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Shared Nothing Architecture


A shared nothing architecture [SN] is a distributed computing architecture where each node is independent and self-sufficient, and there is no single point of contention across the system.

This is in contrast with database systems that keep a large amount of centrally-stored state information.

SN is most commonly used in web development due to its scalability. A pure SN system can scale almost indefinitely simply by adding nodes in the form of inexpensive computers, since there's no single bottleneck to slow the system down.

An SN system may partition its data among many nodes (assigning different computers to deal with different users or queries), or may require every node to maintain its own copy of the application's data, using some kind of coordination protocol.

There is some debate about whether a web application with many independent web nodes but a single, central database [clustered or otherwise] should be counted as SN.

One of the approaches to achieve SN architecture for stateful applications [which typically maintain state in a centralized database] is the use of a Data Grid, also known as distributed caching.

Shared Nothing Web Environment

Using shared nothing architecture in a web environment means that no dependency exists between multiple web servers used to scale Web applications.

With servers independent from each other, scale can be increased just by adding another unit. Incoming requests can be load-balanced amongst the different Web Servers.

Instead of holding data in a shared file system, which creates contention issues resulting in bottlenecks, data is partitioned and stored 'in-memory'.

 

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