Different authority based on how the Redfish service is accessed

Joseph Reynolds jrey at linux.ibm.com
Thu Feb 13 08:28:30 AEDT 2020

This is re-asking a question from the Redfish forum.  I think the 
OpenBMC project needs to help define the requirements.  I've excerpted 
the conversation here to help facilitate discussion.

- Joseph

 > ...what is the direction from Redfish specification, in terms of 
limiting user roles based on Ethernet channels similar to IPMI....


Redfish's basic model is: an agent uses HTTPS to authenticate to a 
Redfish API server which then maps the identified username (aka account 
name) to a Role which then establishes which privileges are enforced.

I understand OpenBMC systems use Redfish and have multiple Ethernet 
ports (aka Ethernet jacks) which are connected to very-different places. 
Each of these ports can be wired to a different access channel. Typical 
1. Port connected to a private management network (the canonical setup).
2. Port connected only to the host system, for example.
3. Port normally unused available to a service agent who has the 
privilege of physical access (and a laptop to plug in).

Further, these access channels play a role in establishing security 
domains. For example:
A. The BMC admin normally accesses the BMC via its management network. 
If needed, the admin can use their access the host platform to access to 
the BMC.
B. The BMC admin normally accesses the BMC via its host platform. For 
example, the admin first gains root access to the host computer and then 
accesses the BMC. (This use case is typical for a standalone computer, 
but incompatible with rented bare-metal servers.)

A mechanism is desired to restrict access to the Redfish APIs based on 
the access channel. Questions:

1. Do we need to control access to the channel itself? Like the function 
provided by the ManagerNetworkProtocol?
2. Do we want to restrict which users can access via each channel? Like 
OpenBMC's "group roles" described here?: 
3. Do we want to be able to assign a different Redfish Role to users 
based on which access channel they used to access the BMC?

I think we should start with a problem statement. What problem are we 
trying to solve? Is there a specific use case or requirement?

 > The closest mechanism we have is roles assigned to accounts, so if 
you are looking to distinguish behavior, it should probably be based on 
account and not based on ingress method

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