Fundamentals of Columnstore Indexes


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Your report queries are too slow. Will columnstore indexes help?

You’ve tried throwing some hardware at it: your production SQL Server has 12 CPU cores or more, 128GB RAM, and SQL Server 2016 or newer. It’s still not enough to handle your growing data. It’s already up over 250GB, and they’re not letting you purge old data.

In one day, you’ll learn:

  • How columnstore data is stored, and how that impacts your architecture choices
  • How to do a hands-on self-assessment of your workloads, data, and server to figure out whether columnstore indexes make sense for you
  • Why partitioning makes so much sense for columnstore indexes
  • How to do a proof-of-concept implementation with initial creation, querying, ongoing loads, and index maintenance

As this is a Fundamentals class, I need to be clear about what’s out of scope, too. We won’t be covering how to tune loads, tune query plans, design rowstore indexes atop columnstore ones, tune ongoing maintenance, feature cross-compatibility, compatibility levels, or behaviors of different SQL Server versions or editions.

Prerequisites – you need to be already thoroughly familiar with my free 90-minute class, How to Think Like the SQL Server Engine, and my 1-day Fundamentals of Index Tuning class. After you enroll, do the full prerequisites including chat setup.

Each student needs to bring their own SQL Server. You’re highly encouraged to follow along with the labs. Throughout the class, you’ll have homework where you need to complete a hands-on lab using SQL Server 2019, 2017, or 2016 and the Stack Overflow database. Read the instructions on how to set up your own lab SQL Server to follow along.

This mix of lectures and hands-on labs helps reinforce the topics you’re learning and makes sure that you’ll be able to tackle the same kinds of projects in your own environment. (Many students do just that: after hours, they switch into their own environments and use the same diagnostic queries to make immediate improvements in their apps.)

This is a live online class – but you have two buying choices:


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