How to Reduce the WRITE_COMPLETION wait type

19 June,2014 by Tom Collins

SQL Server Books online defines WRITE_COMPLETION as “Occurs when a write operation is progress”. This definition  doesn’t give a deep insight into the activity types which trigger the WRITE_COMPLETIONB wait type

The definition is fairly generic and requires some analysis to identify when it occurs and if it’s causing a problem.

Some examples of when WRITE_COMPLETION occurs:

1) Copying pages from the model database into a database during the CREATE DATABASE process

2) Creating Global Allocation Map (GAM) pages

3) Create and mark Page Free Space (PFS) pages byte-map

4) Expanding a Database  data file grow command will initiate page allocations


Typically , WRITE_COMPLETION doesn’t reflect a  problem . If you’re tracking a single action – WRITE_COMPLETION appears   alongside  other wait types .  I rarely see WRITE_COMPLETION at the top of the wait types.

If there are persistent  write operations resulting in higher than normal levels of  WRITE_COMPLETION than try to analyse the root cause.  For example , is there high PFS page latch contention?

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