Identify Page Split Sources

Dennes Torres shows us how to figure out where bad page splits are occurring:

When one page becomes full and a new page is needed this is reported as a page split, but this is a regular operation with no bad consequences for our queries. The problem happens with updates and non-sequential inserts, when the row needs to be inserted in the middle of the pages of the object and there is no space for this. SQL Server creates a new page, transfers half of the page data to the new page and writes the row data. This creates page fragmentation and is very bad for performance and is also reported as page split.

We can find the bad page splits using the event sql_server.transaction_log. This event monitors all the activities in the transaction log, because that we need to use with caution. We can filter the ‘operation’ field looking for the value 11, which means LOP_DELETE_SPLIT. This is the deletion of rows that happens when SQL Server is moving rows from one page to another in a page split, a bad page split.

It’d be nice to be able to find the particular query causing the page split, and it’d also be nice to find a less resource-intensive method of displaying this information.

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