Planning orgs and spaces in Cloud Foundry

Page last updated:

This topic tells you about the considerations for effectively planning foundations, orgs, and spaces. You can plan your orgs and spaces to make the best use of the authorization features in Cloud Foundry Application Runtime.

An installation of Cloud Foundry is referred to as a foundation. Each foundation has orgs and spaces. For more information, see Orgs, Spaces, Roles, and Permissions.

The Cloud Foundry roles described in Orgs, Spaces, Roles, and Permissions use the principle of least privilege. Each role exists for a purpose and features in Cloud Foundry enable these purposes.

Consider these roles when planning your foundations, orgs, and spaces. This allows for full use of the features and assumptions of Cloud Foundry.

How Cloud Foundry layers relate to your company

The following sections describe what Cloud Foundry layers are and how they relate to your company structure.

Overview of Cloud Foundry layers

For an overview of each of the structural Cloud Foundry layers, see the following table:

Cloud Foundry Layer Challenge to Maintain Contains Description Roles
Foundations Hardest Orgs For shared components: domains, service tiles, and the physical infrastructure Admin, Admin Read-Only, Global Auditor
Orgs Average Spaces A group of users who share a resource quota plan, apps, services availability, and custom domains Org Manager, Org Auditor, Org Billing Manager
Spaces Easiest Apps A shared location for app development, deployment, and maintenance Space Manager, Space Developer, Space Auditor


Foundations roughly map to a company and environments. For an illustration, see the following diagram:

Foundations roughly map to a company and to an environment


Orgs often map to a business unit in a particular foundation. To understand how you can map your company structure to a Cloud Foundry org, see the following diagram:

Orgs can encompass Business Units, environments, teams, or products


Spaces can encompass teams, products, and specific deployables. To understand how you can map your company structure to a Cloud Foundry space, see the following diagram:

Spaces can encompass Teams, Products and specific deployables

Mapping considerations

The following sections describe considerations you can make when mapping foundations, orgs, and spaces.

Planning for your environment

To effectively plan your environments, you must decide at what Cloud Foundry layer they belong.

Broad environments, such as production environments, are commonly mapped to a foundation. More specific environments are mapped to an org or space.

Because of the large human cost to maintaining a foundation, you might see foundations mapped to production and staging environments separately.

For examples of environments and how they map to Cloud Foundry layers, see the following table:

Cloud Foundry Layer Examples of Environments
Foundations Production, Non-production, Sandbox
Orgs and Spaces Development, UAT, QA

Questions to consider about each Cloud Foundry layer

For guiding questions to help you make decisions about planning your Cloud Foundry structure, see the following table:

Cloud Foundry Layer Questions to Consider
  • How many foundations can your platform team create, update, and monitor?
  • How much isolation does your organization require?
  • Do you need foundations local to a particular cloud or IaaS environment?
  • How do you plan for capacity needs and changes?
  • What groups need to self-organize together?
  • How do you measure cost and perform billing and chargeback?
  • Are teams building single apps or constellations of microservices?
  • Are teams building a portfolio of apps or standalone apps?
  • When a new space can be created or destroyed?
  • What developer processes require the sandboxed isolation?
  • Do all apps need public routes?
  • What apps need to share the same service instance?

Mapping larger and smaller subsets

Subsets are the company divisions you decide to map to Cloud Foundry. When creating your subsets, consider that the lower the Cloud Foundry layer, the more specific you want to map your subsets. Conversely, the higher the Cloud Foundry layer, the broader you want to make your subsets.

For more information about mapping larger subsets for each Cloud Foundry layer, see the following table:

Cloud Foundry Layer The impact of mapping larger subsets of your company
  • Less maintenance
  • Less isolation
  • Better use of shared platform components
  • Less quota micromanagement
  • Ability to delegate user onboarding
  • More likely there are people with divergent needs
  • BU must be platform trained and manage potentially many spaces
  • More likelihood of accidental changes to someone else’s app or service
  • Easier integration between apps
  • More apps can use non-public routes

For more information about mapping smaller subsets for each Cloud Foundry layer, see the following table:

Cloud Foundry Layer The impact of mapping smaller subsets of your company
  • More maintenance, which could be offset with platform automation
  • Higher likelihood of foundations being different
  • More isolation
  • More quota management from platform team
  • More freedom to create spaces as needed
  • More app isolation
  • Security with more specific ASGs
  • More reliant on external services or service instance sharing
View the source for this page in GitHub