What Is a Shard?
A shard is a horizontal partition of data in a database or search engine. It allows for the distribution of data across multiple servers, improving scalability and performance. Shards are used to improve the speed and availability of databases by allowing them to be spread out over multiple machines instead of being stored on one server. This helps reduce latency when accessing large amounts of data from different locations around the world. Additionally, shards can help with fault tolerance as if one machine fails, other machines will still have access to the same information.
Sharding also provides an additional layer of security since it makes it more difficult for malicious actors to gain access to all your data at once due to its distributed nature. Furthermore, sharding can help optimize query performance since queries only need to be run against specific shards rather than searching through entire databases which could take longer depending on their size and complexity. Finally, sharding can also provide cost savings as you don’t need as many resources dedicated towards storing large datasets compared with traditional methods such as replication or clustering techniques that require more hardware resources overall.