Organizations, projects, and managing access permissions#

The Aiven platform uses organizations, organizational units, and projects to organize services and access to those services. Learn how you can use these effectively to accommodate your organization’s structure.

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

Organizations and organizational units#

Organizations and organizational units are collections of projects. When you sign up to Aiven, an organization is created for you.

You can use these to create a hierarchical structure that fits your needs. Organizational units can be nested within an organization, adding another level to group your projects. This gives you greater flexibility to organize your setup to meet your specific use cases. For example, you can easily split production and testing workloads into different organizational units that are in the same organization.

Grouping your projects in organizations and organizational units lets you centrally manage settings like:

  • Authentication methods - Only available on the organization level

  • 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 will have the same service plan.

  • Teams - Specific to a single organization or organizational unit and cannot be shared between them

  • Support contracts - Specific to a single organization or organizational unit and cannot be shared between them

  • Billing groups - Specific to a single organization or organizational unit and cannot be shared between them


Projects are collections of services and user permissions. Each project must have a unique name within an organization. You can group your services however you see fit. These are some examples of how customers organize their services:

  • Single project: One project containing services that are distinguished by their names. For example, services are named based on the type of environment: demo_pg_project.postgres-prod and demo_pg_project.postgres-staging.

  • Environment-based projects: Each project represents a deployment environment, for example: dev, qa, and production. This allows you to apply uniform network security, such as the use of virtual private clouds, to all services within each environment. This also gives you more granular 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.

Service access management#

There are two ways that you can manage access to Aiven services:

  • Direct access via projects

  • Indirectly via role-based access controls (RBAC)

Smaller teams usually favor direct access, while larger teams favor RBAC to simplify complex access requirements.

Project members and roles#

You can define different levels of access for each project member using roles:

  • Administrator: Can change and view billing information, remove members, and create, edit, and delete services. When you create a project, you automatically receive this access level.

  • Operator: Full access to services, but can’t modify billing information or project members.

  • Developer: Can manage existing services (for example, creating databases and connecting to them), but can’t make any changes that would affect billing (for example, starting or stopping services).

  • Read Only: Can view services, but can’t make any changes to them.


View status



Billing/editing access













Read Only



The Read-Only role cannot view or copy service account passwords, but the Administrator, Operator and Developer roles have full access to manage service accounts.


You can also use teams within organizations or organizational units to control access to projects for a group of users instead of specifying them per project. When you create a team, you choose which projects to associate it to and define the roles.

One example of this is to grant read-only access to all projects in an organization or unit for a team of external contractors. The Aiven platform lets you use a mix of team and individual access rights for projects.

Another option is to set up SAML single sign-on (SSO) for an organization that automatically adds users to a team when they sign up. For greater security, you may want to use a combination of SAML and RBAC regardless of the size of team.

Best practices for organizations#

Small organizations

For smaller organizations that have a limited number of projects we recommend consolidating all of your projects within one organization. This will make 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, it’s helpful to take advantage of the organizational units. Organizational units let you collect together related projects.

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

Large organizations

For large organizations, it’s best to keep all of your projects in organizational units instead of organizations. By keeping all of your projects in organizational units you can define teams, support contracts, and billing groups for each group of projects.