Instead of providing a complete set of hardware/software resources to an organization, Salesforce inserts a layer of software between the single instance and other customer deployments. This layer is invisible to the organizations, which only see their own data and schemas while Salesforce reorganizes the data behind the scenes to perform efficient operations.
1.) Searches the indexes for appropriate records 2.) Narrows down the results by access permissions, search limits, and other filters, creating a result set 3.) Once a result set reaches a predetermined size, all other records are discarded 4.) Finally, the result set is used to query the records from the database to retrieve the fields that a user sees