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Indexes Aren’t Always the Answer

There’s a tendency to think all problems can be solved with an index or two (or partitions, or other performance trick of your choice), but sometimes the answer is to not do the work to start with. Sounds Zen, but it’s often a matter of caching in the write place. It’s a technique I’ve used a few times in interesting ways, but maybe never quite to the scale mentioned in this article about about Accuweather. By doing something pretty interesting yet pretty simple out in front of the database they reduced their workload from 300 to 500…million requests per day.

It’s good to tune, good to have the right indexes, but tuning requires understanding the entire problem.


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


Posted by Brent Ozar on 24 June 2011

Wow.  Great story.  What I wonder is what happened behind the scenes - who came up with the idea to truncate the decimal places on the GPS position?

Posted by Andy Warren on 26 June 2011

Brent, I don't know. Times like this I wish I had time to play the investigative journalist!

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