General design settings

Before you run Database Designer, you must provide specific information on the design to create.

Before you run Database Designer, you must provide specific information on the design to create.

Design name

All designs that you create with Database Designer must have unique names that conform to the conventions described in Identifiers, and are no more than 32 characters long (16 characters if you use Database Designer in Administration Tools or Management Console).

The design name is incorporated into the names of files that Database Designer generates, such as its deployment script. This can help you differentiate files that are associated with different designs.

Design type

Database Designer can create two distinct design types: comprehensive or incremental.

Comprehensive design

A comprehensive design creates an initial or replacement design for all the tables in the specified schemas. Create a comprehensive design when you are creating a new database.

To help Database Designer create an efficient design, load representative data into the tables before you begin the design process. When you load data into a table, Vertica creates an unoptimized superprojection so that Database Designer has projections to optimize. If a table has no data, Database Designer cannot optimize it.

Optionally, supply Database Designer with representative queries that you plan to use so Database Designer can optimize the design for them. If you do not supply any queries, Database Designer creates a generic optimization of the superprojections that minimizes storage, with no query-specific projections.

During a comprehensive design, Database Designer creates deployment scripts that:

  • Create projections to optimize query performance.

  • Create replacement buddy projections when Database Designer changes the encoding of existing projections that it decides to keep.

Incremental design

After you create and deploy a comprehensive database design, your database is likely to change over time in various ways. Consider using Database Designer periodically to create incremental designs that address these changes. Changes that warrant an incremental design can include:

  • Significant data additions or updates

  • New or modified queries that you run regularly

  • Performance issues with one or more queries

  • Schema changes

Optimization objective

Database Designer can optimize the design for one of three objectives:

  • Load: Designs that are optimized for loads minimize database size, potentially at the expense of query performance.
  • Query: Designs that are optimized for query performance. These designs typically favor fast query execution over load optimization, and thus result in a larger storage footprint.
  • Balanced: Designs that are balanced between database size and query performance.

A fully optimized query has an optimization ratio of 0.99. Optimization ratio is the ratio of a query's benefits achieved in the design produced by the Database Designer to that achieved in the ideal plan. The optimization ratio is set in the OptRatio parameter in designer.log.

Design tables

Database Designer needs one or more tables with a moderate amount of sample data—approximately 10 GB—to create optimal designs. Design tables with large amounts of data adversely affect Database Designer performance. Design tables with too little data prevent Database Designer from creating an optimized design. If a design table has no data, Database Designer ignores it.

Design queries

A database design that is optimized for query performance requires a set of representative queries, or design queries. Design queries are required for incremental designs, and optional for comprehensive designs. You list design queries in a SQL file that you supply as input to Database Designer. Database Designer checks the validity of the queries when you add them to your design, and again when it builds the design. If a query is invalid, Database Designer ignores it.

If you use Management Console to create a database design, you can submit queries either from an input file or from the system table QUERY_REQUESTS. For details, see Creating a design manually.

The maximum number of design queries depends on the design type: ≤200 queries for a comprehensive design, ≤100 queries for an incremental design. Optionally, you can assign weights to the design queries that signify their relative importance. Database Designer uses those weights to prioritize the queries in its design.

Segmented and unsegmented projections

When creating a comprehensive design, Database Designer creates projections based on data statistics and queries. It also reviews the submitted design tables to decide whether projections should be segmented (distributed across the cluster nodes) or unsegmented (replicated on all cluster nodes).

By default, Database Designer recommends only segmented projections. You can enable Database Designer to recommend unsegmented projections . In this case, Database Designer recommends segmented superprojections for large tables when deploying to multi-node clusters, and unsegmented superprojections for smaller tables.

Database Designer uses the following algorithm to determine whether to recommend unsegmented projections. Assuming that largest-row-count equals the number of rows in the design table with the largest number of rows, Database Designer recommends unsegmented projections if any of the following conditions is true:

  • largest-row-count< 1,000,000 ANDnumber-table-rows10%-largest-row-count

  • largest-row-count≥ 10,000,000 ANDnumber-table-rows1%-largest-row-count

  • 1,000,000 ≤ largest-row-count< 10,000,000 ANDnumber-table-rows ≤ 100,000

Database Designer does not segment projections on:

  • Single-node clusters


For more information, see High availability with projections.

Statistics analysis

By default, Database Designer analyzes statistics for design tables when they are added to the design. Accurate statistics help Database Designer optimize compression and query performance.

Analyzing statistics takes time and resources. If you are certain that design table statistics are up to date, you can specify to skip this step and avoid the overhead otherwise incurred.

For more information, see Collecting Statistics.