Lock Escalation in SQL Server is mainly a nightmare. How will you delete more than 5.000 rows from a table without running into Lock Escalations? You can disable Lock Escalation temporarily, but you have to be very careful here. Another option is to make your DELETE/UPDATE statements in a loop as different, separate transactions: DELETE/UPDATE less than 5.000 rows, so that you can prevent Lock Escalations. As a very nice side-effect your huge, big transaction will be splitted into multiple smaller ones, which will also help you with Auto Growth issues that you maybe have with your transaction log.