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Managing Accounts, Users and Domains
Accounts, Users, and Domains
An account typically represents a customer of the service provider or a
department in a large organization. Multiple users can exist in an
Accounts are grouped by domains. Domains usually contain multiple
accounts that have some logical relationship to each other and a set of
delegated administrators with some authority over the domain and its
subdomains. For example, a service provider with several resellers could
create a domain for each reseller.
For each account created, the Cloud installation creates three different
types of user accounts: root administrator, domain administrator, and
Users are like aliases in the account. Users in the same account are not
isolated from each other, but they are isolated from users in other
accounts. Most installations need not surface the notion of users; they
just have one user per account. The same user cannot belong to multiple
Username is unique in a domain across accounts in that domain. The same
username can exist in other domains, including sub-domains. Domain name
can repeat only if the full pathname from root is unique. For example,
you can create root/d1, as well as root/foo/d1, and root/sales/d1.
Administrators are accounts with special privileges in the system. There
may be multiple administrators in the system. Administrators can create
or delete other administrators, and change the password for any user in
the system.
Domain Administrators
Domain administrators can perform administrative operations for users
who belong to that domain. Domain administrators do not have visibility
into physical servers or other domains.
Root Administrator
Root administrators have complete access to the system, including
managing templates, service offerings, customer care administrators, and
Resource Ownership
Resources belong to the account, not individual users in that account.
For example, billing, resource limits, and so on are maintained by the
account, not the users. A user can operate on any resource in the
account provided the user has privileges for that operation. The
privileges are determined by the role. A root administrator can change
the ownership of any virtual machine from one account to any other
account by using the assignVirtualMachine API. A domain or sub-domain
administrator can do the same for VMs within the domain from one account
to any other account in the domain or any of its sub-domains.
Dedicating Resources to Accounts and Domains
The root administrator can dedicate resources to a specific domain or
account that needs private infrastructure for additional security or
performance guarantees. A zone, pod, cluster, or host can be reserved by
the root administrator for a specific domain or account. Only users in
that domain or its subdomain may use the infrastructure. For example,
only users in a given domain can create guests in a zone dedicated to
that domain.
There are several types of dedication available:
- Explicit dedication. A zone, pod, cluster, or host is dedicated to an
account or domain by the root administrator during initial deployment
and configuration.
- Strict implicit dedication. A host will not be shared across multiple
accounts. For example, strict implicit dedication is useful for
deployment of certain types of applications, such as desktops, where
no host can be shared between different accounts without violating
the desktop software's terms of license.
- Preferred implicit dedication. The VM will be deployed in dedicated
infrastructure if possible. Otherwise, the VM can be deployed in
shared infrastructure.
How to Dedicate a Zone, Cluster, Pod, or Host to an Account or Domain
For explicit dedication: When deploying a new zone, pod, cluster, or
host, the root administrator can click the Dedicated checkbox, then
choose a domain or account to own the resource.
To explicitly dedicate an existing zone, pod, cluster, or host: log in
as the root admin, find the resource in the UI, and click the Dedicate
button. |button to dedicate a zone, pod,cluster, or host|
For implicit dedication: The administrator creates a compute service
offering and in the Deployment Planner field, chooses
ImplicitDedicationPlanner. Then in Planner Mode, the administrator
specifies either Strict or Preferred, depending on whether it is
permissible to allow some use of shared resources when dedicated
resources are not available. Whenever a user creates a VM based on this
service offering, it is allocated on one of the dedicated hosts.
How to Use Dedicated Hosts
To use an explicitly dedicated host, use the explicit-dedicated type of
affinity group (see `“Affinity Groups” <virtual_machines.html#affinity-groups>`_).
For example, when creating a new VM, an
end user can choose to place it on dedicated infrastructure. This
operation will succeed only if some infrastructure has already been
assigned as dedicated to the user's account or domain.
Behavior of Dedicated Hosts, Clusters, Pods, and Zones
The administrator can live migrate VMs away from dedicated hosts if
desired, whether the destination is a host reserved for a different
account/domain or a host that is shared (not dedicated to any particular
account or domain). CloudStack will generate an alert, but the operation
is allowed.
Dedicated hosts can be used in conjunction with host tags. If both a
host tag and dedication are requested, the VM will be placed only on a
host that meets both requirements. If there is no dedicated resource
available to that user that also has the host tag requested by the user,
then the VM will not deploy.
If you delete an account or domain, any hosts, clusters, pods, and zones
that were dedicated to it are freed up. They will now be available to be
shared by any account or domain, or the administrator may choose to
re-dedicate them to a different account or domain.
System VMs and virtual routers affect the behavior of host dedication.
System VMs and virtual routers are owned by the CloudStack system
account, and they can be deployed on any host. They do not adhere to
explicit dedication. The presence of system vms and virtual routers on a
host makes it unsuitable for strict implicit dedication. The host can
not be used for strict implicit dedication, because the host already has
VMs of a specific account (the default system account). However, a host
with system VMs or virtual routers can be used for preferred implicit
Using an LDAP Server for User Authentication
You can use an external LDAP server such as Microsoft Active Directory
or ApacheDS to authenticate CloudStack end-users. CloudStack will search
the external LDAP directory tree starting at a specified base directory
and gets user info such as first name, last name, email and username.
To authenticate, username and password entered by the user are used.
Cloudstack does a search for a user with the given username. If it
exists, it does a bind request with DN and password.
To set up LDAP authentication in CloudStack, call the CloudStack API
command ``addLdapConfiguration`` and provide Hostname or IP address
and listening port of the LDAP server. You could configure multiple
servers as well. These are expected to be replicas. If one fails,
the next one is used.
