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Benefits from Nonclustered Columnstore Indexes

Dave Mason shows off some places where non-clustered columnstore indexes can benefit you:

I tend to work mostly with OLTP environments. Many of them have questionable designs or serve reporting workloads. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of performance-sapping table scans and index scans. I’ve compensated for this somewhat by using row and page compression, which became available on all editions of SQL Server starting with SQL Server 2016 SP1. Could I get even better results with columnstore indexes? Lets look at one example.

Here are four individual query statements from a stored procedure used to get data for a dashboard. If you add up percentages for Estimated Cost (CPU + IO), Estimated CPU Cost, or Estimated IO Cost, you get a total of about 90% (give or take a few percent).

Read on for the queries and to see how adding a non-clustered columnstore index helped in Dave’s case. I haven’t had a great deal of success with non-clustered columnstore indexes, but have greatly enjoyed the use of clustered columnstore indexes for fact tables.