MySQL storage engines InnoDB vs. MyISAM
TL;DR use InnoDB, because it has transactions and better integrity check, but worse fulltext search (<= 5.6) (who cares?). For the best fulltext search consider using Elasticsearch or Apache Solr, but they are additional daemons.
A storage engine is an internal representation of data in a database and has a interface for working with the database. And some has more features like triggers or constraints. I think there is also a JSON storage in MariaDB and PostgreSQL.
I copied this from somebody on http://stackoverflow.com/questions/15678406/when-to-use-myisam-and-innodb.
- Simpler to design and create, thus better for beginners. No worries about the foreign relationships between tables.
- Faster than InnoDB on the whole as a result of the simpler structure thus much less costs of server resources.
- Full-text indexing.
- Especially good for read-intensive (select) tables.
- Support for transactions (giving you support for the ACID property).
- Row-level locking. Having a more fine grained locking-mechanism gives you higher concurrency compared to, for instance, MyISAM.
- Foreign key constraints. Allowing you to let the database ensure the integrity of the state of the database, and the relationships between tables.
- InnoDB is more resistant to table corruption than MyISAM.
- Support for large buffer pool for both data and indexes. MyISAM key buffer is only for indexes.
- MyISAM is stagnant; all future enhancements will be in InnoDB.
- No foreign keys and cascading deletes/updates
- No transactional integrity (ACID compliance)
- No rollback abilities
- Row limit of 4,284,867,296 rows (232)
- Maximum of 64 indexes per row
- No full text indexing (Below-5.6 mysql version)
- Cannot be compressed for fast, read-only