Question: What are the best practices for mongodb sharding?


MongoDB Sharding Best Practices

MongoDB sharding is essential for scaling horizontally by distributing data across multiple servers. Here's how to get it right:

1. Choose the Right Shard Key

  • Selectivity: Pick a shard key that has high selectivity, spreading writes and reads evenly across shards.
  • Cardinality: High cardinality keys ensure data is not clumped together on a single shard.
  • Query Isolation: Opt for keys that support your most common queries, reducing the need for scatter-gather operations.
db.collection.createIndex({yourShardKey: 1});

2. Monitor Balancer Performance

Keep an eye on the balancer, which redistributes chunks of data across shards. Ensure it's enabled and functioning properly to maintain even data distribution.


3. Regularly Review Shard Key Choice

Your data access patterns may evolve, so regularly review whether your shard key choice still aligns with these patterns. Changing the shard key is challenging once set, so make this decision carefully.

4. Avoid Jumbo Chunks

Jumbo chunks occur when a chunk of data exceeds the maximum chunk size and cannot be split. This can cause data distribution imbalances. Monitor and manually split jumbo chunks if necessary.

5. Use Zone Sharding for Data Locality

For geographically distributed applications, use zone sharding to keep data close to its users, improving read/write speeds.

sh.addShardToZone('shard0000', 'NA') db.collection.updateZoneKeyRange( { yourShardKey: MinValue }, { yourShardKey: MaxValue }, { zone: 'NA' } )

6. Pre-Split Chunks in New Shards

When adding new shards, pre-splitting chunks can improve the balancer's efficiency in redistributing data.

sh.splitAt('yourDatabase.yourCollection', {yourShardKey: splitPoint})

7. Plan Capacity Ahead

Anticipate future growth to avoid reactive measures. Scale your cluster based on trends in your data size and access patterns.

8. Secure Your Sharded Cluster

Implement security best practices:

  • Enable authentication and authorization.
  • Encrypt data at rest and in transit.
  • Regularly update and patch your MongoDB servers.


Employing these best practices ensures your MongoDB sharded cluster is efficient, scalable, and secure. Proper planning and ongoing monitoring are crucial for maintaining optimal performance.

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