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Version Store and ONLINE Operations

Josh Darnell takes us through how SQL Server manages ONLINE = ON operations (such as index building and rebuilding) using the version store:

The votes table has about 10 million rows in it, so this takes a bit of time (10-15 seconds if nothing else is happening). If I check sys.dm_tran_version_store_space_usage and sp_WhoIsActive, I can see that:

– the version store is not growing, and
– the ALTER statement is chugging along making progress

There are costs to setting ONLINE = ON. I think they’re almost always worth it, but it’s important to remember that they are there.