The following global configurations should also be configured (the
default values are for openldap)
- ``ldap.basedn``: Sets the basedn for LDAP. Ex: **OU=APAC,DC=company,DC=com**
- ``ldap.bind.principal``, ``ldap.bind.password``: DN and password for a user
who can list all the users in the above basedn. Ex:
**CN=Administrator, OU=APAC, DC=company, DC=com**
- ``ldap.user.object``: object type of users within LDAP. Defaults value is
**user** for AD and **interorgperson** for openldap.
- ````: email attribute within ldap for a user. Default
value for AD and openldap is **mail**.
- ``ldap.firstname.attribute``: firstname attribute within ldap for a user.
Default value for AD and openldap is **givenname**.
- ``ldap.lastname.attribute``: lastname attribute within ldap for a user.
Default value for AD and openldap is **sn**.
- ``ldap.username.attribute``: username attribute for a user within LDAP.
Default value is **SAMAccountName** for AD and **uid** for openldap.
Restricting LDAP users to a group:
- ````: this is optional and if set only users from
this group are listed.
If the LDAP server requires SSL, you need to enable the below configurations.
Before enabling SSL for LDAP, you need to get the certificate which the LDAP server is using and add it to a trusted keystore.
You will need to know the path to the keystore and the password.
- ``ldap.truststore`` : truststore path
- ``ldap.truststore.password`` : truststore password
LDAP groups:
- ````: object type of groups within LDAP. Default value is
group for AD and **groupOfUniqueNames** for openldap.
- ````: attribute for uniquemembers within a group.
Default value is **member** for AD and **uniquemember** for openldap.
Once configured, on Add Account page, you will see an "Add LDAP Account" button
which opens a dialog and the selected users can be imported.
.. figure:: _static/images/CloudStack-ldap-screen1.png
:align: center
You could also use api commands: ``listLdapUsers``, ``ldapCreateAccount`` and
Once LDAP is enabled, the users will not be allowed to changed password
directly in cloudstack.
.. |button to dedicate a zone, pod,cluster, or host| image:: _static/images/dedicate-resource-button.png
Using a SAML 2.0 Identity Provider for User Authentication
You can use a SAML 2.0 Identity Provider with CloudStack for user
authentication. This will require enabling the SAML 2.0 service provider plugin
in CloudStack. To do that first, enable the SAML plugin by setting
``saml2.enabled`` to ``true`` and restart management server.
Starting 4.5.2, the SAML plugin uses an authorization workflow where users should
be authorized by an admin using ``authorizeSamlSso`` API before those users can
use Single Sign On against a specific IDP. This can be done by ticking the enable
SAML Single Sign On checkbox and selecting a IDP when adding or importing users.
For existing users, admin can go to the user's page and click on configure
SAML SSO option to enable/disable SSO for a user and select a Identity Provider.
A user can be authorized to authenticate against only one IDP.
The CloudStack service provider metadata is accessible using the
``getSPMetadata`` API command, or from the URL
http://acs-server:8080/client/api?command=getSPMetadata where acs-server is the
domain name or IP address of the management server. The IDP administrator can
get the SP metadata from CloudStack and add it to their IDP server.
To start a SAML 2.0 Single Sign-On authentication, on the login page users need to
select the Identity Provider or Institution/Department they can authenticate with
and click on Login button. This action call the ``samlsso`` API command which
will redirect the user to the Identity Provider's login page. Upon successful
authentication, the IdP will redirect the user to CloudStack. In case a user has
multiple user accounts with the same username (across domains) for the same
authorized IDP, that user would need to specify domainpath after selecting their
IDP server from the dropdown list. By default, users don't need to specify any
domain path. After a user is successfully authenticated by an IDP server, the SAML
authentication plugin finds user accounts whose username match the username
attribute value returned by the SAML authentication response; it fails
only when it finds that there are multiple user accounts with the same user name
for the specific IDP otherwise the unique useraccount is allowed to proceed and
the user is logged into their account.
- The plugin uses a user attribute returned by the IDP server in the SAML response
to find and map the authorized user in CloudStack. The default attribute is `uid`.
- The SAML authentication plugin supports HTTP-Redirect and HTTP-Post bindings.
- Tested with Shibboleth 2.4, SSOCircle, Microsoft ADFS, OneLogin, Feide OpenIDP,
The following global configuration should be configured:
- ``saml2.enabled``: Indicates whether SAML SSO plugin is enabled or not true. Default is **false**
- ````: SAML2 Service Provider Identifier string
- ``saml2.idp.metadata.url``: SAML2 Identity Provider Metadata XML Url or Filename. If a URL is not provided, it will look for a file in the config directory /etc/cloudstack/management
- ``saml2.default.idpid``: The default IdP entity ID to use only in case of multiple IdPs
- ``saml2.sigalg``: The algorithm to use to when signing a SAML request. Default is SHA1, allowed algorithms: SHA1, SHA256, SHA384, SHA512.
- ``saml2.redirect.url``: The CloudStack UI url the SSO should redirected to when successful. Default is **http://localhost:8080/client**
- ````: SAML2 Service Provider Organization Name
- ````: SAML2 Service Provider Organization URL
- ````: SAML2 Service Provider Contact Email Address
- ````: SAML2 Service Provider Contact Person Name
- ``saml2.sp.slo.url``: SAML2 CloudStack Service Provider Single Log Out URL
- ``saml2.sp.sso.url``: SAML2 CloudStack Service Provider Single Sign On URL
- ``saml2.user.attribute``: Attribute name to be looked for in SAML response that will contain the username. Default is **uid**
- ``saml2.timeout``: SAML2 IDP Metadata refresh interval in seconds, minimum value is set to 300. Default is 1800