Overview: Role Based Access Control (RBAC)


This guide is designed to get administrators started with Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and to answer questions about the service. 

What is RBAC?

RBAC is a secure method of restricting account access to authorized users. This method enables the account owner to add users to the account and assign each user to specific roles. Each role has specific permissions defined by Rackspace. RBAC allows users to perform various actions based on the scope of their assigned role.

The account owner has the ability to create up to 100 users, each with their own password, secret question and answer, and API key.

Why implement RBAC?

RBAC is important because it provides customers a greater degree of control over cloud resource utilization with the added layer of system security.

What are roles?

Role describes the level of access users have for their account. By assigning roles to users, administrators can allow multiple users to complete tasks safely. RBAC limits risk by ensuring that users do not have access beyond their training or level of control.

Roles grant access across all resources of a single product or for multiple products. RBAC does not restrict access to specific files, directories, or servers.

What roles are available through RBAC?

RBAC provides the following roles.

Multiple-product roles

  • Full access - The full access role has the permissions to create, read, update, and delete resources within multiple designated products where access is granted. These permissions apply to products that are currently RBAC enabled products and to products as they become RBAC-enabled in the future.
  • Read-only access - The read-only access role has permissions to view given resources within multiple designated products where access is granted. These permissions apply to products that are currently RBAC enabled products and to products as they become RBAC-enabled in the future.

Note: Users with the full access or the read-only roles will have automatic access to all new products that become RBAC-enabled, with the exception of account administration tasks such as billing. Product roles do not include Account roles.

Custom roles

The Custom roles provide a useful mix of permission levels for assigning permissions per product. After the user is assigned the Custom roles, roles can be changed only per product.

  • Product:admin - The product admin role has permissions to create, read, update, and delete resources within the designated product where access is granted. 
  • Product:creator - The product creator role has permissions to create, read, and update resources within the designated product where access is granted. The creator role cannot delete a resource. (Any destructive actions are prohibited.)
  • Product:observer - The product observer role has permission to read given resources within the designated product where access is granted. This role is read-only.

 

Account roles

Assign Account roles to users who manage your Rackspace customer account. 

  • Billing:admin – The account role of billing admin has permissions to create, read, update, and delete given billing and payment resources within the designated product where access is granted.
  • Billing:observer – The account role billing observer has permission to read given billing and payment resources within the designated product where access is granted. This role is read-only.

To give a new user account permissions without product permissions, choose the Custom setting and keep all Product roles set to No Access. Then assign the appropriate Account role to the user.

Note: A user may be assigned Product roles and Account roles.

 

What types of users does RBAC have?

RBAC has the following types of users:

  • Account owner - The account owner is the primary contact for the account and has full permissions to execute all capabilities for every product available. Each account is allowed only one account owner.
  • Account user - The account user is a user that has been added by the account owner and has been assigned to specific product or account roles.

 

What actions are restricted to the account owner role?

Only the account owner role can perform the following actions:

  • Create new users, modify existing users, and delete users.
  • Make contact changes, including the billing contact.

 

What are the contact types in the Control Panel?

The following types of contacts are shown in the Control Panel. Contact types are similar to tags that can assist with user management. 

  • Primary – This contact type is automatically assigned to the owner of the account. Only one Primary contact is allowed per account.
  • Billing - This contact type is automatically assigned to the account. Only one Billing contact is allowed per account. It is not necessary to assign a username to the Billing contact. This contact holds the address that Rackspace uses as the billing address.
  • Administrative – This contact type can be assigned to users that primarily perform administrative duties such as billing and payments. Administrative contacts do not receive technical alerts from our automated systems. No specific account implications come with this role. For example, if administrative users change their address, the change does not affect the billing address. 
  • Technical – This contact type can be assigned to users that primarily perform technical tasks. These users receive monitoring alerts by default unless the notification plan is changed. 

 

When is it beneficial to implement RBAC?

RBAC should be implemented in the following situations:

  • In an effort to minimize downtime and accidental changes to the cloud resources, the account owner would like to restrict access to the accounts to only a few people.
  • In an effort to synchronize cloud product access to the functions of an employee’s job, the account owner would like to grant access to employees based on the nature of their position.
  • In an effort to help prevent unauthorized access to cloud products through the sharing of admin credentials, the account owner would like each user of the cloud accounts to have their own credentials.

 

When is it not necessary to implement RBAC?

RBAC does not need to be implemented when only one credential set is needed for an account.

 

Who can use RBAC?

RBAC is available to all Rackspace customers. 

 

How can I get RBAC?

Adding users to the account activates RBAC. Account owners can add users through the Cloud Control Panel or through API.

For more information about specific RBAC-related APIs, see the Rackspace API documentation at http://docs.rackspace.com.

 

Which products are currently RBAC enabled?

 

Which products will be RBAC enabled in the future?

  • Rackspace Orchestration Service
  • New products as they are launched

 

Which products will not have RBAC?

  • Cloud Sites
  • RackConnect
  • Mailgun

 

< Getting Started with RBAC    -   Managing RBAC >

 



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