In SQL Server Management Studio, plain ol’ deadlock graphs look like this:
BOOOOO-RING. That’s why I prefer opening deadlock graphs in SentryOne Plan Explorer, which presents a much better visual in the form of a circle…a circle, let’s just stop there:
And Plan Explorer even has several different ways it can visualize deadlocks – hit the Layout Type dropdown at the bottom to choose:
However, during the last Mastering Index Tuning class, @Dan_Clemens pointed out the Play button at the bottom – somehow I’d totally missed that over the years! Check this out:
And all of the layouts support playback, too! Here’s playback in the Force Directed layout:
And in the Layered Digraph:
Somehow, that makes troubleshooting deadlocks suck just a little less. Thanks, Dan!