Have you heard of sharding a database? Of course you have. Do you know where the term comes from? Someone asked me this at a cocktail party recently. I gave it my best shot. “The earliest I remember was Google engineers using it to describe the architecture of some things,” I said. “That would have been about 2006.” “Nope. Much earlier than that,” said my new friend. I pondered. “Well, I guess there was the famous LiveJournal architecture article about MySQL.