AutoAdmin “What-If” Index Analysis Utility


Published by Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.


As databases get widely deployed, it becomes increasingly important to reduce the overhead of database adminstration. An important aspect of data adminstration that critically influences performance is the ability to select indexes for a database. In order to decide the right indexes for a database, it is crucial for the database administrator (DBA) to be able to perform a quantitative analysis of the existing indexes. Furthermore, the DBA should have the ability to propose hypothetical (“what-if”) indexes and quantitatively analyze their impact on performance of the system. Such impact analysis may consist of analyzing workloads over the database, estimating changes in the cost of a workload, and studying index usage while taking into account projected changes in the sizes of the database tables. In this paper we describe a novel index analysis utility that we have prototyped for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0. We describe the interfaces exposed by this utility that can be leveraged by a variety of front-end tools and sketch important aspects of the user interfaces enabled by the utility. We also discuss the implementation techniques for efficiently supporting “what-if” indexes. Our framework can be extended to incorporate analysis of other aspects of physical database design.