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The Definitive Guide to MongoDB: The NoSQL Database for Cloud and Desktop Computing by Tim Hawkins, Peter Membrey, Eelco Plugge

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Chapter 12. Sharding

Whether you're building the next Facebook or just a simple database application, you will probably need to scale your app up at some point if it's successful. If you don't want to be continually replacing your hardware, then you will want to use a technique that allows you to add capacity incrementally to your system, as you need it. Sharding is a technique that allows you to spread your data across multiple machines, yet does so in a way that mimics an app hitting a single database.

Ideally suited for the new generation of cloud-based computing platforms, sharding as implemented by MongoDB is perfect for dynamic, load-sensitive automatic scaling, where you ramp up your capacity as you need it and turn it down when you don't. ...

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