Getting Started

Plan The Environments

These days, several people seem to think you should be able to run a few commands, get a BOSH director up and running, and then figure out what to do with it.

We prefer a little more planning up-front, to save a lot of rework later on down the line.

How Many, and Where?

How many Cloud Foundries do you want to run? We recommend, at a minimum, the following:

  1. Sandbox - A small environment for you and your immediate team to experiment with.

  2. Development - Some place for your application developers to play, before they get to production.

  3. Production - The real deal; where all the magic happens. Deploy often to keep it updated, but don't touch it until you've experimented in lower environments.

You might want these other environments too:

  1. QA - Somewhere in between dev and prod lies QA, where end-to-end testing by skilled human beings occurs.

  2. Staging - Between QA and prod, staging provides an environment for staging your production changes. If you can justify the cost, treating this environment as a copy of production that you route traffic to lends itself to blue/green methodologies on a grand scale.

It's also 100% okay to have more than one of each of these. Multiple production environments, in different clouds or in different geographic regions (or both!) can be useful for different markets, or for geo-routed services. If you outgrow a dev environment, you can also spin up another. The important part is to think about it and have a plan.

Networks and Sizing

A crucial aspect of planning your environments is understanding how many networks you have / need, and how big they ought to be.

The Operations Tier

Normally, an operations tier can get away with a single /24 (254 hosts), /25 (126 hosts) or even a /26 (62 hosts) network.

Component # of IPs Notes
Bastion Host 1

This IP must be statically assigned, before BOSH is stood up. (Terraform will normally do this for you). For that reason, you will need to reserve it from the network definitions in your cloud-config, so that BOSH doesn't try to hand it out to a VM that it deploys.

proto-BOSH 1

This IP must be statically assigned, before BOSH is stood up. This is done during configuration of the proto-BOSH Genesis environment.

Vault 3

Vault is a 3-node Consul-cluster.


Prometheus 1

Concourse 5+

A minimum of three (3) VMs must be deployed (the TSA+ATC, the database, and one worker). We recommend at least two workers, preferably three, which brings you to five (5) IPs total.

At a minimum, the recommended configuration needs 12 IPs. Which means the smallest network you can shoehorn an operations tier into is a /28 (14 hosts). You will probably want to reserve more, to allow for future expansion.

Cloud Foundry

The Cloud Foundry Genesis Kit deploys across four networks:

  • internal - Contains the core bits and pieces of Cloud Foundry, including UAA, CAPI, etc.

  • edge - The externally-facing parts of Cloud Foundry, on the perimeter of the architecture.

  • runtime - Diego, where the application containers run. This is split off from the rest of the core to allow firewalls to be placed around the runtime and keep CF applications from abusing access to things like CAPI or the UAA.

  • db - The internal database, if one is deployed.

The sizes of each of these four networks depends on how big you need to make the overall Cloud Foundry installation.

Internal Network

Most of the managerial parts of Cloud Foundry exist in the internal network. These are components that need to talk to one another, but do not need to be access by application containers, or the outside world, directly.

Component # of IPs Notes
NATS 2+ The NATS message bus is still used for router advertisements. Scaling it horizontally only adds redundancy.
API 2+ The Cloud Controller API itself. Scale this horizontally to achieve more a more responsive CLI experience. Hosted behind gorouter.
UAA 2+ The authorization and authentication server. Scale this horizontally for faster login / account rights lookups. Hosted behind gorouter.
Doppler 2+ Part of the Cloud Foundry Logging subystem.
Syslogger 2+ Part of the Cloud Foundry Logging subystem.
LTC 2+ Part of the Cloud Foundry Logging subystem.
BBS 2+ The bulletin board system, where Diego stores all of its state information.
Diego 2+ This is not the Diego runtime (cells); this is the non-BBS bits of Diego that constitute the brains of Diego.
Smoke Tests (errand) 1 This "VM" doesn't exist unless you are running the smoke-tests errand (which you should), but you need to plan for it.

That's a minimum of seventeen (17) IPs. In lab / sandbox environments, we recommend at least a /27 (30 hosts) network, and in larger environments that may see scaling, try a /26 (62 hosts) or a /25 (126 hosts).

Edge Network

This network exists as a separate contiguous blog of IPs to allow for different firewalling. Outside load balancers need to be able to talk to the virtual machines in this network, since they form the perimeter of the Cloud.

Component # of IPs Notes
gorouter 2+ The routing layer, for getting HTTP(S) requests and TCP connections to the appropriate Diego container. Scales with the cluster as the number of concurrent requests per second grows.
Access 2+ Provides cf ssh access to application containers in Diego; scales as the number of these requests increases, which means you probably won't need to scale it very often.

At the low end of the scaling spectrum, you're looking at a minimum of four (4) IPs, so a /29 is workable. In larger environments, where you're going to scale the gorouters to handle more concurrent connections, we generally recommend a /27 (30 hosts).

Database Network

The database is cordoned off in its own network to ensure that the highest level of firewall protections can be afforded to the VMs that store the sensitive data of a Cloud Foundry instance.

Component # of IPs Notes
DB 1-2 The PostgreSQL database instance(s). For local non-HA mode, you only need one IP. If you opt for HA, you need two.

A /30 (2 hosts) ought to suffice for this.

Runtime Network

All of the applications that will be pushed into Cloud Foundry will execute on the VMs in the runtime network, to allow them to be sequestered from the rest of the infrastructure as needed.

