RPI4 (2GB) Cluster, is this a good idea?

Hello All,

I’m relatively new to this and could use some guidance. I have just completed my first couple of RPI projects, one serves as a retropie system and the other is hosting my personal website. The next project I would like to do is hosting a NextCloud instance including Collabora for use by myself, my wife, and 2-3 other collaborators. I’d like to be able to host and collaborate on docs, store photos, ideally I’d love to even run NextCloud talk. I also want to learn more about distributed system, and was wondering if setting up a RPI cluster to handle the above is a good idea? I already have three RPI4 (2GB) laying around at the moment. Could I cluster those and use them to host the apps above, would I instead want to use Pi’s with more RAM, is this just a dumb idea to begin with :slight_smile: ?

Any advise or guidance is appreciated. I’ve been scouring the forum and online resources but am still a bit unclear as to whether this is both a viable solution or a good idea generally.

Thank ya’ll so much. Please advise if any need any extra info, happy to provide it. Also my apologies if I’m posting in the wrong place, happy to move this to the correct area if so.


hi @deB4rro5 welcome to the community :handshake:

I’m not using Raspi so no good advice from me in this regards… but been systems engineer long time I give my 2ct to this… Clustering is very complex topic you don’t want to hit unless you know every aspect of your system, you have bullet proof backup and restore, you know how to fix every error your users made themself and all their OS do… then you proceed with with clustering :wink:

In case your wording was not exact and you just meant building a system of multiple Raspi performing one of tasks e.g one running NC, another one Collabora and the 3rd one TURN server - this is OK and should be doable.

From my experience you want somewhat powerful x86 processor even for a family use. you don’t need high-end Xeon but I would suggest at least Intel core i3 from 2016 or later. I know there are many happy NC users with less performance but it depends… I have huge photo archive from last 20y and run at least 2 NC instances (to test upgrades etc)… so even x86 NAS device like QNAP 251 or 453 was too slow for me… it did the job was no joy…

Thanks for the welcome and I really appreciate the guidance!

Even the basic Nextcloud, I tried to use it a bit as a test system. It somehow works, but I wanted to tweak acceptable performance out of it. That can be really tricky. To get things fast in Nextcloud, you can do a lot with caching, and that is easy with a lot of RAM. If you have very little, you have to adjust it very precisely, perhaps you can adjust it to a specific purpose (e.g. syncing many files with a single client, or syncing a few files with many clients).

It can be nice project and challenge, but if you want a more pain-free and quick solution to run Nextcloud, I’d follow wwe’s suggestion. And for your rapsberries, you can probably found other solutions…