Lock Escalation In SQL Server

What is Lock Escalation?
SQL Query for Analyzing Lock Escalations
T-SQL description


In a SQL Server environment, managing locking mechanisms is crucial for maintaining database performance and concurrency. One aspect of this management is understanding lock escalations, which occur when a lock is promoted to a higher level to accommodate multiple resource requests.

What is Lock Escalation?

Lock escalation is the process by which a database management system promotes a lock acquired on a lower-level resource to a lock on a higher-level resource. This promotion is done to efficiently manage and reduce the number of locks held on a resource, thereby improving concurrency and system performance.
Lock escalation typically occurs when a transaction acquires a large number of locks on individual rows or pages within a table. As the number of locks held by the transaction increases, the database engine may decide to escalate these locks to a higher level, such as a table-level or partition-level lock, to reduce overhead and contention.

SQL Query for Analyzing Lock Escalations

The following SQL query provides insights into lock escalations within a SQL Server database:

use ApplicationDatabase;
    db_name(lckes.database_id) as database_name,
    object_name(lckes.object_id, lckes.database_id) as object_name,
    i.name as index_name,
    (cast(lckes.index_lock_promotion_count as real) / lckes.index_lock_promotion_attempt_count) as percent_success
    sys.dm_db_index_operational_stats(db_id(), null, null, null) lckes
    inner join
    sys.indexes i
        on lckes.object_id = i.object_id
        and lckes.index_id = i.index_id
    lckes.index_lock_promotion_count > 0
order by
    index_lock_promotion_count desc;

T-SQL description

Now, let's break down each component and understand its significance

Column                             | Description
---------------------------------- | ------------------------------------------
database_name                      | Database name.
object_name                        | Object name.
index_name                         | Index name.
partition_number                   | Partition number within the index or heap.
index_lock_promotion_attempt_count | Cumulative number of times the database engine tried to escalate locks.
index_lock_promotion_count         | Cumulative number of times the database engine escalated locks.
percent_success                    | Percentage of successful lock escalations.
This query retrieves details about lock escalations, including the database name, object name, index name, partition number, and lock promotion statistics. By analyzing this information, database administrators can identify patterns of lock escalations and take appropriate measures to optimize database performance and concurrency.


Understanding the reasons behind lock escalations and monitoring their occurrence is essential for maintaining an efficient SQL Server environment. By proactively addressing lock escalation issues, organizations can ensure smooth operation of their database systems and enhance overall performance.

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