Need some advise on shrinking Microsoft SQL database

Hi I'm not a database expert but I noticed that the ldf file for one of our databases has grown to over 57GB. This has started to cause problems with the application the uses this database. I have not been in the company long.

Within Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio I have seen that you can right click the database. select tasks > shrink > files and within here you can select reorganise pages and select a shrink file size. I was think of shrinking the file to 1GB as my first option. So I was wondering if anyone has any ideas how long this would take, would it affect any services that are currently running, and how safe it is.

The second option I was thinking about was starting a new log file so I can preserve the history of changes, but I was wondering if this would make any difference and how would I do it.

Would like to hear a DBA thoughts.

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Vikas GargAssociate Principal EngineerCommented:

Shrinking database is bad and due to the following reasons.

1. Increases Fragmentation
2. Reduces Performance

However you can follow the practice to stop growing log file size as shown in this ARTICLE

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Jose TorresCertified Database AdministratorCommented:
Depending on the workload of the server after you shrink the log file it will grow again fairly close to the same size.
Are you taking regular transaction log backups?
Is there a mass load process that you know of or are you aware of any code that is running that could be performing full delete of a table(s)?
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Microsoft SQL Server 2005

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