MySQL is internally structured in such a way that the low-level tasks of storing and managing data are implemented by the plugable storage engine architecture. MySQL AB and other companies are active in R&D to improve the offer in the storage engines spectrum. For more information about the architecture itself, refer to http://dev.mysql.com/tech-resources/articles/mysql_5.0_psea1.html.
Every time we create a table, even if we don't notice it, we are asking the MySQL server (implicitly or explicitly) to use one of the available storage engines to store our data physically.
The default and traditional storage engine is named
MyISAM. A whole chapter in the MySQL Reference Manual (http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/storage-engines.html ...