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sh.shardCollection()

sh.shardCollection(namespace, key, unique, options)

Shards a collection using the key as a the shard key. The shard key determines how MongoDB distributes the collection's documents among the shards.

The mongo shell method sh.shardCollection() wraps the shardCollection command.

sh.shardCollection() takes the following arguments:

Parameter
Type
Description
namespace
string
The namespace of the collection to shard in the form "<database>.<collection>".
key
document

The document that specifies the field or fields to use as the shard key.

{ <field1>: <1|"hashed">, ... }

Set the field value to either:

shard key must be supported by an index. Unless the collection is empty, the index must exist prior to the shardCollection command. If the collection is empty, MongoDB creates the index prior to sharding the collection if the index that can support the shard key does not already exist.

See also Shard Key Indexes

unique
boolean

Optional. Specify true to ensure that the underlying index enforces a unique constraint. Defaults to false.

You cannot specify true when using hashed shard keys.

If specifying the options document, you must explicitly specify the value for unique.

options
document
Optional. A document containing optional fields, including numInitialChunks and collation.

The options argument supports the following options:

Parameter
Type
Description
numInitialChunks
integer

Optional. Specifies the minimum number of chunks to create initially when sharding an empty collection with a hashed shard key. MongoDB then creates and balances chunks across the cluster. The numInitialChunks must be less than 8192 per shard. Defaults to 2.

If the collection is not empty or the shard key does not contain a hashed field, the operation returns an error.

  • If sharding with presplitHashedZones: true, MongoDB attempts to evenly distribute the specified number of chunks across the zones in the cluster.
  • If sharding with presplitHashedZones: false or omitted and no zones and zone ranges are defined for the empty collection, MongoDB attempts to evenly distributed the specified number of chunks across the shards in the cluster.
  • If sharding with presplitHashedZones: false or omitted and zones and zone ranges have been defined for the empty collection, numInitChunks has no effect.

Changed in version 4.4.

collation
document
Optional. If the collection specified to shardCollection has a default collation, you must include a collation document with { locale : "simple" }, or the shardCollection command fails. At least one of the indexes whose fields support the shard key pattern must have the simple collation.
boolean

Optional. Specify true to perform initial chunk creation and distribution for an empty or non-existing collection based on the defined zones and zone ranges for the collection. For hashed sharding only.

shardCollection() with presplitHashedZones: true returns an error if any of the following are true:

New in version 4.4.

Once a collection has been sharded, MongoDB provides no method to unshard a sharded collection.

Choosing the best shard key to effectively distribute load among your shards requires some planning.

  • Starting in MongoDB 4.4, you can refine a collection's shard key by adding a suffix field or fields to the existing key.
  • Starting in MongoDB 4.2, you can update a document's shard key value (unless the shard key field is the immutable _id field).

For more information, see Shard Keys.

Hashed shard keys use a hashed index or a compound hashed index as the shard key.

Use the form field: "hashed" to specify a hashed shard key field.

Note

If chunk migrations are in progress while creating a hashed shard key collection, the initial chunk distribution may be uneven until the balancer automatically balances the collection.

Tip
See also:

The shard collection operation (i.e. shardCollection command and the sh.shardCollection() helper) can perform initial chunk creation and distribution for an empty or a non-existing collection if zones and zone ranges have been defined for the collection. Initial chunk distribution allows for a faster setup of zoned sharding. After the initial distribution, the balancer manages the chunk distribution going forward per usual.

See Pre-Define Zones and Zone Ranges for an Empty or Non-Existing Collection for an example. If sharding a collection using a ranged or single-field hashed shard key, the numInitialChunks option has no effect if zones and zone ranges have been defined for the empty collection.

To shard a collection using a compound hashed index, see Initial Chunk Distribution with Compound Hashed Indexes.

Starting in version 4.4, MongoDB supports sharding collections on compound hashed indexes. When sharding an empty or non-existing collection using a compound hashed shard key, additional requirements apply in order for MongoDB to perform initial chunk creation and distribution.

The numInitialChunks option has no effect if zones and zone ranges have been defined for the empty collection and presplitHashedZones is false.

See Pre-Define Zones and Zone Ranges for an Empty or Non-Existing Collection for an example.

Tip
See also:

If specifying unique: true:

  • If the collection is empty, sh.shardCollection() creates the unique index on the shard key if such an index does not already exist.
  • If the collection is not empty, you must create the index first before using sh.shardCollection().

Although you can have a unique compound index where the shard key is a prefix, if using unique parameter, the collection must have a unique index that is on the shard key.

See also Sharded Collection and Unique Indexes

Changed in version 3.4.

If the collection has a default collation, the sh.shardCollection() command must include a collation parameter with the value { locale: "simple" }. For non-empty collections with a default collation, you must have at least one index with the simple collation whose fields support the shard key pattern.

You do not need to specify the collation option for collections without a collation. If you do specify the collation option for a collection with no collation, it will have no effect.

mongos uses "majority" for the write concern of the shardCollection command and its helper sh.shardCollection().

Given a collection named people in a database named records, the following command shards the collection by the zipcode field:

sh.shardCollection("records.people", { zipcode: 1 } )

The phonebook database has a collection contacts with no default collation. The following example uses sh.shardCollection() to shard the phonebook.contacts with:

sh.shardCollection(
"phonebook.contacts",
{ last_name: "hashed" },
false,
{
numInitialChunks: 5,
collation: { locale: "simple" }
}
)
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