Skip to main content

Organizations, units, and projects

The Aiven platform uses organizations, organizational units, and projects to efficiently and securely organize your services and manage access.

Hierarchy showing two organizational units, each with two projects, nested within one organization.

There are three levels in this hierarchy:

  1. Organization: Contains all of your projects and services. It's recommended to have one Aiven organization.
  2. Organizational units: Added to the organization, giving you greater flexibility to organize your infrastructure based on your specific use cases. For example, you can split production and testing workloads into different organizational units.
  3. Projects: Created in the organization or organizational units to group your services together.


When you sign up to Aiven, an organization is created for you. You can use your organization to create a hierarchical structure that fits your needs.

Organizations also let you centrally manage settings like:

  • Domains and identity providers: Only available at the organization level
  • Authentication policies: Only available on the organization level
  • Access control lists (ACLs): Can be set on all levels (organization, organizational unit, and project)
    • ACLs for service plans are inherited, meaning all projects within an organization or organizational unit have the same service plan.
  • Groups: Managed only at the organization level and assigned to projects
  • Support tiers: Specific to a single organization and apply to all units, projects, and services within that organization. They cannot be shared between organizations.
  • Billing information: Managed at the organization level. They can be used for all projects in the organization and its units. They cannot cannot be shared between organizations.

Organizational units

Organizational units are collections of projects. Customers often use these to group projects based on things like:

  • Departments in their company like finance, marketing, and engineering
  • Environments such as development, testing, and production

You can create as many units as you need in your organization, but you cannot create units in other units.


Projects are collections of services and user permissions. You can create projects in an organization or in organizational units.

Projects help you group your services based on your organization's structure or processes. They also let you apply uniform network security settings across all services within the project. The following are some examples of how customers organize their services:

  • Single project: One project containing services that are distinguished by their names. For example, services have names based on the type of environment: demo_pg_project.postgres-prod and demo_pg_project.postgres-staging.
  • Environment-based: Each project represents a deployment environment, for example: dev, qa, and production. This can make it easier to apply uniform user permissions, such as developer access to production infrastructure.
  • Project-based: Each project contains all the services for an internal project, with naming that highlights the relevant environment. For example: customer-success-prod and business-analytics-test.

Users and roles

To add users to your organization, you send them an invite. With a verified domain these users become managed users, which gives you greater control to manage access to your organization's resources.

Super admin have full access to the organization, including all organizational units, projects, and services. Users are automatically made super admin when they create an organization, and they can make other users super admin.

For projects, the Aiven platform lets you use a mix of group and individual access rights. You grant users access to projects by adding them as project members, either individually or in groups. Project members have a role that defines the level of access they have to the project and its services. Alternatively, you can add users to specific services.

Best practices for organizations

Small organizations

For smaller organizations that have a limited number of projects it's recommended to consolidate all your projects within one organization. This makes it easier for your teams to navigate between projects and services.

Good naming conventions also help with finding projects and services. For example, you can include the environment type, dev, prod, etc., at the beginning of project names.

Medium organizations

For more complex cases, take advantage of the organizational units to group related projects.

You can, for example, group projects into units that correspond to your internal departments. Alternatively, you can group them by categories like testing, staging, and production environments.

Large organizations

For large organizations, keep all projects in organizational units instead of the organization. By keeping your projects in units you can centrally manage things like support contracts and billing groups for each group of projects.