SQL Clone
SQLServerCentral is supported by Redgate
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in

Avoiding Logging

By Steve Jones,

As I have been studying more about SQL Server internals this year, one of the myths that keeps being debunked is the idea there are operations in SQL Server that are not logged. That's not true as everything you do in SQL Server is logged to the transaction log in order to ensure that SQL Server remains ACID compliant and cannot end up in an unrecoverable state.

I'm not sure where this myth started, but I suspect that some version of the telephone game is at fault. I constantly see people asking for a way to insert or delete data from SQL Server without affecting the transaction log. One of these wish list requests likely got transformed into an imaginary feature that many people think has to exist in the product. Surely there is the capability to not log things if they are deemed unimportant.

There isn't, and you can't, and I'm not sure that I'd even want this feature. Logging introduces overhead, and it can slow down processing, but it also provides a tremendous amount of safety and security. Computers will crash, power will get turned off, and hardware will fail. Mr. Murphy will ensure that one of these will occur while a large import of some sort is taking place. I don't know how the rest of you feel, but personally I would prefer that when my database is restarted, I can be sure that my data is in a consistent state. Transaction log logging ensures this is the case in SQL Server.

We often make decisions based on the data sets we have, and for the most part we want to be sure that all the data we added, updated, or removed from the system is in a known state. We do not want to accept partial transactions being recorded. We need to be sure that every debit into an account is matched up with a credit out of another account. Too many people seem to think that either their systems will never crash, or that this reliability can be guaranteed without logging.

Accept the overhead of logging, and be glad that it's unavoidable. At some point in your career, I'm sure you'll be grateful.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

Everyday Jones

The podcast feeds are available at sqlservercentral.mevio.com. Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there. Overall RSS Feed: or now on iTunes!

Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at www.everydayjones.com.

You can also follow Steve Jones on Twitter:

Total article views: 620 | Views in the last 30 days: 1
Related Articles

SQL Server Podcasts

Great news, I have decided to do some podcasts on the fundamentals of SQL Server, my aim is to help....


Technical Podcasts I Listen To

There are a few podcasts I tend to listen to as I have time. Since I work with a wide...


Podcast Announcements

Podcast Feeds


Powerscripting Podcast 2

I was interviewed by Jon (@JonWaltz) and Hal (@Halr9000) in episode 106 of the PowerScripting Podcas...


SQL Server Transaction Log Management by Tony Davis and Gail Shaw

When a SQL Server database is operating smoothly and performing well, there is no need to be particu...

transaction log