Columnstore and B+ tree – Are Hybrid Physical Designs Important?

ACM International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD) 2018 |

Published by ACM - Association of Computing Machinery

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Commercial DBMSs, such as Microsoft SQL Server, cater to diverse workloads including transaction processing, decision support, and operational analytics. They also support variety in physical design structures such as B+ tree and columnstore. The benefits of B+ tree for OLTP workloads and columnstore for decision support workloads are well-understood. However, the importance of hybrid physical designs, consisting of both columnstore and B+ tree indexes on the same database, is not well-studied — a focus of this paper. We first quantify the trade-offs using carefully-crafted micro-benchmarks. This micro-benchmarking indicates that hybrid physical designs can result in orders of magnitude better performance depending on the workload. For complex real-world applications, choosing an appropriate combination of columnstore and B+ tree indexes for a database workload is challenging. We extend the Database Engine Tuning Advisor for Microsoft SQL Server to recommend a suitable combination of B+ tree and columnstore indexes for a given workload. Through extensive experiments using industry-standard benchmarks and several real-world customer workloads, we quantify how a physical design tool capable of recommending hybrid physical designs can result in orders of magnitude better execution costs compared to approaches that rely either on columnstore-only or B+ tree-only designs.