Designing an expression-based distribution scheme

The first step in designing an expression-based distribution scheme is to determine the distribution of data in the table, particularly the distribution of values for the column on which you base the fragmentation expression.

To obtain this information, run the UPDATE STATISTICS statement for the table and then use the dbschema utility to examine the distribution.

After you know the data distribution, you can design a fragmentation rule that distributes data across fragments as required to meet your fragmentation goal. If your primary goal is to improve performance, your fragment expression should generate an even distribution of rows across fragments.

If your primary fragmentation goal is improved concurrency, analyze the queries that access the table. If certain rows are accessed at a higher rate than others, you can compensate by opting for an uneven distribution of data over the fragments that you create.

Try not to use columns that are subject to frequent updates in the distribution expression. Such updates can cause rows to move from one fragment to another (that is, be deleted from one and added to another), and this activity increases CPU and I/O overhead.

Try to create nonoverlapping regions based on a single column with no REMAINDER fragment for the best fragment-elimination characteristics. The database server eliminates fragments from query plans whenever the query optimizer can determine that the values selected by the WHERE clause do not reside on those fragments, based on the expression-based fragmentation rule by which you assign rows to fragments. For more information, see Distribution schemes that eliminate fragments.

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