Understanding the difference between cluster and advanced cluster

Hello, there!

I am wondering about the difference between the two types of clusters in Atlas. I noticed that both the Go Client (v0.31.0) and Terraform make a distinction between the two, with the Terraform provider’s resource page even having a suggestion for new users to use advanced cluster instead of cluster. The only thing that is mentioned in the page is that advanced clusters support multi-cloud clusters.

But I haven’t been able to find any reference that could explain exactly how both of them interact with each other. I noticed that Atlas’ Go Client returns the same clusters from the AdvancedClusters.List and the Clusters.List methods, but in different structs.

I tried creating a simple cluster using a single cloud provider, but I still got an advanced cluster from that creation.

When I create a “regular” cluster, will it be an advanced cluster by default? How can I make a new cluster NOT an advanced cluster and vice-versa?
What information can I query from Atlas’ API to validate if my cluster is advanced or not?

Thanks in advance

Hi @Gabriel_Almeida - Welcome to the community.

I’ll try to get some clarification from the team regarding this question but just to confirm beforehand, are there any particular issues you’re running into regarding this? Or is the question more so purely for understanding the differences?

Lastly, I assume you used the following http client for this but please correct me if I am wrong. If so, could you show the output that you used to identify that the “simple cluster” was an advanced cluster? This is just to help provide some context for myself to better understand the topic.

Look forward to hearing from you.


Hello, Jason.

Thank you so much for getting back to me. Yes, that was the client implementation I was using, version v0.31.0. What I wanted to understand is what’s the overlap between advanced clusters and regular clusters. I think it’s easier to visualize it as a Venn diagram: are all advanced clusters also regular clusters, but not all regular clusters advanced clusters?

I’m asking that because I wanted to differentiate between the two whenever possible. I created one of each using terraform and, when querying for the regular clusters using the Clusters.List function from the client, I got a cluster that was created as an advanced cluster using terraform and vice-versa (albeit both would also show when I tried listing for the specific type they were created as).

Another thing that could be useful is: what parameters to I need to provide to create a regular cluster without it being an advanced cluster?

Thanks in advance!


Hi @Gabriel_Almeida,

Thanks for your patience and providing the information requested :slight_smile:

I believe the main part here is two differentiate between the “advanced” and (let’s just say for comparison purposes) “non-advanced” clusters being mentioned. To start, these are all simply just clusters. The API’s used for the creation of such clusters are versioned. The “non-advanced” clusters being mentioned was using the previous version of the API (during a time prior to when Atlas only had single cloud provider clusters). In order to make the API work for multi-cloud clusters, new endpoints were required without breaking the existing v1 endpoints which user’s were still using. The new endpoints were created that supported multi-cloud clusters which in turn ends up being associated with the terraform resource you mentioned "mongodbatlas_advanced_cluster".

In short, the “advanced” and “non-advanced” clusters are simply just clusters but you could not do multi-cloud clusters with the “non-advanced” clusters endpoint(s). Additionally, any clusters going forward from now should use the “advanced” cluster resource as this will also be updated to have new features. You may find more useful information here on the Versioned Atlas Administration API Lifecycle documentation.

I hope this helps with your concerns.


Hello, Jason.

I appreciate you taking the time to write such a thorough explanation. I’ll mark the topic as solved.

Thank you so much once again!

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