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Monitoring and rebuilding indexes

From: SQL Server 2008 Essential Training

Video: Monitoring and rebuilding indexes

Because your indexes will get updated whenever there is a change to your main table, if there is an insert, we have to change the index, if there is an update, we change the index, if there is a delete, we change the index. Or your indexes can become what's called fragmented. They can become inefficient and split across multiple parts of the files that SQL Server uses to organize itself. Well, we can find out if that's an issue. Though I will tell you in a typical production database, it will be an issue and you want to defragment, even rebuild your indexes from time to time.

Monitoring and rebuilding indexes

Because your indexes will get updated whenever there is a change to your main table, if there is an insert, we have to change the index, if there is an update, we change the index, if there is a delete, we change the index. Or your indexes can become what's called fragmented. They can become inefficient and split across multiple parts of the files that SQL Server uses to organize itself. Well, we can find out if that's an issue. Though I will tell you in a typical production database, it will be an issue and you want to defragment, even rebuild your indexes from time to time.

Luckily, in SQL Server Management Studio, I can right-click any of my databases, come down to Reports and I will about find that in the Standard Reports section there's both an Index Usage Statistics, how much of these index is being used, and Index Physical Statistics. Both of these are great. If I click on Index Usage Statistics, it will tell me and this is going to be fairly recent information, how my indexes are being used. There's my new one that I created a moment ago. The index for the last name of the customer has been used a whole one time.

Well, of course, we are on a development server. I wouldn't expect to see huge amounts but it would let us know if a particular index is or is not being used. Doesn't tell us whether it's fragmented though. For that we need the other report. And to come down into Reports > Standard Reports and Index Physical Statistics, which will scan all the indexes of all the tables, clustered and non-clustered, and you will often see a recommendation here to Rebuild and an index needs to be rebuilt when it's above a certain level of fragmentation.

Now here's the issue. It's telling us that most of these indexes have to be rebuilt. The problem is, is this database and all its indexes are so small, so very, very tiny. There are only a few hundred rows in them, that these indexes will almost always show up as fragmented. Let's see if we can find something that's a little bit bigger. I am going to drop into the AdventureWorks Data Warehouse, AdventureWorksDW. Even though that's still technically a very small database, it's bigger than AdventureWorksLight. So I am going to go over into Standard Reports and look at our Index Physical Statistics.

And as I scan, I see some recommendations. One says Rebuild here, the fragmentation's at 50%. Another says Reorganize, the fragmentation's at 6. It's still not a very big index. I can tell here that it's says this. The number of pages this indexes made of is 32 and the pages only an 8K chunk of how SQL Server organizes itself. So there's still not a lot going on. I am going to come down a little bit further. And let's say here we have got FactResellerSales as one of the tables in this data warehouse.

If I expand that, it says it's recommending a rebuild on this FactReseller_Sales EmployeeKey- NonClusteredIndex. That's a 43% Fragmentation with 113 pages. We might see a difference here. So how do I do this? Well, I need to find the indexes for this table, FactResellerSales. So I will expand the Table section in Management Studio. I will find FactResellerSales. I will expand that and inside the table, we're mostly been working with Columns and Keys but there is an Indexes folder which shows me all those indexes.

I could find the FactReseller_Sales EmployeeKey, which is the one I'm looking at here, and I could right-click that and I have a choice to Rebuild or Reorganize. I can also right-click the Indexes folder and Rebuild All or Reorganize All. What's the difference? Well, If I say Reorganize, what it's going to do is take some of those pages, those little 8K chunk that are been used to store this index and shift them around in a bit of a better order. Reorganizing is quite quick and we will get you some of the way there.

If I say Rebuild, it actually dumps the index, completely drops it and rebuild it from scratch. A much better way of getting a better index but it will take a while. In fact if you have a very large database, it may be hours or even for terabytes of data, days to do this. This one shouldn't take anywhere near as long. I am going to right click this folder and say Rebuild All. What will happen is its scans all those Indexes, tells me the fragmentation, that we really don't have anything apart from this last one. But I am going to click OK anyway.

It bangs through all of them and just rebuilds those indexes. So, let's see if we can get a better report for FactResellerSales. I will run the report again, come to the Database, right-click, go to Reports > Standard Reports > Index Physical Statistics, and then come all the way down to FactResellerSales and I am not being recommended anymore to rebuild it. If I expand that one, it looks actually pretty good. We have a 0% fragmentation across 113 pages, nice.

Now typically, what you're going to look at when you get into index defragmentation and this will be part of your overall maintenance plan that you and/or your DBA are going to help build and create. Like a lot of other things when using Management Studio, if you are rebuilding all your indexes, you do have the opportunity to script that to a new query window and it will actually generate the SQL to rebuild those indexes if you want to. And that might be a starting point for creating say a larger SQL script that will execute a maintenance plan, the maintenance structure on your entire database.

