUMA Node(s)

“Running MySQL on selected NUMA node(s)” looks pretty straightforward but unfortunately it isn’t. Recently, I was faced with a situation that demanded running MySQL on 2 (out of 4) NUMA nodes.

Naturally, the first thing I tried was to restrict CPU/Core set using numactl --physcpubind selecting only the said CPUs/cores from the said NUMA nodes. MySQL was configured to use innodb_numa_interleave=1 so I was expecting it to allocate memory from the said NUMA nodes only (as I restricted usage of CPU/core).


MySQL uses numa_all_nodes_ptr->maskp that means all the nodes are opted even though the CPU task-set is limited to 2 NUMA nodes.

Some lookout pointed me to these 2 issues from Daniel Black

  • (5.7)
  • (8.0)

Issue proposes to switch to a more logical numa_get_mems_allowed(). As per the documentation it should return a mask of the node that are are allowed to allocate memory for the said process.

ref-from-doc: numa_get_mems_allowed() returns the mask of nodes from which the process is allowed to allocate memory in it's current cpuset context.

So I decided to apply the patch and proceed.


Just applying patch and relying on cpu/core set didn’t helped. So I thought of trying with membind option.


So now the command looks like:

numactl --physcpubind=<cpu-set-from-numa-node-0,1> --membind=0,1

This time I surely expected that memory would be allocated from the said NUMA nodes only but it still didn’t. Memory was allocated from all 4 nodes.

Some more documentation search, suggested that for numa_all_nodes_ptr looks at mems_allowed field as mentioned below

numa_all_nodes_ptr: The set of nodes to record is derived from /proc/self/status, field "Mems_allowed". The user should not alter this bitmask.

and as Alexey Kopytov pointed in PR#138, numa_all_nodes_ptr and numa_get_mems_allowed reads the same mask.

This tends to suggest that numa_get_mems_allowed is broken or documentation needs to be updated.

Just for completeness, I also tried numctl –interleave but that too didn’t helped

Fact Validation:

So I decided to try this using a simple program (outside MySQL) to validate the said fact.

#include <iostream>
#include <numa.h>
#include <numaif.h>
using namespace std;
int main()
cout << *numa_all_nodes_ptr->maskp << endl;
cout << *numa_get_mems_allowed()->maskp << endl;

numactl --membind=0-1 ./a.out

It is pretty clear that both seem to return the same mask value when numa_get_mems_allowed should return only memory allowed nodes.


I desperately needed a solution so tried using a simple workaround of manually feeding the mask (will continue to follow up about numactl behavior with OS vendor). This approach finally worked and now I can allocate memory from selected NUMA nodes only.

+const unsigned long numa_mask = 0x3;
 struct set_numa_interleave_t {
   set_numa_interleave_t() {
     if (srv_numa_interleave) {
       ib::info(ER_IB_MSG_47) << "Setting NUMA memory policy to"
                                 " MPOL_INTERLEAVE";
-      if (set_mempolicy(MPOL_INTERLEAVE, numa_all_nodes_ptr->maskp,
+      if (set_mempolicy(MPOL_INTERLEAVE, &numa_mask,
                         numa_all_nodes_ptr->size) != 0) {
         ib::warn(ER_IB_MSG_48) << "Failed to set NUMA memory"
                                   " policy to MPOL_INTERLEAVE: "
@@ -1000,7 +1001,7 @@ static buf_chunk_t *buf_chunk_init(
   if (srv_numa_interleave) {
     int st = mbind(chunk->mem, chunk->mem_size(), MPOL_INTERLEAVE,
-                   numa_all_nodes_ptr->maskp, numa_all_nodes_ptr->size,
+                   &numa_mask, numa_all_nodes_ptr->size,
     if (st != 0) {
       ib::warn(ER_IB_MSG_54) << "Failed to set NUMA memory policy of"

(Of-course this needs re-build from source code and not an option for binary/package user (well there is .. check following section)).

But then why didn’t you used … ?

Naturally, most of you may suggest that this could be avoided by toggling innodb_numa_interleave back to OFF and using membind. Of-course this approach works but this approach is slightly different because then all the memory allocated is bounded by the said restriction vs innodb_numa_interleave is applicable only during buffer pool allocation. It may serve specific purpose but may not be so called comparable.

This has been on my todo list to check effect of complete interleave vs innodb_numa_interleave.


Balance distribution on NUMA node has multiple aspects including core-selection, memory allocation, thread allocation (equally on selected numa node), etc…. Lot of exciting and surprising things to explore.

If you have more questions/queries do let me know. Will try to answer them.

Written on July 2, 2020
All the product names, logo, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners