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Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 : Permissions and Security Objects (part 2) - Assigning Permissions

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1/16/2013 3:37:23 PM

2. Assigning Permissions

You can assign permissions to an object in four ways: you can use the Security Rights node in the SMS Administrator Console to assign permissions to object classes and instances, you can assign permissions at the specific object class or instance, you can use the SMS User Wizard, or you can clone an existing user. Figure 2 shows the list of object classes and specific instances and their permissions that’s displayed when you open the Security Rights node. Notice that you can see the default permission as well as specific instances created.

Figure 2. Permissions displayed in the Security Rights node.

To assign permissions through the Security Rights node, follow these steps:

1.
In the SMS Administrator Console, navigate to the Security Rights node, select it, right-click it, and choose New from the context menu.

2.
Choose Class Security Right to assign permissions to an existing object class or choose Instance Security Right to assign permissions to an existing object instance.

3.
If you choose Class Security Right, the Security Right Properties dialog box for the class is displayed, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. The Security Right Properties dialog box for a class.


Enter the user name (or group name), select the object class, and select the permissions you want to assign. The permissions listed will vary depending on the object class you select.

Notice that the Instance field is disabled here. If you had chosen Instance Security Right in step 2, the Instance field would be available for you to specify an instance of an SMS security object.

4.
Choose OK to save your security configuration.

Tip

You can modify any entry in the Security Rights node simply by double-clicking it to display its Properties dialog box. Also, once you enter a user or group name, the name is saved for future modifications and can be selected from the User Name drop-down list.


You can also assign or modify permissions at the individual object class or instance level. This technique is preferable because it forces you to specifically choose the object whose permissions you want to modify. Follow these steps to assign or modify permissions at the object class level:

1.
In the SMS Administrator Console, navigate to the node whose class permissions you want to modify, right-click it, and choose Properties from the context menu to display the object’s Properties dialog box. For this example, we’ll select the Queries object to display the Queries Properties dialog box.

2.
Select the Security tab, shown in Figure 4. Note the existing class-level security permissions.

Figure 4. The Security tab of the Queries Properties dialog box.


3.
To add a new user or group to the list, click the New button (the yellow star) to display the Object Class Security Right Properties dialog box, shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. The Object Class Security Right Properties dialog box.


4.
Supply a user or group name and then select the permissions you want to apply. (As mentioned, selecting no permissions is like selecting No Access in NTFS.) Click OK to return to the Security tab of the Queries Properties dialog box.

5.
To modify an existing entry, select that entry in the Class Security Rights list and click the Properties button (the hand holding a piece of paper) to display the Object Class Security Right Properties dialog box. Make the appropriate permission changes and then click OK.

6.
Click OK again to save your changes.

In the preceding example, we modified the permissions for the user SDK so that SDK has no permissions at the object class level for Queries. Now let’s modify permissions at a specific object instance. To do so, follow these steps:

1.
In the SMS Administrator Console, navigate to the specific object instance you want to modify, select it, and choose Properties from the context menu to display the Properties dialog box for that instance. For this example, we’ll select an instance of the Queries object—Clients With Free Disk Space—to display the Clients With Free Disk Space Query Properties dialog box.

2.
Select the Security tab, shown in Figure 6. Notice the existing class and instance security permissions—SDK [No Permission] has “trickled down” to this instance.

Figure 6. The Security tab of the Query Properties dialog box.


In this tab you can modify both the class permissions for the Queries object (by clicking the New button, as we did in the preceding example) and the specific permissions for this instance.

3.
To modify the instance permissions, click the New button in the Instance Security Rights section of the dialog box to display the Object Instance Security Right Properties dialog box, shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7. The Object Instance Security Right Properties dialog box.


4.
Supply a user or group name, select the appropriate permissions, and then click OK.

5.
Click OK again to save your configuration.

Figure 8 demonstrates how, in the preceding examples, instance security rights take precedence over class security rights. Notice that even though the user SDK has no permissions for the Queries object class, SDK can nevertheless read, modify, and delete the specific query Clients With Free Disk Space. This is wholly consistent with the NTFS security system. Even if you deny a user access to a folder, if the user has permissions to read a file within that folder, the user will be able to access that file through an application or from the command prompt.

Figure 8. Sample class and instance permissions.


You can use the SMS User Wizard to add a new user and assign class or instance permissions to that user, modify the permissions of an existing user, or copy the permissions of another user to an existing or new user. This wizard is intuitive to use, so I won’t go into a lot of detail about running it.

Follow these steps to use the SMS User Wizard:

1.
In the SMS Administrator Console, right-click Security Rights, and from the context menu select All Tasks and then Manage SMS Users to display the Welcome page as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9. SMS User Wizard Welcome page.


2.
Click next to display the User Name page shown in Figure 10. On this page you can choose to modify an existing user name or remove an existing user by selecting that user from the drop-down list, or you can add a new user by browsing among existing user names or typing in the new user. If you choose to remove a user, when you click Next, you’ll go directly to the Finish page where you can click Finish and you’re done. Otherwise, when you click Next, you’ll be presented with the Rights page.

Figure 10. SMS User Wizard User Name page.


3.
On the Rights page, shown in Figure 11, if you select the option The Listed Rights Are Sufficient, you can simply click Next and you’ll be taken to the Finish page. This option is a verification that nothing more needs to be done.

Figure 11. SMS User Wizard Rights page.


If you select the option Add Another Right Or Modify an Existing One and click Next, the Add A Right page is displayed, as shown in Figure 12. Here you can select the class, instance, and permission you wish to assign and click Next to go back to the Rights page, verify that the listed rights are sufficient, and then click Next to go to the Finish page.

Figure 12. SMS User Wizard Add A Right page.


If you select the option Copy Rights From An Existing SMS User Or User Group, the Copy Rights page is displayed, as shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13. SMS User Wizard Copy Rights page.


Select the user you want to copy from the Source User drop-down list, select the permissions you want to copy, and then click Next to go back to the Rights page, verify that the listed rights are sufficient, and then click Next to go to the Finish page.

4.
When you get to the Finish page, review the information one more time and then click Finish.

Finally, you can copy the class and instance permissions of an existing user to another user. To do so, follow these steps:

1.
Navigate to the Security Rights node in the SMS Administrator Console and select it to display the list of all users and their permissions.

2.
Right-click the user whose class and instance permissions you want to copy and from the context menu select All Tasks and then Clone SMS User to display the Clone SMS User dialog box shown in Figure 14. Enter the name of the user you want to copy the permissions to. Select whether to copy the Class Security Rights or Instance Security Rights and then click OK.

Figure 14. Clone SMS User dialog box.


Real World: Using Security

Consider the SMS site hierarchy illustrated in Figure 15. In this model SMS administrators are present at each site in the hierarchy. For organizational reasons, the third-level sites are secondary sites. Recall that secondary sites do not have their own SQL Server databases. Therefore, for the administrators at the secondary sites to be able to manage their sites, their SMS Administrator Console computers need to connect to the SQL Server database for their parent site. Using default security, every administrator at every secondary site can manage not only his or her own site, but also any other secondary site that’s a child of the same parent.

Figure 15. Sample site hierarchy model.


To remedy this situation, you can set security on each of the secondary site entries under the Site Hierarchy node in the SMS Administrator Console so that only that site’s administrator has access to that site’s settings. In this way, you have preserved security for each site and can still maintain the desired site structure.

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