Indexes are the solution to many performance problems, but may be the root of so many more. A good understanding of indexes is essential for the survival of any DBA; yet as with most things in SQL Server, each new version brings about change, and many new features. In this chapter we begin by reviewing the new index-related features in SQL Server 2008, and then touch on the basics to make sure you have a full understanding of indexing before going into the details of those new indexing features.
As with most things in SQL Server, the ultimate reference is Books Online, so we won't be duplicating the reference material available there. What we will do is try to make sense of it, and put that information into a context you can use. This chapter does not cover the internal details of indexes, so it doesn't include a detailed discussion of the new allocation unit types.