When you're getting into that, you certainly want to go out to the Internet and start looking at some blog posts and finding some good routines. Because you'll find that certain people gather up their suggested scripts and make them available for general plans for database maintenance. But for us on our development server, this is how we approach monitoring and defragmenting our indexes.

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This video is part of

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SQL Server 2008 Essential Training

74 video lessons · 36686 viewers

Simon Allardice
Author

 
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  1. 2m 21s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 2s
  2. 17m 58s
    1. SQL Server core concepts
      9m 4s
    2. SQL Server editions
      3m 8s
    3. Applications included with SQL Server
      5m 46s
  3. 26m 1s
    1. Preparing for installation
      3m 44s
    2. Creating service accounts
      2m 33s
    3. Installing SQL Server
      11m 42s
    4. Post-installation checks
      3m 9s
    5. Installing sample databases
      4m 53s
  4. 13m 35s
    1. Introduction to SQL Server Management Studio
      8m 7s
    2. Introduction to SQL Server Books Online
      3m 6s
    3. SQL Server system databases
      2m 22s
  5. 1h 26m
    1. Planning your database
      9m 39s
    2. Creating a SQL Server database
      4m 7s
    3. Creating tables
      7m 51s
    4. Data types in SQL Server
      12m 25s
    5. Defining keys
      8m 9s
    6. Creating default values
      4m 39s
    7. Creating check constraints
      2m 25s
    8. Creating unique constraints
      4m 34s
    9. Introduction to relationships and foreign keys
      9m 51s
    10. Creating relationships in SQL Server Management Studio
      8m 14s
    11. Database normalization
      11m 47s
    12. Creating computed columns
      3m 10s
  6. 23m 11s
    1. Using the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard
      3m 58s
    2. Importing Excel files into SQL Server
      6m 11s
    3. Importing CSV files into SQL Server
      5m 27s
    4. Importing Access databases into SQL Server
      7m 35s
  7. 55m 29s
    1. Introduction to Transact-SQL
      3m 43s
    2. Using SELECT statements
      7m 16s
    3. Changing the default database
      2m 21s
    4. Creating conditions in SQL
      8m 10s
    5. Sorting your output
      3m 23s
    6. Using aggregate functions
      7m 12s
    7. Finding unique values
      2m 14s
    8. Joining multiple tables together
      8m 0s
    9. Using subqueries
      9m 33s
    10. Viewing execution plans
      3m 37s
  8. 19m 36s
    1. Writing INSERT statements
      5m 47s
    2. Writing UPDATE statements
      4m 38s
    3. Writing DELETE statements
      2m 54s
    4. Using the OUTPUT clause to return inserted keys and GUIDs
      6m 17s
  9. 32m 52s
    1. Introduction to SQL functions
      6m 26s
    2. Using SQL configuration functions
      2m 14s
    3. Using string functions
      7m 26s
    4. Using date functions
      6m 27s
    5. Creating user-defined functions
      10m 19s
  10. 28m 46s
    1. Introduction to stored procedures
      4m 23s
    2. Creating stored procedures
      11m 23s
    3. Introducing transactions
      4m 23s
    4. Creating transactions
      8m 37s
  11. 16m 39s
    1. Understanding and creating indexes
      6m 32s
    2. Monitoring and rebuilding indexes
      6m 0s
    3. Monitoring database size and integrity
      4m 7s
  12. 11m 41s
    1. Creating backups
      4m 21s
    2. Creating differential backups and using backup compression
      3m 40s
    3. Restoring databases
      3m 40s
  13. 17m 40s
    1. Introduction to SQL Server security and permissions
      5m 54s
    2. Adding a Windows user to the database
      5m 7s
    3. Creating SQL Server logins and switching authentication modes
      6m 39s
  14. 36m 41s
    1. Introduction to SQL Server Reporting Services
      2m 52s
    2. Connecting to the Report Manager
      4m 29s
    3. Using Report Builder
      12m 4s
    4. Formatting values in reports
      4m 17s
    5. Adding indicators to reports
      5m 11s
    6. Adding charts to reports
      3m 54s
    7. Working with report security
      3m 54s
  15. 24m 41s
    1. Introduction to SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)
      1m 57s
    2. Using Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS)
      6m 59s
    3. Creating and executing a simple SSIS package
      7m 35s
    4. Importing packages into SQL Server Management Studio
      3m 21s
    5. Scheduling jobs with SQL Server Agent
      4m 49s
  16. 31s
    1. Goodbye
      31s

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