database fragmentation basics

I have read to autoshrink feature can cause database fragmentation of SQL databases.

What are the risks of database fragmentation, in management terms?

i.e. data loss? slow performance? nothing?

please provide a management freindly risk summary of the risks associated if your databases "fragment".
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Vikas GargAssociate Principal EngineerCommented:

De fragmentation decreases the query performance..

So if  database has high fragmentation then the Index either needs to be re organize or rebuild depends upon severity of fragmentation ...

avg_fragmentation_in_percent value      Corrective statement
> 5% and < = 30%                                       ALTER INDEX REORGANIZE
> 30%                                                              ALTER INDEX REBUILD WITH (ONLINE = ON)*

Here is very good article showing some effect of Fragmentation ...

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Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
Do NOT turn autoshrink on. You won't have control on when the autoshrink will happen and this might highly impact in the database performance.
The larger the database the higher will be the impact since it's an slow operation and causes blocks.
If for some reason you need to shrink a database, do it in a period with no activity on the database so nobody will feel the impact. And always perform a reindex after a shrinking a database since the data pages will be fragmented.
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