Partitioning, Sharding, and Federation

In one of my daily web stumbles I found a cool blog entry2 by Theo Schlossnagle on his blog Esoteric Curio1.  In general, it's a bit of rant on terminology.  But, it's also a nice overview of the concepts surrounding partitioning and federation of data.  The two lines in his post that I liked best are:

"Partitioning is a more general concept and federation is a means of partitioning."

"A shard is a piece of broken ceramic, glass, rock (or some other hard material) and is often sharp and dangerous. Sharding is the act of creating shards."

I think that sums up his feelings on the term "Shard."  I don't really know where the term Shard came from but he does indeed make a good point.  I think I'll be more careful when I discuss the various concepts around database scaling using partitioning.  Thanks for a nice article Theo.


1 - Esoteric Curio - 

2 - Article -