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Understanding and Managing Transaction Logs

Updated: 5 December 2005

Every Microsoft SQL Server 2005 database has a log that records all the transactions and database modifications made by each transaction. The transaction log is a critical component of any database, and understanding and managing this log is a critical part of the database administrator's role. This is particularly true under the full and bulk-logged recovery models, which require backing up the log on a regular basis.

This section also contains essential information about the basic architecture of transaction logs and how to manage them.

ms345583.note(en-US,SQL.90).gifImportant:
To minimize the risk of damage to your transaction log, we recommend that you locate the transaction log on fault-tolerant storage, such as mirrored disks.

Topic Description

Introduction to Transaction Logs

Introduces the transaction log and the actions that it supports, and contains links to more advanced information about transaction logs.

Understanding Transaction Log Architecture

Contains descriptions of the basic transaction log architecture, including the logical and physical architecture, and an explanation of checkpoints and the active portion of the log.

Recovery Models and Transaction Log Management

Discusses the role of the recovery model of a database in transaction log management, how to choose the recovery model for a database, transactions that are minimally logged in the bulk-logged and simple recovery models, and guidelines for switching recovery models.

Managing the Transaction Log

Discusses managing log space, managing long-running transactions, and the factors that can delay log truncation.

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