What to consider before adding an Active Directory search index for an attribute?

What to consider before adding an Active Directory search index for an attribute?

Problem:  webNetwork installation has slowness issues and you are looking to index certain directory attributes in an effort to improve performance, but do not know the effects of adding an index to Active Directory.




Solution(s):  Here are the following items to consider before adding an index.

  • Creating an index can be an expensive operation on the domain controllers as an initial task to create an index requires a thorough search through the database.  This taking place on a domain controller could impact other services as resources are directed toward compiling the index for the first time, so the general guidance is 'don’t index during your busiest time'. Active Directory replication could be delayed significantly as the index is created.

  • Also keep in mind that an index can actually make your Active Directory database larger, depending on the type and scope of the attributes being indexed, so be aware that it might grow.  If you have any DCs that are already low on disk space, this can cause a major issue.

  • If the attribute(s) which are showing as taking an extended amount of time to search for are already indexed then the lack of an index may not be your issue. Sometimes indices, perhaps through frequent changes or other reasons, need to be re-indexed to remove "whitespace" or other problems. So checking the integrity of the database or doing an offline defrag may fix the performance issue.  If this does not improve results, you may look to networking or other areas for performance improvements


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