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tempdb Database

The tempdb system database is a global resource that is available to all users connected to the instance of SQL Server and is used to hold the following:

  • Temporary user objects that are explicitly created, such as: global or local temporary tables, temporary stored procedures, table variables, or cursors.

  • Internal objects that are created by the SQL Server Database Engine, for example, work tables to store intermediate results for spools or sorting.

  • Row versions that are generated by data modification transactions in a database that uses read-committed using row versioning isolation or snapshot isolation transactions.

  • Row versions that are generated by data modification transactions for features, such as: online index operations, Multiple Active Result Sets (MARS), and AFTER triggers.

Operations within tempdb are minimally logged. This enables transactions to be rolled back. tempdb is re-created every time SQL Server is started so that the system always starts with a clean copy of the database. Temporary tables and stored procedures are dropped automatically on disconnect, and no connections are active when the system is shut down. Therefore, there is never anything in tempdb to be saved from one session of SQL Server to another. Backup and restore operations are not allowed on tempdb.

The following table lists the initial configuration values of the tempdb data and log files. The sizes of these files may vary slightly for different editions of SQL Server.

File

Logical name

Physical name

File growth

Primary data

tempdev

tempdb.mdf

Autogrow by 10 percent until the disk is full

Log

templog

templog.ldf

Autogrow by 10 percent to a maximum of 2 terabytes

The size of tempdb can affect the performance of a system. For example, if the tempdb size is too small, the system processing could be too occupied with autogrowing the database to support your workload requirement every time that you start SQL Server. You can avoid this overhead by increasing the size of tempdb.

In SQL Server, tempdb performance is improved in the following ways:

  • Temporary tables and table variables may be cached. Caching allows operations that drop and create the temporary objects to execute very quickly and reduces page allocation contention.

  • Allocation page latching protocol is improved. This reduces the number of UP (update) latches that are used.

  • Logging overhead for tempdb is reduced. This reduces disk I/O bandwidth consumption on the tempdb log file.

  • The algorithm for allocating mixed pages in tempdb is improved.

Moving the tempdb Data and Log Files

To move the tempdb data and log files, see Move System Databases.

Database Options

The following table lists the default value for each database option in the tempdb database and whether the option can be modified. To view the current settings for these options, use the sys.databases catalog view.

Database option

Default value

Can be modified

ALLOW_SNAPSHOT_ISOLATION

OFF

Yes

ANSI_NULL_DEFAULT

OFF

Yes

ANSI_NULLS

OFF

Yes

ANSI_PADDING

OFF

Yes

ANSI_WARNINGS

OFF

Yes

ARITHABORT

OFF

Yes

AUTO_CLOSE

OFF

No

AUTO_CREATE_STATISTICS

ON

Yes

AUTO_SHRINK

OFF

No

AUTO_UPDATE_STATISTICS

ON

Yes

AUTO_UPDATE_STATISTICS_ASYNC

OFF

Yes

CHANGE_TRACKING

OFF

No

CONCAT_NULL_YIELDS_NULL

OFF

Yes

CURSOR_CLOSE_ON_COMMIT

OFF

Yes

CURSOR_DEFAULT

GLOBAL

Yes

Database Availability Options

ONLINE

MULTI_USER

READ_WRITE

No

No

No

DATE_CORRELATION_OPTIMIZATION

OFF

Yes

DB_CHAINING

ON

No

ENCRYPTION

OFF

No

NUMERIC_ROUNDABORT

OFF

Yes

PAGE_VERIFY

CHECKSUM for new installations of SQL Server.

NONE for upgrades of SQL Server.

Yes

PARAMETERIZATION

SIMPLE

Yes

QUOTED_IDENTIFIER

OFF

Yes

READ_COMMITTED_SNAPSHOT

OFF

No

RECOVERY

SIMPLE

No

RECURSIVE_TRIGGERS

OFF

Yes

Service Broker Options

ENABLE_BROKER

Yes

TRUSTWORTHY

OFF

No

For a description of these database options, see ALTER DATABASE SET Options (Transact-SQL).

The following operations cannot be performed on the tempdb database:

  • Adding filegroups.

  • Backing up or restoring the database.

  • Changing collation. The default collation is the server collation.

  • Changing the database owner. tempdb is owned by sa.

  • Creating a database snapshot.

  • Dropping the database.

  • Dropping the guest user from the database.

  • Enabling change data capture.

  • Participating in database mirroring.

  • Removing the primary filegroup, primary data file, or log file.

  • Renaming the database or primary filegroup.

  • Running DBCC CHECKALLOC.

  • Running DBCC CHECKCATALOG.

  • Setting the database to OFFLINE.

  • Setting the database or primary filegroup to READ_ONLY.

Any user can create temporary objects in tempdb. Users can only access their own objects, unless they receive additional permissions. It is possible to revoke the connect permission to tempdb to prevent a user from using tempdb, but this is not recommended as some routine operations require the use of tempdb.

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