Clustered Indexes Do Not Guarantee Physical Order

Gail Shaw on how clustered indexes do not guarantee physical order:

Do indexes (clustered or non-clustered) define the physical storage order of the rows?

No, absolutely not.

What indexes do is provide a logical ordering, a collection of pointers, that allow the storage engine to retrieve data from an index ordered by the index key, but that’s logical ordering, it specified nothing regarding the physical ordering.

Read the whole thing.

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