Explain about Clustered and non clustered index? How to choose between a Clustered Index and a Non-Clustered Index?

There are clustered and nonclustered indexes. A clustered index is a special type of index that reorders the way records in the table are physically stored. Therefore table can have only one clustered index. The leaf nodes of a clustered index contain the data pages.
A nonclustered index is a special type of index in which the logical order of the index does not match the physical stored order of the rows on disk. The leaf nodes of a nonclustered index does not consist of the data pages. Instead, the leaf nodes contain index rows.
Consider using a clustered index for:

  • Columns that contain a large number of distinct values.
  • Queries that return a range of values using operators such as BETWEEN, >, >=, <, and <=.
  • Columns that are accessed sequentially.
  • Queries that return large result sets.
    Non-clustered indexes have the same B-tree structure as clustered indexes, with two significant differences:
  • The data rows are not sorted and stored in order based on their non-clustered keys.
  • The leaf layer of a non-clustered index does not consist of the data pages. Instead, the leaf nodes contain index rows. Each index row contains the non-clustered key value and one or more row locators that point to the data row (or rows if the index is not unique) having the key value.
  • Per table only 249 non clustered indexes.
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