A permission is set on an object in the vCenter object hierarchy. Each permission associates the object with a group or user and the group's or user's access roles. For example, you can select a virtual machine object, add one permission that gives the ReadOnly role to Group 1, and add a second permission that gives the Administrator role to User 2.

By assigning a different role to a group of users on different objects, you control the tasks that those users can perform in your vSphere environment. For example, to allow a group to configure memory for the host, select that host and add a permission that grants a role to that group that includes the Host.Configuration.Memory Configuration privilege.

To manage permissions from the vSphere Web Client, you need to understand the following concepts:


Each object in the vCenter Server object hierarchy has associated permissions. Each permission specifies for one group or user which privileges that group or user has on the object.

Users and Groups

On vCenter Server systems, you can assign privileges only to authenticated users or groups of authenticated users. Users are authenticated through vCenter Single Sign-On. The users and groups must be defined in the identity source that vCenter Single Sign-On is using to authenticate. Define users and groups using the tools in your identity source, for example, Active Directory.


Roles allow you to assign permissions on an object based on a typical set of tasks that users perform. Default roles, such as Administrator, are predefined on vCenter Server and cannot be changed. Other roles, such as Resource Pool Administrator, are predefined sample roles. You can create custom roles either from scratch or by cloning and modifying sample roles.


Privileges are fine-grained access controls. You can group those privileges into roles, that you can then map to users or groups.

You can assign permissions to objects at different levels of the hierarchy, for example, you can assign permissions to a host object or to a folder object that includes all host objects. See Hierarchical Inheritance of Permissions. You can also assign permissions to a global root object to apply the permissions to all object in all solutions. See Global Permissions.