SQL Locks Test

This test monitors the locking activity of various transactions supported by an Microsoft SQL server.

Target of the test : A Microsoft SQL server

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for every Microsoft SQL server being monitored

Configurable parameters for the test
  1. TEST PERIOD - How often should the test be executed
  2. Host – The IP address of the Microsoft SQL server.
  3. Port - The port number through which the Microsoft SQL server communicates. The default port is 1433.
  4. instance – The name of a specific Microsoft SQL instance to be monitored. The default value of this parameter is “default”. To monitor an Microsoft SQL instance named “CFS”, enter this as the value of the “instance” parameter.
  5. useperfmon – By default, this flag is set to Yes, indicating that this test uses the Windows Perfmon utility by default to pull out the metrics of interest. To instruct the test to use queries for metrics collection and not Perfmon, set this flag to No. Typically, when monitoring a Microsoft SQL server in an agent-based manner, its best to go with the default setting – i.e., use Perfmon for metrics collection. However, when monitoring the Microsoft SQL server in an agentless manner, its ideal to use queries instead of Perfmon to collect the required metrics. In such cases, set this flag to No
  6. ISPASSIVE – If the value chosen is yes, then the Microsoft SQL server under consideration is a passive server in a SQL cluster. No alerts will be generated if the server is not running. Measures will be reported as “Not applicable" by the agent if the server is not up.
  7. DETAILED DIAGNOSIS – To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise suite embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option.

    The option to selectively enable/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

    • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
    • Both the normal and abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Avg wait time for locks:

This gives the average amount of wait time for each lock request that resulted in a wait.


A high value may indicate that there is contention for locks in the system. When the average wait time for locks is high, users may have to wait for their transactions to complete. This metric reports the average wait time for a variety of locks, including database, extent, key, page, RID, and table. When the average wait time is high, use the SQL profiler to identify which lock(s) is causing transaction delays.

The detailed diagnosis of the Avg wait time for locks measure, if enabled, provides the average wait time for each lock type.

Lock requests:

This value gives the number of new locks and lock conversions requested from the lock manager per second.


A high value indicates that there is high locking activity in the system and may need close scrutiny for the type of locks being requested.

Lock waits:

This value indicates the number of lock requests per second that could not be satisfied immediately and required the caller to wait before being granted the lock.


A high value of waits can have an adverse impact on application performance. Possible reasons for this behavior could be:

  • inadequate number of locks available in the database,
  • unusually high locking behavior of applications accessing the database,
  • improper database application design, etc.



Number of lock requests/sec that resulted in a deadlock


A deadlock may arise due to various situations including bad design of queries and deficient coding practices. A deadlock is a situation where both/all the lock requestors are in a mutual or a multi-way tie.
Any deadlocks are detrimental to database application performance.

Lock timeouts:

indicates the number of lock requests per second that timed out, including requests for NOWAIT locks.


The LOCK_TIMEOUT setting allows an application to set a maximum time that a statement waits on a blocked resource. When a statement has waited longer than the LOCK_TIMEOUT setting, the blocked statement is canceled automatically, and error message 1222 (Lock request time-out period exceeded) is returned to the application. Any transaction containing the statement, however, is not rolled back.

A high value for this measure indicates that many statements were cancelled, as they could not acquire a lock on a resource for a long time. This may be due to another extent lock holding the resource ( An extent lock is the one which locks multiple resources). In such a situation, use the detailed diagnosis of the SQL Blocker Processes test to know which statements have been blocked for a long time, and which statements are blocking them.

The detailed diagnosis of the Lock requests measure, if enabled, provides the rate of locks for each lock type (see Figure 1).


Figure 1 : The detailed diagnosis of the Lock requests measure

The detailed diagnosis of the Lock waits measure, if enabled, displays the rate of lock waits for each lock type (see Figure 2).


Figure 2 : The detailed diagnosis of the Lock waits measure