Does Microsoft support implementing Database Sharding using Sql Server 2008 R2 (any edition). From my limited understanding of it, I think, we could probably implement it using Sql Server Express. But I was not sure if Microsoft supports it or not.

Database Sharding Resource Link

Other than Distributed Partitioned Views, Data-Dependent Routing, what other options are available for Scale-out? (Peer-to-Peer Transactional Replication, Federated DB?)

Please share any URL that describe any implementation architectures in detail.


2 Answers 2


+1 to gbn. It's worth mentioning that SQL Azure does support sharding (federations) if you were considering other options.



No, SQL Server doesn't support sharding. SQL Server scales up not out.

This applies to RDBMS in general:

  • CAP theorem says you can have at most 2 of C, A and P.
  • RDBMS are ACID compliant which is the point of using them

The "C" in both acronyms is "Consistency" and sharding sacrifices "Consistency"
So generally sharding and consistency are mutually exclusive

There are exceptions (more or less) of course. Some examples:

  • Thank you. From what I know, there are some options available to scale out with Sql Server. I can't recollect the details, but it is possible. In database Sharding, Consistency is not impossible. There is lot of architectural planning that is needed though. I have not heard of CAP theorem, but I will read the article.
    – UB01
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 14:18
  • I didn't say not impossible, but it isn't generally done. For scale out, see dba.stackexchange.com/a/7454/630
    – gbn
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 14:27
  • Thank you, it is useful. Though the answer is not what I would like to see, it is what it is.
    – UB01
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 15:18
  • Scaling Out SQL Server : msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa479364.aspx Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 14:13
  • @clickstefan: none of those are real "scaling out" in the sense of "add more nodes"
    – gbn
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 13:09

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