What is lock escalation?

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Lock escalation is the process of converting a lot of low level locks (like row locks, page
locks) into higher level locks (like table locks). Every lock is a memory structure too many
locks would mean, more memory being occupied by locks. To prevent this from happening,
SQL Server escalates the many fine-grain locks to fewer coarse-grain locks. Lock escalation
threshold was definable in SQL Server 6.5, but from SQL Server 7.0 onwards it’s
dynamically managed by SQL Server.