This documentation is for a previous version of Cerbos. Choose 0.34.0 from the version picker at the top right or navigate to https://docs.cerbos.dev for the latest version.

Cerbos deployment patterns

Cerbos can be deployed as a service or as a sidecar. Which mode to choose depends on your requirements.

Service model

Service model

  • Central policy decision point shared by a group of applications.

  • Cerbos can be upgraded independently from the applications — reducing maintenance overhead.

  • In a busy environment, careful capacity planning would be required to ensure that the central Cerbos endpoint does not become a bottleneck.

Sidecar model

Sidecar model

  • Each application instance gets its own Cerbos instance — ensuring high performance and availability.

  • Upgrades to Cerbos would require a rolling update to all the application instances.

  • Policy updates could take slightly longer to propagate to all the individual application instances — resulting in a period where both the old and new policies are in effect at the same time.