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SQL Indices

We have a large table that is heavily-indexed and I am convinced some of the indices are no longer in use.

Does SQL offer any way to find out when the last time an index was accessed or other means to see how often it is used?

5 Solutions
The following link will help you. If the number of seeks + lookups are very few, you shouldn't bother about keeping and maintaining it. You can easily drop it.
Deepak ChauhanSQL Server DBACommented:
Use this script to find out index usage.. hope so it is usable for u...

SELECT DISTINCT OBJECT_NAME(sis.OBJECT_ID) TableName, si.name AS IndexName, sc.Name AS ColumnName,
sic.Index_ID, sis.user_seeks, sis.user_scans, sis.user_lookups, sis.user_updates
FROM sys.dm_db_index_usage_stats sis
INNER JOIN sys.indexes si ON sis.OBJECT_ID = si.OBJECT_ID AND sis.Index_ID = si.Index_ID
INNER JOIN sys.index_columns sic ON sis.OBJECT_ID = sic.OBJECT_ID AND sic.Index_ID = si.Index_ID
INNER JOIN sys.columns sc ON sis.OBJECT_ID = sc.OBJECT_ID AND sic.Column_ID = sc.Column_ID
WHERE sis.Database_ID = DB_ID('DatabaseName') AND sis.OBJECT_ID = OBJECT_ID('TableName');
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Be aware that the a information of the DMV's (such as  sys.dm_db_index_usage_stats) is initialized by a restart.  So it's important to know if their content spans a fair period.

Even if an index is not used for 2,5 months it can be crusial for a quarterly or yearly report to run in a normal time-frame.  If so it could be worth to see how that index can be less a pain
- only create it in the period you need it
- less included columns that are updated a regularly
- filtered index (2008) so it's smaller but fit's the query it has to speed up
dthansenAuthor Commented:
Looks good.

I will try these out in our next maintenance window in 2 days.

Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
As noted by others, sys.dm_db_index_usage_stats is the key view.

Btw, I would never maintain an index(es) solely for quarterly or *yearly* report.  That seems wrong to me.  

If it only runs that infrequently (ONCE a YEAR!), let it scan the whole table -- 3 times even if it needs to -- rather than maintain all the index rows for a full year.

Or build the index(es) immediately prior to the qtrly / yearly reporting, then *drop them* when done that period rpting.
dthansenAuthor Commented:
We got a chance to review index usage stats during idle time today. Unfortunately, it did not reveal any indices we could get rid of.

Thank you  all for your feedback!

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