Chalk this post up as an “exploratory” mission based on the following question…

How do I track which LOB pages are associated with a specific columnstore index segment?

Jonathan Kehayias and I discussed this the other day and hashed out a few options for tracking this.

To illustrate this topic and keep it at a granular level – I used a simple table named FactIDDemo with a bigint FactID column that had a unique clustered index on it.  Again – exploratory and not intended to be a realistic implementation pattern.

I loaded the table with 1,048,576 rows. And the segment statistics were as follows:

SELECT  [partition_id],
[segment_id],
[row_count],
[min_data_id],
[max_data_id]
FROM    sys.[column_store_segments]
WHERE   [partition_id] = 72057594043236352 ;

image thumb Which LOB pages are associated with a specific columnstore segment?

How many LOB pages were allocated for this single segment?

SELECT  [partition_id],
[object_id],
[index_id],
[partition_number],
[in_row_used_page_count],
[lob_used_page_count],
[used_page_count],
[row_count]
FROM sys.[dm_db_partition_stats]
WHERE [partition_id] = 72057594043236352;

image thumb1 Which LOB pages are associated with a specific columnstore segment?

We see 351 used LOB pages and executing DBCC IND confirms this as well, outputting the page ids accordingly:

DBCC IND('BigFactTable', 'FactIDDemo', 2);

That command returned 351 rows – one of which was the IAM page and the remainder text pages.

I also created the following XE session to validate page access (testing on a cold cache using my session ID as well):

CREATE EVENT SESSION [Columnstore Page Access] ON SERVER
ADD EVENT sqlserver.physical_page_read(
ACTION(sqlserver.session_id)
WHERE ([sqlserver].[session_id]=(57)))
WITH (MAX_MEMORY=4096 KB,EVENT_RETENTION_MODE=ALLOW_SINGLE_EVENT_LOSS,
MAX_DISPATCH_LATENCY=30 SECONDS,MAX_EVENT_SIZE=0 KB,MEMORY_PARTITION_MODE=NONE,
TRACK_CAUSALITY=OFF,STARTUP_STATE=OFF)
GO

And I used the following test query to initiate the physical page read events:

SELECT  COUNT([FactID]) AS [FactIDCount]
FROM [dbo].[FactIDDemo]
WHERE [FactID] BETWEEN 1 AND 1048576;
GO

This query resulted in 349 events related directly to the columnstore index access.  That is different from the 351 page count from sys.[dm_db_partition_stats] and DBCC IND output.  The XE event didn’t capture the IAM page reference (in my case, page 1870780) – and it also didn’t retrieve page 1870777 which was a pagetype 3 (LOB page) and when I looked at it via DBCC PAGE, didn’t show BLOB_FRAGMENT sections.

Segments are the unit of transfer for columnstore index access.  While this is the logical unit of transfer, a segment is stored as one or more LOB pages – and to track that physical access, it seems that the sqlserver.physical_page_read is a viable way of doing so.