Add Shards to a Cluster

You add shards to a sharded cluster after you create the cluster or any time that you need to add capacity to the cluster. If you have not created a sharded cluster, see Deploy a Sharded Cluster.

In production environments, all shards should be replica sets.



When you add a shard to a sharded cluster, you affect the balance of chunks among the shards of a cluster for all existing sharded collections. The balancer will begin migrating chunks so that the cluster will achieve balance. See Cluster Balancer for more information.

Changed in version 2.6: Chunk migrations can have an impact on disk space. Starting in MongoDB 2.6, the source shard automatically archives the migrated documents by default. For details, see moveChunk directory.

Capacity Planning

When adding a shard to a cluster, always ensure that the cluster has enough capacity to support the migration required for balancing the cluster without affecting legitimate production traffic.

Add a Shard to a Cluster

You interact with a sharded cluster by connecting to a mongos instance.

  1. From a mongo shell, connect to the mongos instance. For example, if a mongos is accessible at on port 27017, issue the following command:

    mongo --host --port 27017
  2. Add a shard to the cluster using the sh.addShard() method, as shown in the examples below. Issue sh.addShard() separately for each shard. If the shard is a replica set, specify the name of the replica set and specify a member of the set. In production deployments, all shards should be replica sets.


    You can instead use the addShard database command, which lets you specify a name and maximum size for the shard. If you do not specify these, MongoDB automatically assigns a name and maximum size. To use the database command, see addShard.

    The following are examples of adding a shard with sh.addShard():

    • To add a shard for a replica set named rs1 with a member running on port 27017 on, issue the following command:

      sh.addShard( "rs1/" )
    • To add a shard for a standalone mongod on port 27017 of, issue the following command:

      sh.addShard( "" )


    It might take some time for chunks to migrate to the new shard.