Product Documentation

Configuring Authentication and Authorization Settings

Oct 20, 2016
Authentication with the NetScaler SDX Management Service can be local or external. With external authentication, the Management Service grants user access on the basis of the response from an external server. The Management Service supports the following external authentication protocols:
  • Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS)
  • Terminal Access Controller Access-Control System (TACACS)
  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

The Management Service also supports authentication requests from SSH. The SSH authentication supports only keyboard-interactive authentication requests. The authorization of SSH users is limited to admin privileges only. Users with readonly privileges cannot log on through SSH.

To configure authentication, specify the authentication type, and configure an authentication server.

Authorization through the Management Service is local. The Management Service supports two levels of authorization. Users with admin privileges are allowed to perform any action on the management service. Users with readonly privileges are allowed to perform only read operations. The authorization of SSH users is limited to admin privileges only. Users with readonly privileges cannot log on through SSH.

Authorization for RADIUS and LDAP is supported by group extraction. You can set the group extraction attributes during the configuration of RADIUS or LDAP servers on the Management Service. The extracted group name is matched with the group names on the Management Service to determine the privileges given to the user. A user can belong to multiple groups. In that case, if any group to which the user belongs has admin privileges, the user has admin privileges. A Default Authentication group attribute can be set during configuration. This group is considered along with the extracted groups for authorization.

In the case of TACACS authorization, the TACACS server administrator must permit a special command, admin for a user who is to have admin privileges and deny this command for users with readonly privileges. When a user logs on to NetScaler SDX appliance, the Management Service checks if the user has permission to execute this command and if the user has permission, the user is assigned the admin privileges else the user is assigned readonly privileges.

Adding a User Group

Groups are logical sets of users that need to access common information or perform similar kinds of tasks. You can organize users into groups defined by a set of common operations. By providing specific permissions to groups rather than individual users, you can save time when creating new users.

If you are using external authentication servers for authentication, groups in NetScaler SDX can be configured to match groups configured on authentication servers. When a user belonging to a group whose name matches a group on an authentication server, logs on and is authenticated, the user inherits the settings for the group in NetScaler SDX appliance.

To add a user group

  1. On the Configuration tab, under System, expand Administration, and then click Groups.
  2. In the details pane, click Add.
  3. In the Create System Group dialogue box, set the following parameters:
    • Name—Name of the Group. Maximum length: 128
    • Permission—Actions that this group is authorized to perform. Possible values: admin and readonly.
    • Users—Database users belonging to the Group. Select the users you want to add to the group.
  4. Click Create and Close.

Configuring User Accounts

Updated: 2014-04-11

A user logs on to the NetScaler SDX appliance to perform appliance management tasks. To allow a user to access the appliance, you must create a user account on the SDX appliance for that user. Users are authenticated locally, on the appliance.

Important: The password applies to the SDX appliance, Management Service, and XenServer. Do not change the password directly on the XenServer.

To configure a user account

  1. On the Configuration tab, under System, expand Administration, and then click Users. The Users pane displays a list of existing user accounts, with their permissions.
  2. In the Users pane, do one of the following:
    • To create a user account, click Add.
    • To modify a user account, select the user, and then click Modify.
  3. In the Create System User or Modify System User dialog box, set the following parameters:
    • Name*—The user name of the account. The following characters are allowed in the name: letters a through z and A through Z, numbers 0 through 9, period (.), space, and underscore (_). Maximum length: 128. You cannot change the name.
    • Password*—The password for logging on to the appliance. Maximum length: 128
    • Confirm Password*—The password.
    • Permission*—The user's privileges on the appliance. Possible values:
      • admin—The user can perform all administration tasks related to the Management Service.
      • readonly—The user can only monitor the system and change the password of the account.
      Default: admin.
    • Enable External Authentication—Enables external authentication for this user. Management Service attempts external authentication before database user authentication. If this parameter is disabled, user is not authenticated with the external authentication server.
    • Configure Session Timeout—Enables you to configure the time period for how long a user can remain active. Specify the following details:
      • Session Timeout—The time period for how long a user session can remain active.
      • Session Timeout Unit—The timeout unit, in minutes or hours.
    • Groups—Assign the groups to the user.

    *A required parameter

  4. Click Create or OK, and then click Close. The user that you created is listed in the Users pane.

To remove a user account

  1. On the Configuration tab, in the navigation pane, expand System, expand Administration, and then click Users.
  2. In the Users pane, select the user account, and then click Delete.
  3. In the Confirm message box, click OK.

Setting the Authentication type

Updated: 2014-04-11

From the Management Service interface, you can specify local or external authentication. External authentication is disabled for local users by default. It can be enabled by checking the Enable External Authentication option when adding the local user or modifying the settings for the user.
Important: External authentication is supported only after you set up a RADIUS, LDAP, or TACACS authentication server.

To set the authentication type

  1. On the Configuration tab, under System, click Authentication.
  2. In the details pane, click Authentication Configuration.
  3. Set the following parameters:
    • Server Type—Type of authentication server configured for user authentication. Possible values: LDAP, RADIUS, TACACS, and Local.
    • Server Name—Name of the authentication server configured in the Management Service. The menu lists all the servers configured for the selected authentication type.
    • Enable fallback local authentication—Alternatively, you can choose to authenticate a user with the local authentication when external authentication fails. This option is enabled by default.
  4. Click OK.

Enable or Disable Basic Authentication

You can authenticate to the Management Service NITRO interface using basic authentication. By default, basic authentication is enabled in the SDX appliance. Perform the following to disable basic authentication using the Management Service interface.

To disable basic authentication:

  1. On the Configuration tab, click System.
  2. In the System Settings group, click Change System Settings.
  3. In the Configure System Settings dialog box, clear the Allow Basic Authentication check box.
  4. Click OK.