Well, my Pool is not part of any Cluster. It is a single Pool.
It’s a bit sad to see that if you are trying to help people that other people will try to do everything to harm you and your reputation if your help will lead to the situation that they may get less profits.
Also the way how and which info is selected here shows what the goal of this posting may be.
BUT, let me give you some insight.
Pre-Cardano I come from a Datacenter/Colocation background. So I have a lot of DC/Colocation Resources. Over the last 3 years I helped far over 1000 SPOs by answering their Questions, giving them advices on what to use and how to use it - till the point where I literally told them what to type in - in order to fix their problem and make their Pool run again.
Sometimes when people ask for help in a public channel and I see that this is not an issue which is solved with one quick 1-sentence advice/answer, then I DM them (or offer them that they can DM me if they need help) and try to help provide them some sort of dedicated help. Point here are two major things:
I am very busy and working on a lot of things for the Cardano EcoSystem. Therefore I just do not want to keep track of what a person is writing in a channel with 4000+ people, just in order to help.
When I have a DM with a person i can focus on the conversation and the help he needs.
Helping some SPOs most of the time includes asking for some data and screenshots, so that I can exclude certain things and be able to come to an advice/instructions much faster in order to help him/her. But this info often contains Pool related info, not critical, but from my opinion sensitive enough to not share that in a channel of 4000+ people. (And we all know that not all of this 4000+ people are friendly - some of them are some scammers/“hackers” just there to grab that certain type of info.
In a DM this info can be sort of isolated and therefore it’s more safe for the SPO to talk about it.
Some times I came/come across people from countries where the Economy is very bad (to say it in a friendly way) Africa for example. It started with answering questions and help them to get things done or fix something, but it turned out that I learned from them that they will not be able to continue running their Pool by next month, if they do not get anything in return from the Pool - which is obviously generated through high-volume of stake. Which for them was not the case. So they said that they are sad, because they could not even reach the point where they get some rewards from the Pool in order to start their planed charity, because they get zero rewards they could/can not even pay for the servers anymore - so they wanted to retire their Pool.
What does that mean for us?
I joined Cardano because of a Vision, a Vision to help each other and work on a better future for all of us and our children - together.
So how can I believe in something like this and then watch real charity dying before it started - only because it did not even had the chance to try.
The answer was and is: I can NOT watch this!
So I said, alright - I have the Datacenter resources, I am willing to provide you the Servers and Infrastructure for FREE, so that you can run your Pool and at some point maybe get some delegators/stake and finally be able to do your charity.
So since years I provide Server/Infrastructure for free, to people which come from struggling countries and/or are not in a good financial position to pay for the Infrastructure of a Pool.
No need to say that I only help people which want to do real charity or do want to contribute to the ecosystem in some other useful way.
So, they get the Infra for free from me and then they manage their Pools themselves.
BUT, it gives them the possibility to focus on their charity/goals and do not have to worry about how they gonna pay for the server-costs next month.
So, when the Pool creates some rewards (at least the current fixed fee of 340 ADA) they do not have to spend this for servers, it directly can be used for their charity and projects they do in their countries to support children or the local community etc.
And I keep running this Pools over years and pay for it every month (electricity etc.)
I am paying thousands of EUR per month just to keep this help up.
Now over the years I helped “countless” people and I saw that there are people who are not able to run a Pool at all - due to the missing knowledge about IT, Servers, Linux (etc. endless list).
And it is clear hat they do not want to or not being able to learn what it takes to be an SPO.
But they wanted to join the EcoSystem and contribute and/or also doing charity.
So we have two options here:
A Pool runs incorrectly, not only delegators to this Pool will get much less rewards and or no rewards at all, but this also can be really bad for the ecosystem in some cases, where Pools constantly fork the blockchain due to their setup/misconfiguration - which means other Pools will “lose” their Blocks because they are on the “wrong” side of a fork in that moment. Plus this person will constantly coming back and ask questions in the moment he runs into the next issue.
When it is clear that this person can not acquire the knowledge which is needed to run a Pool and I see that this person is a person and wants to join/help our EcoSystem.
A. To provide him dedicated infrastructure (to make sure everything runs correctly from a infra-perspective, so no cheap/shared server-resources which have to less RAM/CPU)
B. Assistance to run his Pool, in some sort of dedicated Support
(Which I do so or so for free for everyone else as well)
In his case he would get dedicated Server-Resources which alone have a current Market-Value of $1500+, plus I offered him support to an extend where it basically would be helping him so much that I could say I manage it for him. So if you have someone who provides you support 24/7 if you need help plus the resources that currently has a market-value of $2000 per month. And I said I am willing to take 200 which is a 90% OFF the current market-value in order to help him.
But let’s be clear here, what do you think is the case with this 100’s of SPOs asking questions again and again every day, because they can not figure it out. They were only able to setup a Pool because someone wrote a guide and they just copy/pasted what was written there. In the moment they encounter any problem/situation they will come back and ask what to do till someone writes exactly what they need to do and/or type in, in order to fix the problem.
So THAT is the reality we have, not everyone is able to run a Stakepool, they totally rely on the help of other, otherwise nothing would run. In other words, their Pool is fully managed through the help of others.
The question is now, do want to have this Pool-Ghostships without a Captain which are hurting our EcoSystem, or do we appreciate an “idiots” like me and others trying to help those “guys” in order that the Pool runs correctly without causing damage to the EcoSystem.
So this is the feedback from someone who is working for and in the EcoSystem since 3 years ~20 hours per day.
There are others like me and to be honest, everyone should be ashamed of attacking people who try to keep this EcoSystem alive and healthy, because this people who are spending their Lifetime, Money, Health etc. for our EcoSystem and only contribute, are the Backbone of Cardano.
So to keep this short:
Do I do massive charity and spend nearly all my money for that?
Do I host Pools of people who can not afford it to run a Pool for free on my Infrastructure?
Do I offer people who are NOT able to run a Pool with their own knowledge and financial resources extended help with being able to have dedicated server-resources and a hot-stand-by person willing to help around the clock with answering questions regarding the Pool management?
Yes, I do this rarely.
I do not run any Pool cluster, I host Charity-Pools from poor countries for free on my Infrastructure and trying to help people which need the help and “management” in order to keep our EcoSystem healthy.
So that should be enough for now.