# Server infrastructure

If you want to install IPFS in a server environment and offer IPFS as a service, you should look at IPFS Cluster. IPFS Cluster provides data orchestration across a swarm of IPFS daemons by allocating, replicating, and tracking a global pin-set distributed among multiple peers. This makes it significantly easier to manage multiple IPFS nodes and ensure that data is available across an internal network.

# Create a local cluster

To see if IPFS Cluster is suitable for your project, follow this quick start guide and spin up a local IPFS Cluster instance. At the end of this guide, you will have a solid understanding of how IPFS Cluster is set up and how to interact with it. If you'd rather create a production-ready cluster, take a look at the official IPFS Cluster documentation → (opens new window)

# Prerequisites

You must have both Docker (opens new window) and Docker Compose (opens new window) installed. Check that they're both installed properly by asking for their version:

docker version

> Client: Docker Engine - Community
> Version:           19.03.13
> API version:       1.40
> ...

docker-compose version

> docker-compose version 1.27.4, build 40524192
> docker-py version: 4.3.1
> ...

If you're having issues here, head over to the official Docker documentation to fix your problem → (opens new window)

# Steps

  1. Download the latest ipfs-cluster-ctl package from dist.ipfs.io (opens new window):

    wget https://dist.ipfs.io/ipfs-cluster-ctl/v1.0.1/ipfs-cluster-ctl_v1.0.1_linux-amd64.tar.gz
  2. Unzip the package:

    tar xvzf ipfs-cluster-ctl_v1.0.1_linux-amd64.tar.gz
    > ipfs-cluster-ctl/ipfs-cluster-ctl
    > ipfs-cluster-ctl/LICENSE
    > ipfs-cluster-ctl/LICENSE-APACHE
    > ipfs-cluster-ctl/LICENSE-MIT
    > ipfs-cluster-ctl/README.md
  3. Download the docker-compose.yml file (opens new window) and place it into the ipfs-cluster-ctl directory:

    wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ipfs/ipfs-cluster/v1.0.1/docker-compose.yml
  4. Start the cluster using docker-compose. You may have to run as root:

    docker-compose up
    > Recreating ipfs2 ... done
    > Recreating ipfs1    ... done
    > Recreating ipfs0    ... done
    > Recreating cluster2 ... done
    > ...

You may see some errors like:

cluster2    | 2020-10-27T15:20:15.116Z  ERROR   ipfshttp    error posting to IPFS:Post "": dial tcp connect: connection refused

You can safely ignore these for now. They're showing because some of the IPFS nodes within the cluster haven't finished spinning up yet. Everything should have loaded after a couple of minutes:

> ipfs1       | API server listening on /ip4/
> ipfs1       | WebUI:
> ipfs1       | Gateway (readonly) server listening on /ip4/
> ipfs1       | Daemon is ready
  1. You can now interact with your cluster. In a new terminal, navigate to the ipfs-cluster-ctl directory and list the peers within the cluster:

    ./ipfs-cluster-ctl peers ls
    > 12D3KooWBaQ9SGtdnJmyS2fe7uq5gXQnejCf5ma2n9cUEbwVD5gf | cluster2 | Sees 2 other peers
    > > Addresses:
    > - /ip4/
    > - /ip4/
    > ...
    > 12D3KooWDmjW55h3vSqLmSm1fBxPzs1dHkbtjWSHEj7RhzpcY9vE | cluster0 | Sees 2 other peers
    > > Addresses:
    > - /ip4/
    > - /ip4/
    > ...
    > 12D3KooWLhGJaddVKj8gsYXfYpyMKL5NhcmtiakDCWhDGtZJSu2w | cluster1 | Sees 2 other peers
    > > Addresses:
    > - /ip4/
    > - /ip4/
    > ...
  2. Add a file into the cluster:

    wget https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/63/Neptune_-_Voyager_2_%2829347980845%29_flatten_crop.jpg
    ./ipfs-cluster-ctl add Neptune_-_Voyager_2_\(29347980845\)_flatten_crop.jpg
    > added QmdzvHZt6QRJzySuVzURUvKCUzrgGwksvrsnqTryqxD4yn Neptune_-_Voyager_2_(29347980845)_flatten_crop.jpg
  3. See the status of that file across the cluster of IPFS nodes using the CID given above:

    ./ipfs-cluster-ctl status QmdzvHZt6QRJzySuVzURUvKCUzrgGwksvrsnqTryqxD4yn
    > QmdzvHZt6QRJzySuVzURUvKCUzrgGwksvrsnqTryqxD4yn:
    > > cluster2             : PINNED | 2020-10-27T15:42:39.984850961Z
    > > cluster0             : PINNED | 2020-10-27T15:42:39.984556496Z
    > > cluster1             : PINNED | 2020-10-27T15:42:39.984842325Z

This shows us that QmdzvHZ... is pinned across the three IPFS nodes within our cluster.

  1. When you're finished playing around, kill the cluster. You may have to run this as root:

    docker-compose kill
    > Killing cluster0 ... done
    > Killing cluster1 ... done
    > Killing cluster2 ... done
    > Killing ipfs1    ... done
    > Killing ipfs0    ... done
    > Killing ipfs2    ... done

The terminal running the ipfs-cluster-ctl daemon will close any open connections:

> ...
> ipfs0 exited with code 137
> ipfs1 exited with code 137
> cluster0 exited with code 137
> cluster2 exited with code 137
> cluster1 exited with code 137
> ipfs2 exited with code 137

# Next steps

If you want to delve deeper into IPFS Cluster, check out the project's documentation at cluster.ipfs.io → (opens new window)