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I'm an accidental DBA. I'm the only person in a company who has some experience with SQL Server and I have to deal with a system inherited from another company after it was acquired. People who originally set things up are no longer available.

Server version: Microsoft SQL Server 2016 (SP1-CU15-GDR) (KB4505221) - 13.0.4604.0 (X64) Jun 15 2019 07:56:34 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation Enterprise Edition: Core-based Licensing (64-bit) on Windows Server 2016 Datacenter 10.0 (Build 14393: ) (Hypervisor)

One of the first things that came to my attention when I looked at the server was an SQL Server Agent job that makes a backup of the main database. The database is in Simple recovery mode. The job has three steps:

-- step 1
DBCC SHRINKFILE (N'DWH_Main_log' , 0)

-- step 2
declare @disk varchar(100) = replace(N'G:\DB_Backup\DWH_Main_&d&.bak','&d&', convert(varchar, getdate(), 112))
--print @disk
;
BACKUP DATABASE [DWH_Main] 
    TO  DISK = @disk
    WITH  RETAINDAYS = 2
        , NOFORMAT
        , NOINIT
        ,  NAME = N'DWH_Main-Full Database Backup'
        , SKIP
        , NOREWIND
        , NOUNLOAD
        , COMPRESSION
        ,  STATS = 10
GO

-- step 3
WAITFOR DELAY '00:05'
;
DBCC SHRINKFILE (N'DWH_Main_log' , 0)

The data file size is about 400GB, the log file size right now is about 50GB.

CREATE DATABASE [DWH_Main]
 CONTAINMENT = NONE
 ON  PRIMARY 
( NAME = N'DWH_Main', FILENAME = N'E:\Data\DWH_Main.mdf' , SIZE = 411114496KB , 
  MAXSIZE = UNLIMITED, FILEGROWTH = 65536KB )
 LOG ON 
( NAME = N'DWH_Main_log', FILENAME = N'F:\Log\DWH_Main_log.ldf' , SIZE = 53941184KB , 
  MAXSIZE = 2048GB , FILEGROWTH = 65536KB )

I can see A LOT of Log File Auto Growth events, which is no surprise. DBCC LOGINFO returns 858 rows, i.e. 858 fragments, almost each of them 64MB.

What should I say to my boss about this situation? I don't understand why anyone would want to shrink the transaction log file every day after a full backup, especially for a database in a simple recovery mode.

My first reaction was to simply remove the DBCC SHRINKFILE commands from the script and then re-configure the initial size of the transaction log file. Grow it manually in 8GB chunks to ~64GB to reduce the fragmentation, but maybe I'm missing something?

2 Answers 2

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Most likely the one who set up that configuration wasn't very experienced with SQL Server.

Or, disk space was extremely valuable, and even though you only reclaim some disk space before it (soon) grow again, the costs and disadvantages of doing shrink was considered lower priority than cost for disk space. Not likely, but a theoretical possibility.

Why a shrink both before and after the full backup? Beats me. A full backup does a checkpoint, which will empty the log (being in simple recovery), so doing the shrink after the full backup would be the reasonable thing to do. If one could use the word "reasonable" when we're talking about regular log shrinking.

I would remove the shrink and add some monitoring. I.e., poll the size of the log every 5 minutes and see if/when it grow.

And, of course, as you state, grow it to some reasonable size. That should probably be your high watermark file size, if you have that information available. Possibly the size before that first shrink - exceptional happenings in your database not counted...

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What should I say to my boss about this situation?

Say to your boss that this is wrong and shrinking is evil operation both for data file and log file.

I don't understand why anyone would want to shrink the transaction log file every day after a full backup, especially for a database in a simple recovery mode.

Lack of knowledge about how SQL Server work. There is absolutely NO need to run shrinkfile at all leave the whole point of running it before and after backup. The only time shrinking a log file can be done is when it grew enormously due to some unwanted transaction.

My first reaction was to simply remove the DBCC SHRINKFILE commands from the script and then re-configure the initial size of the transaction log file

You are thinking absolutely correct. Go ahead remove it

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