Role-Based Access Control, Explained

The ThousandEyes platform provides a Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) model for user and user group management. RBAC provides two principal benefits. First, RBAC eliminates the hierarchical relationships between users, account groups and organizations. Under RBAC, users may belong to more than one account group. Second, RBAC provides the flexibility to configure permissions that were previously fixed within the three predefined roles. With RBAC you can create roles for users which will allow them to do everything which is needed via the UI or API and no more.

For example, an employee who needs to administer their company’s ThousandEyes users in multiple accounts was previously required to have the Organization Admin role, which provided permissions not only to administer all users in every account but also permissions to access billing information for all accounts. Under RBAC, you may assign roles which have permissions for only user administration tasks in only the account groups needed, and not grant permissions for billing or other tasks within those account groups.

For a complete list of all available permissions, their descriptions and what permissions are assigned to each of the built-in roles see the table below.

Terminology in RBAC

Account groups are assigned to users who have roles within each account group. A user can be in one or many account groups, and users can be assigned to one of three built-in roles (Organization Admin, Account Admin and Regular User) which have fixed permissions, or they can be assigned to a custom role. Under RBAC, a customer may create multiple new custom roles and unique permission sets.

With RBAC, users are associated with the organization. The Account Admin role does not have the permissions required to create, edit, or delete users. To provide this capability, the user must have a role that carries the Edit users permission.

Working with RBAC

Managing users is done under Account Settings > Users and Roles, on the Roles, Users, and Account Groups tabs. Users can also modify their own settings under the Profile tab.

Built-In Roles

All accounts come preloaded with three built-in roles: Organization Admin, Account Admin, and Regular Users. The permissions assigned to these predefined roles are fixed, but you can duplicate any of these roles and then customize them to suit your requirements. The ThousandEyes platform has almost 100 permissions to choose from. For a full list of permissions assigned to the built-in roles, see the Roles and Permissions Table.

When new permissions are added to the permissions table, for example when a new feature requires a new set of permissions, only the built-in roles are automatically updated with the new permission settings. If you want to turn on the new permissions for users in custom roles, you will need to turn them on manually.

When you hover over a permission title, a tooltip appears that explains what the permission does. For instructions on how to use the features on the Roles tab, see Managing Roles.

The permissions assigned to a user with an Organization Admin role (or similar) enables them to do the following:

  • Access all account groups defined within the organization.

  • Fully manage all users and roles.

  • View and create tests, shares, dashboards and reports.

  • Assign agents to any account group belonging to the organization.

  • Edit security settings, view billing information and change payment details.

The permissions assigned to a user with an Account Admin role (or similar) allow the following:

The Account Admin role has permissions to create, edit, or delete users within their assigned account group only.

The permissions assigned to a user with a Regular Users role (or similar) enables them to do the following:

  • Access all test results and read-only access to test settings.

  • Customize their dashboards.

  • Reset their password.

  • Create and delete their own shares, snapshots.

  • Check their own activity log.

  • Run instant tests but are not able to save/create them.

Managing Roles

Roles and permission settings are all contained under the Account Settings > Users & Roles > Roles tab. To create a new role or update an existing role:

  1. Click + New Role at the top left to create a new role, or click the pencil icon below each role name to update an existing role. The Role-based Permission Controls dialog opens, with which you can modify role permissions.

  2. After editing the role, click Save to save your changes.

To edit a built-in role, you must first duplicate it, then customize it.

The components of the Roles tab include:

  • Search bar - Search for matching permissions using a string such as "email" or "alert". The number of results is shown in parentheses next to the Show label to the left of the search bar.

  • The dropdown next to the Show label provides additional "shortcut" filters in two categories. The two QUICK FILTER options are:

    • All Permissions - displays the full list of permissions that match the search string

    • Management Permissions - displays only management permissions that match the search string

  • The RELATED COMPONENT filter options are:

    • API

    • Admin

    • Alerts

    • BGP

    • Cloud and Enterprise Agents

    • Dashboard

    • Devices

    • Endpoint Agents

    • Labels

    • Live Shares

    • Saved Events

    • Snapshots

    • Tests

  • Permission names - Permission names which match the current search string are listed in the left column.

  • Roles - All built-in roles and any customer-defined roles are listed in the top row.

  • Role change icons - The pencil, copy and trash icons below the role names are for editing, copying, and deleting existing roles.

Management Permissions

A user-and-lock icon next to a permission name indicates that the permission is a management permission, and should be treated with caution.

Of the built-in roles, only Organization Admins have management permissions. With management permissions, a user can:

  • Change their own or another user's permissions or scope of permissions.

