Monitoring SQL Server database transaction log space

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Keeping track of your transaction log usage is key to understanding how your database transaction logs are being used as well as keeping track of how much space the transaction logs are using.  Depending on the recovery model that is set within your database and also the backup jobs that you run, the size of your transaction log can vary quite a bit.  So what is the best way to keep track of the transaction log usage?


SQL Server has a command that you can run to see the current size of the transaction logs and how much space is currently being utilized. The command is DBCC SQLPERF(logspace).  This is a very simple command to run and interpret and this is key to getting an understanding of how your transaction logs are being used.

Here is sample output after running the command.

database name

As you can see there are only four columns. Below is a description of each of these.

  • Database Name - Name of the database for the log statistics displayed.
  • Log Size (MB) - Actual amount of space available for the log.
  • Log Space Used (%) - Percentage of the log file currently occupied with transaction log information.
  • Status - Status of the log file. Always 0.

If you run this command at different times you will see the Log Space Used (%) increase and decrease depending on the activity in your database, the recovery model that you have set and also whether you are running transaction log backups.  Also, if your transaction logs are set to auto grow and/or auto shrink you will see the size of the file either increase or decrease again depending on activity.

To gain some further insight it would be helpful to capture this data at a set time and then go back and analyze the data at a later time.  This can be done by sending the output of this command to a table.

Below is a simple way of beginning this process.  There are three pieces of code here:

  1. Stored Procedure spSQLPerf - the only purpose of this command is to be able to send the output from the DBCC command into a temporary table
  2. Table logSpaceStats - this will store the long term stats data
  3. Stored Procedure spGetSQLPerfStats - this calls spSQLPerf and inserts the data into table logSpaceStats
DBCC SQLPERF(logspace) 
CREATE TABLE dbo.logSpaceStats 
   id INT IDENTITY (1,1), 
   logDate datetime DEFAULT GETDATE(), 
   databaseName sysname, 
   logSize decimal(18,5), 
   logUsed decimal(18,5) 
CREATE PROC dbo.spGetSQLPerfStats 

   databaseName sysname, 
   logSize decimal(18,5), 
   logUsed decimal(18,5), 
   status INT 

       EXEC spSQLPerf 

INSERT INTO logSpaceStats (databaseName, logSize, logUsed) 
SELECT databasename, logSize, logUsed 
FROM #tFileList 

DROP TABLE #tFileList 

After you have created the above components you need to call the procedure as follows to capture the information. This can be done manually or you can setup a scheduled job to have this run every hour or some other set schedule.

EXEC dbo.spGetSQLPerfStats 

To take a look at the results just query the logSpaceStats table.  This can be done across the board or for an individual database.

SELECT * FROM dbo.logSpaceStats

Here is what the data in the table looks like. We can see we have a log date column along with the data.

database name
Next Steps
  • This is just one component of monitoring your server and your transaction log usage.
  • Review this data to see how space usage is being used as well as a guideline to size your transaction logs appropriately
  • After large transactions run these commands to see how much transaction log space is being used.

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About the author
MSSQLTips author Greg Robidoux Greg Robidoux is the President and founder of Edgewood Solutions, a technology services company delivering services and solutions for Microsoft SQL Server. He is also one of the co-founders of Greg has been working with SQL Server since 1999, has authored numerous database-related articles, and delivered several presentations related to SQL Server. Before SQL Server, he worked on many data platforms such as DB2, Oracle, Sybase, and Informix.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

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Comments For This Article

Monday, September 28, 2015 - 12:59:12 PM - Adinarayana Back To Top (38770)

Hi Sir,

Your script is good . I would like to scheudled this alerts for multiple SQL Server Databases . Could you please guide me how to proceed with that !!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 5:33:40 AM - Miklovic Marcel Back To Top (23759)

Alternative solution:


FROM sys.dm_os_performance_counters 

WHERE counter_name='Percent Log Used'

Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 10:13:20 AM - Luis Herrera Back To Top (21373)

Very well this solution.. thanks

Monday, April 9, 2012 - 1:31:55 AM - Vignesh K Back To Top (16813)


Log file sizes in our Database are, mdf = 61GB, log.ldf = 197MB and log1.ldf = 38MB.
But when I run the "DBCC SQLPERF(LOGSPACE)" command the Log size shown is 229MB and Log% as 4.5%.
Is this Log size value equal to sum of the 2 ldf files?
The other We tried to kill a long running process. At that time the Log% was shown as 99% for a long time.
This caused the mdf file size to shoot upto 90GB. Is this possible? (i.e.) Increase in the size of ldf file cause an increase in mdf file size too?

Your help is much appreciated

Thanks in advance

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 8:00:43 AM - Greg Robidoux Back To Top (12870)

If you are using SQL Server 2008 you can use Central Management Servers.  Check out these tips:

This tip shows how you can do this without CMS.

Monday, February 7, 2011 - 6:50:49 PM - James Back To Top (12866)

My first instinct would be able to set up a linked server.    You should be able to pull the result back onto your monitoring server and store the results in a table

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 2:49:14 PM - olepadre Back To Top (4736)

Is there a way to run the DBCC SQLPERF(logspace) on a remote server.  I have multiple Databases and I would like to run the collection stored procedure on remote servers and collect them all into one database on the monitoring server.

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