One of the strengths of MySQL Cluster is that it can be run on commodity hardware and has no unusual requirements in this regard, other than for large amounts of RAM, due to the fact that all live data storage is done in memory. (It is possible to reduce this requirement using Disk Data tables — see Section 5.10, “MySQL Cluster Disk Data Tables”, for more information about these.) Naturally, multiple and faster CPUs can enhance performance. Memory requirements for other Cluster processes are relatively small.
The software requirements for Cluster are also modest. Host operating systems do not require any unusual modules, services, applications, or configuration to support MySQL Cluster. For supported operating systems, a standard installation should be sufficient. The MySQL software requirements are simple: all that is needed is a production release of MySQL 5.1.44-ndb-6.2.19 or 5.1.44-ndb-6.3.34 to have Cluster support. It is not necessary to compile MySQL yourself merely to be able to use Cluster. In this How-To, we assume that you are using the server binary appropriate to your platform, available via the MySQL Cluster software downloads page at http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/select.php?id=14.
For communication between nodes, Cluster supports TCP/IP networking in any standard topology, and the minimum expected for each host is a standard 100 Mbps Ethernet card, plus a switch, hub, or router to provide network connectivity for the cluster as a whole. We strongly recommend that a MySQL Cluster be run on its own subnet which is not shared with non-Cluster machines for the following reasons:
Security. Communications between Cluster nodes are not encrypted or shielded in any way. The only means of protecting transmissions within a MySQL Cluster is to run your Cluster on a protected network. If you intend to use MySQL Cluster for Web applications, the cluster should definitely reside behind your firewall and not in your network's De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) or elsewhere.
See Section 5.9.1, “MySQL Cluster Security and Networking Issues”, for more information.
Efficiency. Setting up a MySQL Cluster on a private or protected network allows the cluster to make exclusive use of bandwidth between cluster hosts. Using a separate switch for your MySQL Cluster not only helps protect against unauthorized access to Cluster data, it also ensures that Cluster nodes are shielded from interference caused by transmissions between other computers on the network. For enhanced reliability, you can use dual switches and dual cards to remove the network as a single point of failure; many device drivers support failover for such communication links.
It is also possible to use the high-speed Scalable Coherent Interface (SCI) with MySQL Cluster, but this is not a requirement. See Section 3.5, “Using High-Speed Interconnects with MySQL Cluster”, for more about this protocol and its use with MySQL Cluster.