Learn about Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

  • Last updated on: 2016-07-27
  • Authored by: Renee Rendon

Previous section: Getting started with Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

This article answers basic questions about the Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) 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 provides customers a greater degree of control over cloud resource use with the added layer of system security.

What are roles?

Role describes the level of access that 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 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 and to products as they become RBAC-enabled.

  • 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 and to products as they become RBAC-enabled.

Note: Users with the full or read-only access 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 permissions 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 billing admin role has permissions to create, read, update, and delete given billing and payment resources within the designated product where access is granted.

  • Billing:observer - The billing observer role has permissions 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 (billing) role to the user.

Note: A user may be assigned both 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 Cloud Control Panel?

The following types of contacts are shown in the Cloud 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 do I need to implement RBAC?

Implement RBAC in the following situations:

  • To minimize downtime and accidental changes to the cloud resources, the account owner wants to restrict account access to only a few people.

  • To synchronize cloud product access to the functions of an employee’s job, the account owner wants to grant access to employees based on the nature of their position.

  • To help prevent unauthorized access to cloud products through the sharing of admin credentials, the account owner wants each user of the cloud accounts to have their own credentials.

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

Who can use RBAC?

RBAC is available to all Rackspace customers.

How can I get RBAC?

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

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

Which products are currently RBAC-enabled?

Which products will be RBAC-enabled in the future?

New products as they are launched will be RBAC-enabled.

Which products will not have RBAC?

  • Cloud Sites
  • RackConnect
  • Mailgun

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Use Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

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