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Your data model is heavily influenced by query efficiency. Effective partitioning, clustering columns and denormalization are key considerations for optimizing data access patterns.
The way data is partitioned plays a pivotal role in how it’s accessed. An efficient partitioning strategy ensures that data is evenly distributed across the cluster, minimizing hotspots. For example:
CREATE TABLE my_keyspace.user_activities_bad (
PRIMARY KEY (user_id, activity_date, log_time)
In this table,
user_id is the partition key, ensuring activities are
grouped by user, and
activity_date is the clustering column, ordering activities
within each user’s partition. However, this schema is prone to large partition sizes
over time, given a user with high activity will create an imbalanced cluster.
Clustering columns dictate the order of rows within a partition. They are crucial for range queries. For example:
CREATE TABLE my_keyspace.user_activities_good (
PRIMARY KEY ((user_id, activity_date), log_time)
In this table, here the partition is a combination of the
activity_date`, using a technique called “bucketing”. This ensures that there
is no unbounded growth within a partition, bucketed to a date. In addition, logs are
log_time` within each
(user_id, activity_date) partition, making it
efficient to query logs over a time range for a specific user.
Your query design should also be optimized for efficient and effective queries to retrieve and manipulate data. Query optimization aims to minimize resource usage and latency while achieving maximum throughput.
Indexing is another important aspect of query design. We have already introduced the basic concept of primary keys, which can be made up of two parts: the partition key and optional clustering columns.
ScyllaDB also supports secondary indexes for non-primary key columns. Secondary indexes can improve query flexibility, but it’s important to consider their impact on performance. For example:
CREATE INDEX ON my_keyspace.user_activities (activity_date);
This index allows querying activities by date regardless of the user. However, secondary indexes might lead to additional overhead and should be used when necessary.
Secondary indexes are built on top of materialized views, which keep a separate, indexed table based on the base table’s data. They can be more performant for reads.
ScyllaDB supports CQL for querying data. Learning and mastering CQL is crucial for designing queries. For more detailed instructions, please see our documentation.