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Maintain large SQL Server database and resolve website 'Timeout Error'

If you have exceptionally large SQL Server databases, refer to these best practices for proper database maintenance to steer clear of a website 'Timeout Error.'

We have a large database on the "live server" with about 5 GB out of which 1.5 GB space is allocated by transaction log files. Also, our website executes 20,000 to 25,000 insertions daily. Occasionally, the website gives a 'Timeout Error' because this time database process gets locked or blocked. What is the best way to maintain such a large database?
There are a few things you should consider. You'll want to look at the queries which are causing the blocking. Usually this will be a SELECT statement which doesn't have the WITH (NOLOCK) option on it, or an UPDATE statement which is running against the database.

You can also look and see how much free space your database has and how often the database is extending the database. If the extend size is too large, this can cause database queries to timeout. With the database file being only 3.5 GB this probably isn't all that likely unless the disk drives are too overloaded. You can check to see if the disk drives are being overloaded by using performance monitor and checking the disk queue, reads per second and writes per second.

This was last published in March 2008

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