  • View and edit billing information.

  • Manage quotas.

  • Manage security and authentication settings.

  • Delete accounts.

Custom Role Example

The following table is an example of a commonly configured custom role used by ThousandEyes users.

Role PurposeRole DescriptionExample Permissions

NOC wallboard monitor for displaying dashboards

Enable users to log in, keep their session alive, view dashboards and any report type widgets used within a dashboard.

  • View reports (if you have report widgets in your dashboard)

  • Login via Single Sign-on/ThousandEyes login page

  • Keep session alive on auto-update

Add a New Account Group

To add a new account group:

  1. Click New Account Group.

  2. Enter the name of the new account group.

  3. Select Enterprise Agents to assign to this account group.

  4. Click Add New Account Group to save your new account group.

Switch between Account Groups

To switch between account groups:

  1. Click on your account name in the top-right corner.

  2. Choose the account group you would like to switch to from the drop-down:

Edit an Account Group

To edit an account group:

  1. Click the name of the account group. The Edit Account Group dialog opens.

  2. The Account Group Token is used when assigning Enterprise Agents to this account group. Agents can be assigned to multiple account groups.

  3. Click Save Changes to save the changes or Cancel to exit without saving.

Delete an Account Group

To delete an account group:

  1. Click the name of the account group.

  2. In the Edit Account Group dialog, click the trash can icon to delete the account group.

Managing Users

You can add, edit, or assign users to one or more account groups on the Users tab.

  • Search bar - Search the User, Email or Account Groups columns for a text string or substring.

  • User - An alphabetized list of users in the organization. Click the arrow icon beside User to reverse the sort order. A User entry will be a dash ( -- ) if the user has not yet performed the registration process per the account registration email, after account creation.

  • Email - A list of user email addresses, which are used as logins to the ThousandEyes platform.

  • Account Groups - lists the Account Groups to which the user belongs. "All" indicates membership in the built-in account group whose name is "All account groups".

  • Management Permissions - A user-and-lock icon next to an email address indicates that this user possesses management permissions.

  • Pending Registration - A red triangle icon next to a user indicates that the user has not yet completed the registration process as provided for in the registration email sent from the ThousandEyes platform. If you haven’t received a registration email within 24 hours and you are getting the notification above, please reach out to the Customer Engineering team and request their assistance. Note: One registration email can be sent per 24 hours using the Resend registration email link in the Edit User dialog. If you attempt to send more than one in the 24-hour period, a warning message is displayed: "A registration email has been sent to this user in the past 24 hours."

Adding Users

To add new users:

  1. Click New Users. The New Users dialog appears.

  2. Enter one or more email addresses that users will use to log into the ThousandEyes platform. Use a comma as a delimiter to add multiple email addresses.

  3. Select the user(s) account group(s) using the Account Groups drop-down menu. Multiple account groups are permitted. The selection affects all users listed in the Emails field.

  4. Select the user(s) Roles within the scope of the associated account group. Multiple roles are permitted.

  5. Click the + icon to add a new account group and associated roles. For a multi-account group assignment, click the - icon to remove an account group and associated roles.

  6. In the Login Account Group field, select the initial account group the user will log in with. If a user is a member of multiple account groups, they will be able to switch account groups using the Switch Account Groups link under their username in the upper-right corner of the interface.

  7. Click Add New Users to save your changes. An email with instructions to complete registration will be automatically sent to each address.

Note: When creating new users, the name of the user(s) are not entered by the administrator. After the user account is created, the user receives an email from the ThousandEyes platform requesting that the user complete the registration process. This permits the user to provide their name string. If the administrator wishes to provide the name, the Edit User panel under the Users tab allows for manual entry.

Edit a User

To edit an existing user:

  1. In the Users tab, click any user entry in the table to open the Edit User dialog.

  2. Update the required fields. Note: The name field is blank if the user has not completed registration. If a user's email address is updated:

    • The user must validate this change before they can log in or execute API operations.

    • The user will no longer be associated with any alerts to which their previous email address was associated.

  3. Click Save Changes to save the changes or Cancel to exit without saving.

Deleting a User

Deleting a user will:

  • Remove the user from any alert notifications with which they are associated.

  • Delete any private dashboards the user has created.

Deleting a user does not delete any shared dashboards created by the user. These will remain part of the account group(s) which the user was a member of, and everything else associated with the account group(s) will not be changed.

To delete a user:

  1. In the Users tab, click any user entry in the table to open the Edit User dialog.

  2. Click the trash can icon at the bottom left to delete the user.

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