Sharding refers to a usual practice of using multiple servers. It describes the mechanism that splits large volumes of data store in the same database across multiple servers and virtual data nodes. Sharding enhances performance since each server handles different data partitions.

However, it is recommended to use replication instead of sharding. This is because replication provides not only performance but also reliability.

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NoSQL databases embraces sharding to balance the load and to ensure parallel storage and processing. They offer the valuable option to add or remove servers from data layer without affecting application performance.

On the contrary, RDMS were not originally created with this purpose. Instead, sharding feature was added to RDMS.

Tables are partitioned over multiple servers. Sharding is based on the mapping between shards (data partitions) and data nodes that contain those shards. The mapping can either be dynamic or static. One downside of sharding is that it does not allow joins between shards.


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