Component # of IPs Notes
Diego Cell 3+ This will scale as you need more space to host application containers.

The size of your runtime network is driven entirely by the size of your Cloud Foundry, and how many applications you are running. We recommend starting with a /25 (126 hosts) for lab / sandbox environments, and scaling up to as large as you need — usually a /24 through a /20 (or beyond).

The Operations Tier

The first thing we need to install is the operations tier. This includes things like our Vault, the Concourse installation, and proto-BOSH. The rest of this guide assumes you have a bastion host inside your IaaS network, or appropriate firewall rules / security groups in place to allow all of the access you need. It also assumes that you have Genesis installed.

Bootstrapping proto-BOSH

The first thing we're going to need is a Vault. But since we use BOSH (via a Genesis Kit) to deploy it, we're going to need a BOSH director first. We can create one (referred to as a proto-BOSH) using Genesis, but then we are at an impasse — we need a Vault to generate and store credentials for this proto-BOSH, but we need the proto-BOSH to deploy the Vault.

Enter safe local.

With safe, you can set up a local, ephemeral Vault instance and begin to use it in place of the actual Vault you'll deploy soon.

$ safe local --memory
Now targeting (temporary) toughened-refuge at
This Vault is MEMORY-BACKED!
If you want to retain your secrets be sure to safe export.
Ctrl-C to shut down the Vault

The name of your local Vault will vary.

Note: the local Vault runs in the foreground, so you will want to either run it under something like tmux, or open up another terminal shell / SSH session.

Once the local Vault is up and running, we can interact with it via safe:

$ safe tree
$ safe paths

You're now ready to configure and deploy your proto-BOSH, via the BOSH Genesis Kit. Kits roll up most of the tedious bits of configuring BOSH releases into usable deployments. They can be a bit opinionated at times, but we think that makes for better software and systems.

$ mkdir ~/ops
$ cd ~/ops
$ genesis init -k bosh
Downloading Genesis kit bosh (latest version)...

Initialized empty Genesis repository in /home/u/ops/bosh-deployments
using the bosh/1.3.0 kit.

The genesis init command creates a deployments directory for the type of thing you are deploying (in our case, BOSH), and then downloads a Genesis Kit from GitHub.

Next, we need to write an environment file for our new BOSH director.

$ cd bosh-deployments
$ genesis new ops

Genesis will then ask a whole bunch of (pertinent) questions about your configuration, infrastructure / cloud provider, and your preferences. First up, Genesis needs to know what Vault to store your credentials in:

Known Vault targets - current target indicated with a (*):
(*) toughened-refuge    (insecure)

Which Vault would you like to target?
> toughened-refuge
Now targeting init at

The next question is about proto-BOSH vs. regular BOSH. We are deploying a proto-BOSH:

Is this a proto-BOSH director?
[y|n] > y

After that, Genesis asks a series of questions about the networking for this director. These answers will vary based on your IaaS and networking choices.

To deploy, just run:

$ genesis deploy ops

When that finishes, follow the on-screen instructions and log into the BOSH director:

$ genesis do ops -- login
Running login addon for ops
Logging you in as user 'admin'...
Using environment ''

Email (): admin
Password ():

Successfully authenticated with UAA


Before we can start using our new proto-BOSH, we need to upload stemcells and install a cloud-config. Please refer to the appropriate documentation.

Installing the Vault

Equipped with our brand new proto-BOSH, we can now deploy our Vault, and move all of the credentials and X.509 certificates into that.

$ cd ~/ops
$ genesis init -k vault
Downloading Genesis kit vault (latest version)...

Initialized empty Genesis repository in /home/u/ops/vault-deployments
using the vault/1.4.0 kit.

As before, we're going to create a new environment for Genesis:

$ cd ~/ops/vault-deployments
$ genesis new ops
Now targeting toughened-refuge at

Setting up new environment ops...

Is this your Genesis Vault (for storing deployment credentials)?
[y|n] > y

Make sure to answer y when asked if this Vault will store your Genesis credentials (because it will!)

Now we can deploy it (from ~/ops/vault-deployments):

$ genesis deploy ops

Once it's up and running, the last step is to initialize the Vault and get it ready for production use.

$ genesis do ops -- init

Switching Vaults

Now that we have our actual Vault up and running, we need to get the secrets that we put into our ephemeral Vault into our persistent, production Vault.

Thankfully, safe can help us out here too:

$ safe -T toughened-refuge export |\
  safe -T ops-vault import


Deploying SHIELD

Now that you've got data (Vault stuff AND BOSH stuff!) you're going to want a way to back that up. For that, we have the SHIELD Genesis Kit:

$ cd ~/ops
$ genesis init -k shield
Downloading Genesis shield vault (latest version)...

Initialized empty Genesis repository in /home/u/ops/shield-deployments
using the shield/0.5.0 kit.

Again, we're going to create a new environment for Genesis:

$ cd ~/ops/shield-deployments
$ genesis new ops
Now targeting ops at

Setting up new environment ops...

What IP address would you like to deploy SHIELD on?

Would you like to authenticate against an OAuth2 endpoint (Github / UAA)?
[y|n] > n

And finally, deploy:

$ genesis deploy ops

Where To From Here?

You might want to check out the list of available Genesis Kits to get an idea of what else you can deploy into your infrastructure.