CREATE CLUSTER creates a new cluster.

Conceptual framework

A cluster is a pool of compute resources (CPU, memory, and, optionally, scratch disk space) for running your workloads.

The following operations require compute resources in Materialize, and so need to be associated with a cluster:


CREATE CLUSTER name ( cluster_option = value , )


Field Value Description
SIZE text The size of the resource allocations for the cluster. See Size for details.
REPLICATION FACTOR text The number of replicas to provision for the cluster. See Replication factor for details.
Default: 1
INTROSPECTION INTERVAL interval The interval at which to collect introspection data. See Troubleshooting for details about introspection data. The special value 0 entirely disables the gathering of introspection data.
Default: 1s
INTROSPECTION DEBUGGING bool Indicates whether to introspect the gathering of the introspection data.
Default: FALSE
MANAGED bool Whether to automatically manage the cluster’s replicas based on the configured size and replication factor. If FALSE, enables the use of the deprecated CREATE CLUSTER REPLICA command.
Default: TRUE
SCHEDULE [MANUAL,ON REFRESH] The scheduling type for the cluster.
Default: MANUAL


Initial state

Each Materialize region initially contains a pre-installed cluster named quickstart with a size of 25cc and a replication factor of 1. You can drop or alter this cluster to suit your needs.

Choosing a cluster

When performing an operation that requires a cluster, you must specify which cluster you want to use. Not explicitly naming a cluster uses your session’s active cluster.

To show your session’s active cluster, use the SHOW command:

SHOW cluster;

To switch your session’s active cluster, use the SET command:

SET cluster = other_cluster;

Resource isolation

Clusters provide resource isolation. Each cluster provisions a dedicated pool of CPU, memory, and, optionally, scratch disk space.

All workloads on a given cluster will compete for access to these compute resources. However, workloads on different clusters are strictly isolated from one another. A given workload has access only to the CPU, memory, and scratch disk of the cluster that it is running on.

Clusters are commonly used to isolate different classes of workloads. For example, you could place your development workloads in a cluster named dev and your production workloads in a cluster named prod.


The SIZE option determines the amount of compute resources (CPU, memory, and disk) available to the cluster. Valid sizes are:

  • 25cc
  • 50cc
  • 100cc
  • 200cc
  • 300cc
  • 400cc
  • 600cc
  • 800cc
  • 1200cc
  • 1600cc
  • 3200cc
  • 6400cc
  • 128C
  • 256C
  • 512C

The resource allocations are proportional to the number in the size name. For example, a cluster of size 600cc has 2x as much CPU, memory, and disk as a cluster of size 300cc, and 1.5x as much CPU, memory, and disk as a cluster of size 400cc. To determine the specific resource allocations for a size, query the mz_cluster_replica_sizes table.

Clusters of larger sizes can process data faster and handle larger data volumes. You can use ALTER CLUSTER to resize the cluster in order to respond to changes in the resource requirements of your workload.

WARNING! The values in the mz_cluster_replica_sizes table may change at any time. You should not rely on them for any kind of capacity planning.

Legacy sizes

Materialize also offers some legacy sizes. Clusters using legacy sizes run on older hardware without local disks attached.

In most cases, you should not use legacy sizes. Standard sizes offer better performance per credit for nearly all workloads. We recommend using standard sizes for all new clusters, and recommend migrating existing legacy-sized clusters to standard sizes. In many cases, migrating from legacy to standard sizes will result in a 25-50% cost reduction.

However, certain rare workloads exhibit better performance per credit on legacy sizes. Materialize is committed to supporting these workloads on legacy sizes until they have equivalent or better performance per credit on standard sizes.

WARNING! Materialize regions that were enabled after 15 April 2024 do not have access to legacy sizes.

When legacy sizes are enabled for a region, the following sizes are available:

  • 3xsmall
  • 2xsmall
  • xsmall
  • small
  • medium
  • large
  • xlarge
  • 2xlarge
  • 3xlarge
  • 4xlarge
  • 5xlarge
  • 6xlarge

The correspondence between non-legacy sizes and legacy sizes is shown in the credit usage table.

Replication factor

The REPLICATION FACTOR option determines the number of replicas provisioned for the cluster. Each replica of the cluster provisions a new pool of compute resources to perform exactly the same computations on exactly the same data.

Provisioning more than one replica improves fault tolerance. Clusters with multiple replicas can tolerate failures of the underlying hardware that cause a replica to become unreachable. As long as one replica of the cluster remains available, the cluster can continue to maintain dataflows and serve queries.

Materialize makes the following guarantees when provisioning replicas:

  • Replicas of a given cluster are never provisioned on the same underlying hardware.
  • Replicas of a given cluster are spread as evenly as possible across the underlying cloud provider’s availability zones.

Materialize automatically assigns names to replicas like r1, r2, etc. You can view information about individual replicas in the console and the system catalog, but you cannot directly modify individual replicas.

