Extra: Using Index

Many people consider this information in the MySQL Query Execution Plan (QEP) to indicate that the referenced table is using an index. It actually means that ONLY the index is used. This can for larger and more frequent queries provide a significant boost.

In a recent example, adding an index dropped a query from 190ms to 6ms. However adding a better index dropped that 6ms query to 1.2ms. When executed 100s/1000s of times per second these millisecond improvements can have a huge benefit in greater scalability. While people often tune slow running queries, in a well tuned system shaving milliseconds of queries, in this example making 6ms query 80% better is a far greater improvement.

You can get a detailed explanation of how to identify, create and verify covering indexes from my Percona Live presentation Improving performance with better indexes where I also include another great 10 table join example, reducing a query running 20,000+ times per second from 175ms to 10ms.


  1. Silvia says

    Probably good to add InnoDB as a tg to this post since this boost is exclusive to innoDB right now. As it specifically uses clustered indexes.