wohali commented on a change in pull request #268: Rewrite sharding 
documentation
URL: 
https://github.com/apache/couchdb-documentation/pull/268#discussion_r179877777
 
 

 ##########
 File path: src/cluster/sharding.rst
 ##########
 @@ -18,43 +18,170 @@ Sharding
 
 .. _cluster/sharding/scaling-out:
 
-Scaling out
-===========
+Introduction
+------------
 
-Normally you start small and grow over time. In the beginning you might do just
-fine with one node, but as your data and number of clients grows, you need to
-scale out.
+A
+`shard <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shard_(database_architecture)>`__
+is a horizontal partition of data in a database. Partitioning data into
+shards and distributing copies of each shard (called "replicas") to
+different nodes in a cluster gives the data greater durability against
+node loss. CouchDB clusters automatically shard and distribute data
+among nodes, but modifying cluster membership and customizing shard
+behavior must be done manually.
 
-For simplicity we will start fresh and small.
+Shards and Replicas
+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
-Start ``node1`` and add a database to it. To keep it simple we will have 2
-shards and no replicas.
+How many shards and replicas each database has can be set at the global
+level, or on a per-database basis. The relevant parameters are *q* and
+*n*.
 
-.. code-block:: bash
+*q* is the number of database shards to maintain. *n* is the number of
+copies of each document to distribute. With q=8, the database is split
 
 Review comment:
   I would insert before "With":  "The default values are `q=8` and `n=3` 
respectively.

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