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Taikun OCP Guide

Table of Contents

Secure RBAC

Suggested Reading

It is likely an understatement to say that policy enforcement is a
complex subject. It requires operational context to craft custom policy
to meet general use needs. Part of this is why the Secure RBAC effort
was started, to provide consistency and a “good” starting place for most
users who need a higher level of granularity.

That being said, it would likely help anyone working to implement
customization of these policies to consult some reference material in
hopes of understanding the context.

Context – How we reached our access model

Ironic has reached the access model through an evolution the API and
the data stored. Along with the data stored, the enforcement of policy
based upon data stored in these fields.

System Scoped

System scoped authentication is intended for “administrative”
activities such as those crossing tenants/projects, as all
tenants/projects should be visible to system scoped users
in Ironic.

System scoped requests do not have an associated
project_id value for the Keystone request authorization
token utilized to speak with Ironic. These requests are translated
through keystonemiddleware
into values which tell Ironic what to do. Or to be more precise, tell
the policy enforcement framework the information necessary to make

System scoped requests very much align with the access controls of
Ironic before the Secure RBAC effort. The original custom role
baremetal_admin privileges are identical to a system scoped
admin‘s privileges. Similarly
baremetal_observer is identical to a system scoped
reader. In these concepts, the admin is
allowed to create/delete objects/items. The reader is
allowed to read details about items and is intended for users who may
need an account with read-only access for or front-line support

In addition to these concepts, a member role exists in
the Secure RBAC use model. Ironic does support this role, and in general
member role users in a system scope are able to perform
basic updates/changes, with the exception of special fields like those
to disable cleaning.

Project Scoped

Project scoped authentication is when a request token and associated
records indicate an associated project_id value.

The Secure RBAC model, since the introduction of the base capability
has been extended as a result of an OpenStack community goal to include
a manager role in the project scope. By default, this
access is equivelent to a Project scoped admin user,
however it may be delineated further as time moves forward.

Legacy Behavior

The legacy behavior of API service is that all requests are treated
as project scoped requests where access is governed using an “admin
project”. This behavior is deprecated. The new behavior is a
delineation of access through system scoped and
project scoped requests.

In essence, what would have served as an “admin project”, is now
system scoped usage.

Previously, Ironic API, by default, responded with access denied or
permitted based upon the admin project and associated role. These
responses would generate an HTTP 403 if the project was incorrect or if
a user role.


While Ironic has had the concept of an owner and a
lessee, they are NOT used by default. They require
custom policy configuration files to be used in the legacy operating

Supported Endpoints

  • /nodes
  • /nodes/<uuid>/ports
  • /nodes/<uuid>/portgroups
  • /nodes/<uuid>/volume/connectors
  • /nodes/<uuid>/volume/targets
  • /nodes/<uuid>/allocation
  • /ports
  • /portgroups
  • /volume/connectors
  • /volume/targets
  • /allocations

How Project Scoped Works

Ironic has two project use models where access is generally more
delegative to an owner and access to a lessee
is generally more utilitarian.

The purpose of an owner, is more to enable the System Operator to
delegate much of the administrative activity of a Node to the owner.
This may be because they physically own the hardware, or they are in
charge of the node. Regardless of the use model that the fields and
mechanics support, these fields are to support humans, and possibly
services where applicable.

The purpose of a lessee is more for a tenant in their
project to be able to have access to perform basic actions with
the API. In some cases that may be to reprovision or rebuild a node.
Ultimately that is the lessee’s prerogative, but by default there are
actions and field updates that cannot be performed by default. This is
also governed by access level within a project.

These policies are applied in the way data is viewed and how data can
be updated. Generally, an inability to view a node is an access
permission issue in term of the project ID being correct for

The ironic project has attempted to generally codify what we believe
is reasonable, however operators may wish to override these policy
settings. For details general policy setting details, please see /configuration/policy.

