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SQL Server Transaction Log Management by Tony Davis, Gail Shaw

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Introduction

Associated with every SQL Server database is a primary data file (.mdf), possibly some secondary data files (.ndf), and a transaction log file (.ldf). The purpose of the data files is self-explanatory, but the purpose of the log file remains, for many, shrouded in mystery, and yet it is critical to the everyday operation of SQL Server, and to its ability to recover a database in the event of failure.

A transaction log is a file in which SQL Server stores a record of all the transactions performed on the database with which the log file is associated. In the event of a disaster that causes SQL Server to shut down unexpectedly, such as an instance-level failure or a hardware failure, SQL Server uses the transaction log in order to ...

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