Latest blog posts

Lost Updates under Read Committed Snapshot Isolation (RCSI)

By Kendra Little on October 4, 2023

I shared an image on social media this week that describes how I feel about isolation levels in SQL Server (and its various flavors): the more concurrent sessions you have in a database reading and writing data at the same time, the more attractive it is to use version-based optimistic locking for scalability reasons.

There are two isolation levels in SQL Server that use optimistic locking for disk-based tables:

  1. Read Committed Snapshot Isolation (RCSI), which changes the implementation of the default Read Committed Isolation level and enables statement-based consistency.
  2. Snapshot Isolation, which provides high consistency for transactions (which often contain multiple statements). Snapshot Isolation also provides support for identifying update conflicts.

Many folks get pretty nervous about RCSI when they learn that certain timing effects can happen with data modifications that don’t happen under Read Committed. The irony is that RCSI does solve many OTHER timing risks in Read Committed, and overall is more consistent, so sticking with the pessimistic implementation of Read Committed is not a great solution, either.

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Automated Deployments and the Art of the Database with Database Michael J Swart

By Kendra Little on September 26, 2023

In this episode, Michael J Swart joins the Dear SQL DBA podcast to talk about databases, automation, and how he’s come to illustrate some of the coolest blog posts ever to be written about data.

Check out Michael’s art and blog posts at, and explore his posts by illustration at

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By Kendra Little on September 12, 2023

I’ve long found it tricky to remember and explain the differences between three similar-sounding waits in SQL Server that all have “LATCH” in the name: PAGELATCH, LATCH, and PAGEIOLATCH waits.

Here’s an illustration that explains these waits, along with wait subtypes.

This is an excerpt from my new comic, “Wait Stats in SQL Server.”

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Jer and Kendar Explore Optimized Locking

By Kendra Little on September 4, 2023

SQL Server has a new feature that’s currently only available in Azure SQL Database: Optimized Locking.

Jeremiah Peschka joins Kendra (aka Kendar) to talk through the docs and nerd out on locks, blocks, and how to pronounce the acronym “LAQ”.

Prefer to explore optimized locking with a diagram? I’ve also got a little sketchnote for ya.

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