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Sharding is the process of storing data records across multiple machines and is MongoDB’s approach to meeting the demands of data growth. As the size of the data increases, a single machine may not be sufficient to store the data nor provide an acceptable read and write throughput. Sharding solves the problem with horizontal scaling. With sharding, you add more machines to support data growth and the demands of read and write operations.

You can download this section in PDF form as Sharding and MongoDB.

Sharding Introduction
A high-level introduction to horizontal scaling, data partitioning, and sharded clusters in MongoDB.
Sharding Concepts

The core documentation of sharded cluster features, configuration, architecture and behavior.

Sharded Cluster Components
A sharded cluster consists of shards, config servers, and mongos instances.
Sharded Cluster Architectures
Outlines the requirements for sharded clusters, and provides examples of several possible architectures for sharded clusters.
Sharded Cluster Behavior
Discusses the operations of sharded clusters with regards to the automatic balancing of data in a cluster and other related availability and security considerations.
Sharding Mechanics
Discusses the internal operation and behavior of sharded clusters, including chunk migration, balancing, and the cluster metadata.
Sharded Cluster Tutorials
Tutorials that describe common procedures and administrative operations relevant to the use and maintenance of sharded clusters.
Sharding Reference
Reference for sharding-related functions and operations.