Private ipfs network, ipfs-cluster and pinning

We are looking at deploying a private ipfs network for shared storage.
We may have 4000 or more nodes running at any given time.
We also need to insure files will be available even when some (or many) are offline.

The replication of ipfs-cluster seems attractive for that, but at some levels it seems to be a tightly coupled pinning service.

Are ipfs nodes and ipfs-cluster nodes mutually exclusive?
Is a node one or the other?

If no, can a node be part of many different ipfs-clusters?



start here: Architecture overview - Pinset orchestration for IPFS

No, ipfs-cluster peers are a sidecar to the ipfs daemon.

An ipfs node can be part of many clusters yes, with the caveat that one cluster may unpin something that a different cluster needs to be pinned, thus causing undesired side-effects.

That could be monitored and if they both happened to pin the same CID then maybe it would be good to move one of the clusters from that node to another, that is manageable.

From reviewing the overview it mentions the IPFS Swarm, so these sidecars just talk to each other and make sure their local nodes maintain the correct pinsets?

So could an external pinning service provide basically the same replication capability, but be less reliable since it is outside the network? (I want to be able to accurately describe this to others on the team)


Depends on the pinning service? Cluster is just a layer to orchestrate data allocations among many ipfs daemons.

Thanks so much, its time to just dive in and try things out.