PAGELATCH_EX

An operation is waiting for an exclusive latch on an in-memory page. It’s used when pages are being modified, including when they’re being written to buffer pages before they’re read. Only keep latches can be held concurrently with this mode.

PAGELATCH_* latches are lightweight, non-configurable internal locks used by SQL Server’s storage engine to protect concurrent access to in-memory pages. For example, when the storage engine wants to access a data page in the buffer pool to send to the relational engine, it must first request a latch on that page. The latch is released once the operation has finished, and the duration is usually dependent on available memory.

If your system is experiencing latch waits, it may suggest there’s high contention for in-memory pages of tables or indexes. Latch contention is typically associated with tempdb pages, particularly Global Allocation Map (GAM), Shared Global Allocation Map (SGAM) and Page Free Space (PFS) pages. See Under the covers: GAM, SGAM, and PFS pages (MSDN).

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