IPFS daemon expected behaviour when a cluster service is running

Suppose I am running a 3 node IPFS cluster say A, B & C all these nodes are running dA dB dC IPFS daemons. So what would be the expected behavior of these nodes?

  1. dA dB dC will only connect to each other and they will not search for other peers.
  2. Files stored in dA dB dC are only accessible to the cluster participants.

Do I need to have dA dB dC sharing the same swarm key to be a part of the same network or being a part of the same cluster will be sufficient?

Configuration of your IPFS nodes is fully independent of the Cluster peers (other than the API endpoint). IPFS Cluster does not configure your IPFS peers.

If you want a private IPFS-node network you will need to create the swarm key and update the bootstrapper list to nodes in your network (or let mDNS do the discovery).

Cluster will use the IPFS API in those peers to pin/unpin regardless of whether they are configured as a private network or not. The Cluster peers themselves also form a separate-private (where swarm.key used by cluster is the secret in the configuration, and they don’t have to be the same).

Cluster peers attempt to connect IPFS nodes to the nodes of other Cluster peers soon after starting up, so that can also be used for ipfs node discovery (instead of bootstrap list or mDNS).