5.4.1. Managing InnoDB Tablespaces Enabling and Disabling File-Per-Table Mode Specifying the Location of a Tablespace Copying Tablespaces to Another Server (Transportable Tablespaces) Moving the Undo Log out of the System Tablespace

Historically, all InnoDB tables and indexes were stored in the system tablespace. This monolithic approach was targeted at machines dedicated entirely to database processing, with carefully planned data growth, where any disk storage allocated to MySQL would never be needed for other purposes. InnoDB's file-per-table mode is a more flexible alternative, where you store each InnoDB table and its indexes in a separate file. Each such .ibd file represents a separate tablespace. This mode is controlled by the innodb_file_per_table configuration option, and is the default in MySQL 5.6.6 and higher.

Multiple tablespaces are useful in a number of situations:

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