You can pause a cluster’s work by specifying a replication factor of 0. Doing so removes all replicas of the cluster. Any indexes, materialized views, sources, and sinks on the cluster will cease to make progress, and any queries directed to the cluster will block. You can later resume the cluster’s work by using ALTER CLUSTER to set a nonzero replication factor.


A common misconception is that increasing a cluster’s replication factor will increase its capacity for work. This is not the case. Increasing the replication factor increases the fault tolerance of the cluster, not its capacity for work. Replicas are exact copies of one another: each replica must do exactly the same work (i.e., maintain the same dataflows and process the same queries) as all the other replicas of the cluster.

To increase a cluster’s capacity, you should instead increase the cluster’s size.

Credit usage

Each replica of the cluster consumes credits at a rate determined by the cluster’s size:

Size Legacy size Credits per replica per hour
25cc 3xsmall 0.25
50cc 2xsmall 0.5
100cc xsmall 1
200cc small 2
300cc   3
400cc medium 4
600cc   6
800cc large 8
1200cc   12
1600cc xlarge 16
3200cc 2xlarge 32
6400cc 3xlarge 64
128C 4xlarge 128
256C 5xlarge 256
512C 6xlarge 512

Credit usage is measured at a one second granularity. For a given replica, credit usage begins when a CREATE CLUSTER or ALTER CLUSTER statement provisions the replica and ends when an ALTER CLUSTER or DROP CLUSTER statement deprovisions the replica.

A cluster with a replication factor of zero uses no credits.

As an example, consider the following sequence of events:

Time Event
2023-08-29 3:45:00 CREATE CLUSTER c (SIZE '400cc', REPLICATION FACTOR 2)
2023-08-29 3:47:15 DROP CLUSTER c

Cluster c will have consumed 0.4 credits in total:

  • Replica c.r1 was provisioned from 3:45:00 to 3:47:15, consuming 0.3 credits.
  • Replica c.r2 was provisioned from 3:45:00 to 3:45:45, consuming 0.1 credits.


PREVIEW This feature is in private preview. It is under active development and may have stability or performance issues. It isn't subject to our backwards compatibility guarantees.

You must contact us to enable this feature in your Materialize region.

To support scheduled refreshes in materialized views, you can configure a cluster to automatically turn on and off using the SCHEDULE...ON REFRESH syntax.

CREATE CLUSTER my_scheduled_cluster (
  SIZE = '3200cc',

Scheduled clusters should only contain materialized views configured with a non-default refresh strategy (and any indexes built on these views). These clusters will automatically turn on (i.e., be provisioned with compute resources) based on the configured refresh strategies, and only consume credits for the duration of the refreshes.

It’s not possible to manually turn on a cluster with ON REFRESH scheduling. If you need to turn on a cluster outside its schedule, you can temporarily disable scheduling and provision compute resources using ALTER CLUSTER:


To re-enable scheduling:

ALTER CLUSTER my_scheduled_cluster

Hydration time estimate


By default, scheduled clusters will turn on at the scheduled refresh time. To avoid unavailability of the objects scheduled for refresh during the refresh operation, we recommend turning the cluster on ahead of the scheduled time to allow rehydration to complete. This can be controlled using the HYDRATION TIME ESTIMATE clause.


To check the scheduling strategy associated with a cluster, you can query the mz_internal.mz_cluster_schedules system catalog table:

SELECT AS cluster_id, AS cluster_name,
       cs.type AS schedule_type,
FROM mz_internal.mz_cluster_schedules cs
JOIN mz_clusters c ON cs.cluster_id =
WHERE = 'my_refresh_cluster';

To check if a scheduled cluster is turned on, you can query the mz_catalog.mz_cluster_replicas system catalog table:

SELECT cs.cluster_id,
       -- A cluster with scheduling is "on" when it has compute resources
       -- (i.e. a replica) attached.
       ELSE false END AS is_on
FROM mz_internal.mz_cluster_schedules cs
JOIN mz_clusters c ON cs.cluster_id = AND cs.type = 'on-refresh'
LEFT JOIN mz_cluster_replicas cr ON = cr.cluster_id;

You can also use the audit log to observe the commands that are automatically run when a scheduled cluster is turned on and off for materialized view refreshes:

FROM mz_audit_events
WHERE object_type = 'cluster-replica'
ORDER BY occurred_at DESC;

Any commands attributed to scheduled refreshes will be marked with "reason":"schedule" under the details column.

Known limitations

Clusters have several known limitations:

  • Clusters containing sources and sinks can only have a replication factor of 0 or 1.

  • When a cluster of size 3200cc or larger uses multiple replicas, those replicas are not guaranteed to be spread evenly across the underlying cloud provider’s availability zones.

We plan to remove these restrictions in future versions of Materialize.



Create a cluster with two 400cc replicas:


Introspection disabled

Create a cluster with a single replica and introspection disabled:


Disabling introspection can yield a small performance improvement, but you lose the ability to run troubleshooting queries against that cluster replica.


Create a cluster with no replicas:


You can later add replicas to this cluster with ALTER CLUSTER.


The privileges required to execute this statement are:

  • CREATECLUSTER privileges on the system.

See also

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