SQL Server Transaction Log Management

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by Tony Davis and Gail Shaw

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When a SQL Server database is operating smoothly and performing well, there is no need to be particularly aware of the transaction log, beyond ensuring that every database has an appropriate backup regime and restore plan in place. When things go wrong, however, a DBA’s reputation depends on a deeper understanding of the transaction log, both what it does, and how it works. An effective response to a crisis requires rapid decisions based on understanding its role in ensuring data integrity.

In this book, we strive to offer just the right level of detail so that every DBA can perform all of the most important aspects of transaction log management. We cover:

  • The critical role of the SQL Server transaction log and write ahead logging
  • How to perform transaction log backup and restore in FULL and BULK_LOGGED recovery models
  • Managing log growth, and dealing correctly with an overgrown or full log
  • Optimizing log throughput and availability, and how to avoid log fragmentation

In short, our book will show you how to control your transaction log, so that it doesn’t control you.

About the authors

Tony Davis is an Editor with Redgate Software, based in Cambridge (UK), specializing in databases, and especially SQL Server. He edits articles and writes editorials for both the and websites and newsletters, with a combined audience of over 1.5 million subscribers. You can sample his short-form written wisdom at either his blog, or his author page.

Gail Shaw is a senior consultant with Xpertease and is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She specializes in database performance tuning and database recovery, with a particular focus on topics such as indexing strategies, execution plans, and writing T-SQL code that performs well and scales gracefully. Gail is a Microsoft Certified Master for SQL Server 2008 and a SQL Server MVP. She is a frequent poster on the SQL Server Central forum, writes articles for both and and blogs on all things relating to database performance on her SQL in The Wild blog. She has spoken at TechEd Africa, the 24 Hours of PASS web event and, on multiple occasions, at the PASS Community summit.


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