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MongoDB Manual

Indexing Strategies

The best indexes for your application must take a number of factors into account, including the kinds of queries you expect, the ratio of reads to writes, and the amount of free memory on your system.

When developing your indexing strategy you should have a deep understanding of your application's queries. Before you build indexes, map out the types of queries you will run so that you can build indexes that reference those fields. Indexes come with a performance cost, but are more than worth the cost for frequent queries on large data sets. Consider the relative frequency of each query in the application and whether the query justifies an index.

The best overall strategy for designing indexes is to profile a variety of index configurations with data sets similar to the ones you'll be running in production to see which configurations perform best. Inspect the current indexes created for your collections to ensure they are supporting your current and planned queries. If an index is no longer used, drop the index.

Generally, MongoDB only uses one index to fulfill most queries. However, each clause of an $or query may use a different index.

The following documents introduce indexing strategies:

Use the ESR (Equality, Sort, Range) Rule
The ESR (Equality, Sort, Range) Rule is a guide to creating indexes that support your queries efficiently.
Create Indexes to Support Your Queries
An index supports a query when the index contains all the fields scanned by the query. Creating indexes that support queries results in greatly increased query performance.
Use Indexes to Sort Query Results
To support efficient queries, use the strategies here when you specify the sequential order and sort order of index fields.
Ensure Indexes Fit in RAM
When your index fits in RAM, the system can avoid reading the index from disk and you get the fastest processing.
Create Indexes to Ensure Query Selectivity
Selectivity is the ability of a query to narrow results using the index. Selectivity allows MongoDB to use the index for a larger portion of the work associated with fulfilling the query.


Measure Index Use


The ESR (Equality, Sort, Range) Rule