How to Check Index Fragmentation on Indexes in a SQL Database

Firstly I would like to point out that the following article was copied from here so all credit goes to them. I found it while tying to find out why one of our databases was incredibly slow!

Issue

SQL Queries taking longer than normal to complete.

Environment

SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, SQL Server 2016

When a database is frequently updated via INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE statements we can expect it to become fragmented over the time.

If database indexes are fragmented, the SQL Server query optimizer may chose a non-optimal execution plan when using an index to resolve a query.

This will affect the overall query performance and you may notice a query behaving slower than normal.

Resolution

**Warning: Irreparable database damage can occur. This procedure should only be performed by users familiar with SQL Server Management Studio. Databases should be backed up prior to performing this procedure.**

The following is a simple query that will list every index on every table in your database, ordered by percentage of index fragmentation.

SELECT dbschemas.[name] as 'Schema',
dbtables.[name] as 'Table',
dbindexes.[name] as 'Index',
indexstats.avg_fragmentation_in_percent,
indexstats.page_count
FROM sys.dm_db_index_physical_stats (DB_ID(), NULL, NULL, NULL, NULL) AS indexstats
INNER JOIN sys.tables dbtables on dbtables.[object_id] = indexstats.[object_id]
INNER JOIN sys.schemas dbschemas on dbtables.[schema_id] = dbschemas.[schema_id]
INNER JOIN sys.indexes AS dbindexes ON dbindexes.[object_id] = indexstats.[object_id]
AND indexstats.index_id = dbindexes.index_id
WHERE indexstats.database_id = DB_ID()
ORDER BY indexstats.avg_fragmentation_in_percent desc

This query can be modified to focus on specific tables by append the table name to the ‘where’ clause:

WHERE indexstats.database_id = DB_ID() AND dbtables.[name] like '%%'

In order to reduce fragmentation we will have to reorganize or rebuild the indexes. Choosing between reorganizing or rebuilding depends on the query results.

For heavily fragmented indexes a rebuild process is needed, otherwise index reorganisation should be sufficient.

The following info summarises when to use each one:

Reference Values (in %): avg_fragmentation_in_percent > 5 AND < 30
Action: Reorganise Index
SQL Statement: ALTER INDEX REORGANIZE

Reference Values (in %): avg_fragmentation_in_percent > 30
Action: Rebuild Index
SQL Statement: ALTER INDEX REBUILD

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