Field value visibility

Ironic’s API, by default has a concept of filtering node values to
prevent sensitive data from being leaked. System scoped users are
subjected to basic restrictions, whereas project scoped users are, by
default, examined further and against additional policies. This
threshold is controlled with the

By default, the following fields are masked on Nodes and are
controlled by the associated policies. By default, owners are able to
see insight into the infrastructure, whereas lessee users
CANNOT view these fields by default.

  • last_error
  • reservation
  • driver_internal_info
  • driver_info

Field update restrictions

Some of the fields in this list are restricted to System scoped
users, or even only System Administrators. Some of these default
restrictions are likely obvious. Owners can’t change the owner. Lessee’s
can’t change the owner.

  • driver_info
  • properties
  • chassis_uuid
  • instance_uuid
  • lesseebaremetal:node:update:lessee
  • ownerbaremetal:node:update:owner
  • driver
  • *_interface
  • network_data
  • conductor_group
  • namebaremetal:node:update:name
  • retired
  • retired_reason


The chassis_uuid field is a write-once-only field. As
such it is restricted to system scoped administrators.

More information is available on these fields in /configuration/policy.


The allocations endpoint of the API is somewhat
different than other endpoints as it allows for the allocation of
physical machines to an admin. In this context, there is not already an
owner or project_id to leverage to control
access for the creation process, any project member does have the
inherent privilege of requesting an allocation. That being said, their
allocation request will require physical nodes to be owned or leased to
the project_id through the node fields
owner or lessee.

Ability to override the owner is restricted to system scoped users by
default and any new allocation being requested with a specific owner, if
made in project scope, will have the
project_id recorded as the owner of the allocation.

Ultimately, an operational behavior difference exists between the
owner and lessee rights in terms of
allocations. With the standard access rights, lessee users
are able to create allocations if they own nodes which are not allocated
or deployed, but they cannot reprovision nodes when using only a
member role. This limitation is not the case for
project-scoped users with the admin role.


The allocation endpoint’s use is restricted to project scoped
interactions until [oslo_policy]enforce_new_defaults has
been set to True using the
baremetal:allocation:create_pre_rbac policy rule. This is
in order to prevent endpoint misuse. Afterwards all project scoped
allocations will automatically populate an owner. System scoped request
are not subjected to this restriction, and operators may change the
default restriction via the
baremetal:allocation:create_restricted policy.

Practical differences

Most users, upon implementing the use of system scoped
authentication should not notice a difference as long as their
authentication token is properly scoped to system and with
the appropriate role for their access level. For most users who used a
baremetal project, or other custom project via a custom
policy file, along with a custom role name such as
baremetal_admin, this will require changing the user to be
a system scoped user with admin

The most noticeable difference for API consumers is the HTTP 403
access code is now mainly a HTTP 404 access code. The access concept has
changed from “Does the user broadly have access to the API?” to “Does
user have access to the node, and then do they have access to the
specific resource?”.

What is an owner or lessee?

An owner or lessee is the project which has
been assigned baremetal resources. Generally these should be service
projects as opposed to a project dedicated to a specific user. This will
help prevent the need to involve a system scoped
administrator from having to correct ownership records should a project
need to be removed due to an individual’s departure.

The underlying project_id is used to represent and
associate the owner or lessee.

How do I assign an owner?

# baremetal node set --owner <project_id> <node>


With the default access policy, an owner is able to
change the assigned lessee of a node. However the
lessee is unable to do the same.

How do I assign a lessee?

# baremetal node set --lessee <project_id> <node>

What is the
difference between an owner and lessee?

This is largely covered in How
Project Scoped Works
although as noted it is largely in means of
access. A lessee is far more restrictive and an
owner may revoke access to lessee.

Access to the underlying baremetal node is not exclusive between the
owner and lessee, and this use model expects
that some level of communication takes place between the appropriate

Can I, a project admin,
create a node?

Starting in API version 1.80, the capability was added
to allow users with an admin role to be able to create and
delete their own nodes in Ironic.

This functionality is enabled by default, and automatically imparts
owner privileges to the created Bare Metal node.

This functionality can be disabled by setting
[api]project_admin_can_manage_own_nodes to