MSSQL 2008 Lock Timeouts/sec counter - Clarity required

Hi All,
I am a performance and tuning tester, and have been for many years.
I require some clarity on an application that I am testing as we are unsure of the behavior of MSSQL.

Firstly. i wll add, that we have set this

set lock_timeout -1

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So we should have No Lock timeouts...(which is not happening)

This counter Lock Timeouts/Sec, is returning anywhere between 40-60 lock timeouts per second. Which we believe is reasonably high.
The issue here is, we do not understand what happens when this occurs, or if its a problem we should be worried about.

It is clear, from the title, that this counter measures a thread that is locked, awaiting for access to a table/row etc, and it timed out waiting for such occurrence, however, what happens in this instance.

Does the application that is controlling the query fail, and then need to re-send the query (totally nothing to do with the DB, I know)
Does the query get re-tried ?

Any information that Microsoft has produced about this counter is not helping us to understand the real cuase/effect and if it is in fact serious.

If any MSSQL Dba's can provide some light for us that would be great.

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Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
You might be getting an application timeout or some other timeout.

As you've noted, you will not get a lock timeout from SQL Server once you've explicitly set it to -1.

You could also run into a deadlock, where 2+ tasks need the same resources and are deadlocked trying to get to them: in that case, SQL Server will kill/cancel the task(s) it needs to in order to free the deadlock.

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Microsoft SQL Server 2008

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