Skip to main content

What is a Temporal Cluster?

A Temporal Cluster is the group of services, known as the Temporal Server, combined with persistence stores, that together act as a component of the Temporal Platform.

A Temporal Cluster (Server + persistence)


A Temporal Cluster's only required dependency for basic operation is a database. Multiple types of databases are supported.


The database stores the following types of data:

  • Tasks: Tasks to be dispatched.
  • State of Workflow Executions:
    • Execution table: A capture of the mutable state of Workflow Executions.
    • History table: An append only log of Workflow Execution History Events.
  • Namespace metadata: Metadata of each Namespace in the Cluster.
  • Visibility data: Enables operations like "show all running Workflow Executions". For production environments, we recommend using Elasticsearch.

An Elasticsearch database can be added to enable Advanced Visibility.

Dependency versions

Temporal tests compatibility by spanning the minimum and maximum stable non-EOL major versions for each supported database. As of time of writing, these specific versions are used in our test pipelines and actively tested before we release any version of Temporal:

  • Cassandra v3.11 and v4.0
  • PostgreSQL v10.18 and v13.4
  • MySQL v5.7 and v8.0 (specifically 8.0.19+ due to a bug)

We update these support ranges once a year. The release notes of each Temporal Server declare when we plan to drop support for database versions reaching End of Life.

  • Because Temporal Server primarily relies on core database functionality, we do not expect compatibility to break often. Temporal has no opinions on database upgrade paths; as long as you can upgrade your database according to each project's specifications, Temporal should work with any version within supported ranges.
  • We do not run tests with vendors like Vitess and CockroachDB, so you rely on their compatibility claims if you use them. Feel free to discuss them with fellow users in our forum.
  • Temporal is working on official SQLite v3.x persistence, but this is meant only for development and testing, not production usage. Cassandra, MySQL, and PostgreSQL schemas are supported and thus can be used as the Server's database.

Monitoring and observation

Temporal emits metrics by default in a format that is supported by Prometheus. Monitoring and observing those metrics is optional. Any software that can pull metrics that supports the same format could be used, but we ensure it works with Prometheus and Grafana versions only.

  • Prometheus >= v2.0
  • Grafana >= v2.5


Temporal has built-in Visibility features. To enhance this feature, Temporal supports an integration with Elasticsearch.

  • Elasticsearch v8 is supported from Temporal version 1.18.0 onwards
  • Elasticsearch v7.10 is supported from Temporal version 1.7.0 onwards
  • Elasticsearch v6.8 is supported up to Temporal version 1.17.x
  • Elasticsearch v6.8 and v7.10 versions are explicitly supported with AWS Elasticsearch

mTLS encryption

Temporal supports Mutual Transport Layer Security (mTLS) as a method of encrypting network traffic between services within a Temporal Cluster, or between application processes and a Cluster.

Mutual TLS can be enabled in Temporal’s TLS configuration. This configuration can be passed through WithConfig or WithConfigLoader.

This configuration includes two sections that serve to separate intra-cluster and external traffic. That way, different certificates and settings can be used to encrypt each section of traffic:

  • internode: configuration for encrypting communication between nodes within the Cluster.
  • frontend: configuration for encrypting the Frontend's public endpoints

Temporal Client connections

A client's network access can be limited by using certificates issued by a specific Certificate Authority (CA).

To restrict access to Temporal Cluster endpoints, use the clientCAFiles or clientCAData property and the requireClientAuth property. These properties can be specified in both the internode and frontend sections of the mTLS configuration.

Server name specification

Specify the serverName in the client section of your mTLS configuration to prevent spoofing and MITM attacks.

Entering a value for serverName enables established connections to authenticate the endpoint. This ensures that the server certificate presented to any connected client has the specified server name in its CN property.

This measure can be used for internode and frontend endpoints.

For more information on mTLS configuration, refer to our TLS configuration guide.


Authentication is the process of verifying users who want to access your application are actually the users you want accessing it. Authorization is the verification of applications and data that a user on your Cluster or application has access to.

Temporal has several authentication protocols that can be set to restrict access to your data. These protocols address three areas: servers, client connections, and users.

Server attacks can be prevented by specifying serverName in the client section of your mTLS configuration. This can be done for both frontend and internode endpoints.

Client connections can be restricted to certain endpoints by requiring certificates from a specific CA. Modify the clientCaFiles, clientCaData, and requireClientAuth properties in the internode and frontend sections of the mTLS configuration.

User access can be restricted through extensibility points and plugins. When implemented, the frontend invokes the plugin before executing the requested operation.

Temporal offers two plugin interfaces for API call authentication and authorization.

The logic of both plugins can be customized to fit a variety of use cases. When provided, the frontend invokes the implementation of the plugins before running the requested operation.