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Write Optimization: Myths, Comparison, Clarifications, Part 2

In my last post, we talked about the read/write tradeoff of indexing data structures, and some ways that people augment B-trees in order to get better write performance. We also talked about the significant drawbacks of each method, and I promised to show some more fundamental approaches.

We had two “workload-based” techniques: inserting in sequential order, and using fewer indexes, and two “data structure-based” techniques: a write buffer, and OLAP. Remember, the most common thing people do when faced with an insertion bottleneck is to use fewer indexes, and this kills query performance. So keep in mind that all our work on write-optimization is really work for read-optimization, in that write-optimized indexes are cheap enough that you can keep all the ones you need to get good read performance.

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