What is Shard in Database

What is Shard in Database

You might have been wondering, what is shard in database?, Basically, in the world of database management, the term “shard” has gained prominence as businesses strive for efficient data handling. Sharding is a technique that involves splitting a database into smaller, manageable units called shards. Each shard is a self-contained database subset, capable of operating independently. In this article, we will delve into the concept of a shard in a database, its purpose, and its role in achieving scalability and improved performance.

What is Shard?

A shard, in the context of databases, refers to a partition or subset of a larger database. It is created by dividing the dataset and distributing it across multiple servers. Each server, or shard, holds a distinct portion of the data, allowing for parallel processing and independent operations.

How Sharding in Database Works?

To better understand what’s shard in database, let’s explore the underlying mechanisms:

1. Data Partitioning: The first step in sharding involves partitioning the data. This can be done based on various criteria, such as ranges of values, hash functions, or specific attributes. The goal is to evenly distribute the data across shards while maintaining data integrity and minimizing inter-shard dependencies.

2. Shard Servers: After partitioning, each shard is assigned to a separate server. These servers can be physical machines or virtual instances, depending on the database infrastructure. Each server is responsible for storing and managing its allocated shard, including handling queries and transactions related to that shard.

3. Query Distribution: When a query is issued to the database, it needs to be directed to the appropriate shard(s) to retrieve the required data. This can be achieved through a centralized router or a distributed query routing mechanism. The router determines which shard(s) should be queried based on the query parameters and routes the request accordingly.

Now you might be wondering when do we need to shard our database, look at this article.

Sharding is a technique used in database management to improve scalability and performance by distributing data across multiple shards. Each shard operates independently, offering parallel processing capabilities and fault isolation. By understanding the fundamentals of sharding, businesses can leverage this approach to handle ever-growing data volumes and achieve efficient data management in their applications.

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Myself Bharath Choudhary, software developer at Oracle.
2021 NIT Warangal graduate.


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