[Openstack] [Keystone][PublicCloud] Introducing Adjutant, an OpenStack service for signups, user invites, password reset and more!

Adrian Turjak adriant at catalyst.net.nz
Mon May 29 07:01:26 UTC 2017

Hello OpenStack Community,

I'd like to introduce to you all a service we have developed at Catalyst
and are now ready to release to the OpenStack community in hopes that
others may find it useful. As a public cloud provider we quickly ran
into a bunch of little issues around user management, sign-ups, and
other pieces of business logic that needed to fit into how we administer
the cloud but didn't entirely make sense as additions to existing
services. There were also a lot of actions we wanted to delegate to our
customers but couldn't do without giving them too much power in
Keystone, or wanted those actions to send emails, or extend to external
non-OpenStack services.

Enter Adjutant. Adjutant (previously called StackTask) was built as a
service to allow us to create business workflows that can be exposed in
some fashion over an API. A way for us to build reusable snippets of
code that we can tie together, and a flexible and pluggable API layer we
can expose those on. We needed these to be able to talk to our external
systems, as well as our OpenStack services, and provide us some basic
steps and in some cases the ability to require approval before an action
completes. In many ways Adjutant also works as a layer around Keystone
for us to build business logic around certain things we'd like our
customers to be able to do in very limited ways.

The service itself is built on Django with Django-Rest-Framework and is
an API service with the gui component built as a ui plugin for Horizon
that allows easy integration into an OpenStack dashboard.

Adjutant, as the name implies, is a helper, not a major service, but one
that smooths some situations and an easy place to offload some admin
tasks that a customer or non-admin should be able to trigger in a more
limited way. Not only that, but it stores the history of all these
tasks, who asked for them, and when they were completed. Anything a user
does through Adjutant is stored and able to be audited, with in future
the ability for project admins to be able to audit their own tasks and
see who of their users did something.

Out of the box it provides the following functionality:

  * User invitation by users with the 'project_admin' or 'project_mod' role.
      o This will send out an email to the person you've invited with a
        submission token and let them setup their password and then
        grants them roles on your project. If their user exists already,
        will only require confirmation and then grant roles.
  * As a 'project_admin' or 'project_mod' you can list the users with
    roles on your project and edit their roles or revoke them from your
  * Let non-admin users request a password reset.
      o User will be emailed a token which will let them reset their
  * Basic signup
      o Let a user request a new project. Requires admin approval and
        will create a new project and user, granting default roles on
        the new project. Will reuse existing user if present, or send an
        email to the user to setup their password.
  * Let a user update their email address.
      o Will notify old email, and send a confirmation token to the new.

Features coming in the future (most either almost done, or in prototype

  * Forced password reset
      o users with 'project_admin' or 'project_mod'**can force a
        password reset for a given user in their projects
      o cloud admins can force password resets for users on their cloud.
      o changes user password to a randomly generated value and sends
        user a password reset token to their email.
      o user must reset before they can log in again.
  * Quota management for your project
      o As a 'project_admin' or 'project_mod' you can request a change
        in quota to a set of predefined sizes (as set in the Adjutant
        conf). Sizes allows you to increase multiple related quotas at
        the same time. You can move to adjacent sizes without approval a
        number of times in a configurable window (days), or an admin can
        approve your quota change as well.
  * Hierarchical Multi-Tenancy in a single domain environment
      o 'project_admin' to be able to create sub-projects off the
        current scoped project.
      o This uses HMT properly in Keystone but does not require an admin
        role and enforces a naming convention to ensure unique
        namespaces per sub-projects and somewhat avoids the project name
        uniqueness issues per domain. It's basically some wrapper logic
        for HMT in Keystone.
      o This also adds inherited role support to the already existing
        user invite and user role editing features.
      o some VERY basic sub-project quota (number of sub-projects
        allowed) via metadata stored on a project in Keystone, with
        quota calculations in Adjutant checking against number of
        sub-projects created in your WHOLE tree within given shifting
        window. This is mainly to stop sub-projects as a means of
        getting around quota limits, and allows admins to approve
        sub-projects if beyond what a customer is allowed normally.
  * Account termination/resource termination
      o Be able to delete/disable a project and all the resources in it
        in one go, with some reporting, validation, and confirmation.
  * A way to setup and manage MFA credentials for a user
      o relies on work in Keystone around MFA, and serves only as a
        means to allow an initial challenge response that requires an
        initial passcode before MFA would become active for the user in
      o and a similar process for deactivating MFA by needing a passcode.
      o with an adjutant-ui panel that displays an SVG QR code.
  * Support for User stores beyond Keystone
      o Allow Adjutant to create/manage users in LDAP/AD as part of
        normal user workflows.
      o This feature was always planned since Keystone does not support
        creation/editing when users come from LDAP, so the existing user
        store module is mostly an abstraction layer that can be made

Adjutant also supports a simple enough plugin system that lets you
override existing actions and taskviews or build on top of them for your
own deployments or company specific circumstances. This lets you use the
core benefits of the service while keeping your company specific code in
a separate codebase that is easy to integrate.

The repos will soon be on the OpenStack gerrit, with launchpad for
bug/blueprints, but for now can be found here:

The python client and cli are also on pypi:

And there are existing tempest tests that need to be greatly expanded
(and also renamed):

Here is also an example plugin based on how we've integrated this with
our ERP system:
And to help test the plugin and allow importing of test features
Adjutant itself is also on pypi so plugins can use it as a requirement
for testing:

Going forward we're looking for other develops and deployers in the
OpenStack community that are either trying to solve issues that fit
within this service, or need something that this service solves. Let us
pool our resources and make something that can help others avoid the
same pitfalls and development work! There is a lot more we have planned
for the roadmap ranging from larger architectural improvements, useful
features, to minor but useful tweaks. It still has a bunch of growth and
maturity to achieve as a project, but we're running it in production (an
older state at least, with newer coming soon) and it will only get
better in time.

If this sounds interesting to you, get in touch, try it out, get involved!

Adrian Turjak

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