Identity Roles and Users

The Identity service provides different role types to simplify the access control configuration and management for Rackspace Cloud tenant and user accounts.

  • Service-managed roles allow Service and Identity administrators to restrict access to services and capabilities within a service. These roles can only be assigned to customers by Service or Identity administrators. Service Managed roles must be created by Identity operations staff in the Identity service configuration. You cannot create them through the Identity service API.
    Service managed roles can be configured with the propagate attribute. When this attribute is set, roles held by Identity administrators and User managers are inherited automatically by all user accounts that the administrator creates and manages.
  • The Role-based access control (RBAC) roles feature allows customers to create, manage, and assign roles to restrict access to Cloud services and capabilities to authorized users only. RBAC is an opt-in feature available to all customers. Account owners can activate RBAC by adding users to the account and assigning roles to users via the API, the Cloud Control Panel, or by calling Customer support.
    Administrators and customers with sufficient access rights can create, manage, and assign RBAC roles by using the role operations available through the Identity service API.

Roles can be configured with a global or product-specific scope.

  • Global roles such as admin and observer are effective for all products with the exception of the Identity service. The Identity service does not use global roles to make access control decisions within the Identity service.
  • Product roles are effective for a specific product and are linked to the product through the role name. For example, the dnsaas:admin is the administrator role for the DNS service, and Lbaas:observer is the observer role for the Load Balancers service. Product roles are also called custom roles.

Identity service, admin, and user roles

Identity roles are service managed roles defined and managed by Rackspace that the Identity service uses to make access control decisions when a user or service submits an API request to the Identity API.

In the Rackspace Cloud, users are represented as accounts created for specific individuals associated with the account. When a user is created, the Identity service automatically assigns a default Identity role to the account, based on the Identity service system configuration. The Identity role defines the access rights and permissions for using the Identity service as shown in the following table.

Table: Identity service Accounts: User types and default role assignments

Role nameAccount user typeDescription
identity: user-adminIdentity User Administrator also known as the Account ownerA customer role that is assigned automatically when a user creates a Rackspace Cloud account. The identity:user-admin provides full administrative privileges to manage the primary account and all user accounts created within the account.

Each Rackspace Cloud account has exactly one administrative user. This user is also referred to as the Account Owner or User Administrator.
identity: user-manageIdentity User ManagerA customer role that provides the same access rights and privileges as the identity:user-admin role.

A Rackspace Cloud User Administrator can grant administrative privileges to a user that holds the identity:default role by assigning the identity:user-manage role to that account.
identity: defaultIdentity sub-user

Account user
A customer role that is assigned automatically to user accounts that a User Administrator or User Manager creates within a Rackspace Cloud account.

The identity:default role provides users with the rights and privileges to manage their own account. For example, account users can update user information and passwords on their own accounts, but they cannot update information on other accounts. A user with the identity:default role can submit a List users request, but the response only returns information about the account owner.

Typically, a user account has only one Identity role that is assigned when the account is created or updated. However, if the User Administrator updates a sub-user account to add the identity:user-manage role the account has two Identity roles: identity:default and identity:user-manage.

The account owner user (identity:user-admin) can activate RBAC by adding users to the account and assigning roles to users via the API, the Cloud Control Panel, or by calling Customer support. An account can have additional customer-managed RBAC product or global roles assigned to manage access and permissions for other Rackspace services. For details, see Rackspace Cloud RBAC Roles and Capabilities.

Usage notes

When managing Rackspace Cloud accounts as the User Administrator, keep the following points in mind to prevent unexpected changes to the sub-user accounts associated with the User administrator account.

  • When a new account user is created, the account inherits the tenant information, group memberships, and endpoints from the User administrator account.
  • If the User administrator account is assigned to a new group, its account users are also added to the group.
  • If a User administrator account is removed from a group, the account users are also removed.
  • If a service attempts to assign an account user to a group, the attempt fails with the following error message:
    400  Cannot add sub-users directly to a group, must assign their\ parent user.
    Correct the problem by assigning the User administrator parent account to the group so that the account user inherits the assignment.
  • Administrators can directly assign account users to a particular tenant so that the users behave as if they are contained within that tenant.