How to Assign vCenter Roles and Permissions

vCenter roles and permissions play a vital role in ensuring the security and compliance of vSphere environments. And this article shares the detailed steps to assign vCenter roles and permissions roles for securing your virtualized environment.


By Zelia / Updated on May 25, 2023

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What are vCenter roles and permissions

vCenter roles and permissions are a system of access controls defined in VMware vCenter Server that are used to manage and control access and operations in a virtual environment, such as virtual machines, datastores, and networks, based on specific user roles and permissions.

  • Roles are predefined sets of permissions that define what a user can and cannot do within the vCenter environment. There are several built-in roles that come with vCenter, such as Administrator, Read-Only, and Virtual Machine User. Each role is designed to provide a different level of access to vCenter resources.
  • Permissions, on the other hand, are the specific actions that users are allowed or denied based on their assigned role. For example, a user with the Virtual Machine User role may be granted permission to power on and off virtual machines, but not to create or delete them.

The vCenter Roles and Permissions system allows administrators to customize access controls to fit their organization's needs. Administrators can create new roles, customize existing roles, and assign permissions at a granular level to specific users or groups of users.


The importance of vCenter roles and permissions in a virtualized environment

As we all know, a virtualized environment has many components that are intertwined to create a perfectly functioning virtualized environment. And vCenter roles and permissions play a very important role in it and provide the following benefits at the same time:

  • Security: Restrict user access and operations to the virtual environment to prevent unauthorized access and malicious operations.
  • Management efficiency: Reduce unnecessary interruptions and errors and improve management efficiency.
  • Custom roles: Create custom roles to meet specific management needs.
  • Hierarchical access control: Create multiple roles to grant users access to specific levels of resources in the virtual environment.
  • Auditing and compliance: Track events that occur in the virtual environment for auditing and compliance checks.


How to assign vCenter 7.0 roles and permissions

By using vCenter roles and permissions, administrators can better control user access and operations to the virtual environment, which will also help improve the security and management efficiency of the virtual environment. And if you want to know how to assign vCenter roles and permissions, here are the specific steps to follow:

Steps to create vCenter roles

1. Log in to the vCenter UI as admin to access to vCenter roles and permissions list. Then navigate to Administration >> Roles.


2. Click on + to create a new role.


3. After creating a new role, click on Content Library, Datastore, Network, Virtual Machine, vApp to select the permission successively. And click Next.


4. Input the Role name and Description as you want, and click Finish.


Steps to assign a user to the role

1. Right-click on a resource like a VM, and select Add permission.


2. The Add Permission dialog will appear, and click on Add to select a role to a user.


3. Select Users/Groups window will appear and you can choose a user now and click OK.

Note: You can set off the combo box in the Domain field and choose the Active Directory domain we recently added as an identity source.


4. Drop down the Assigned Role combo box and select the role created before. Then click OK.

Note: Propagate to children needs to be taken into consideration if permissions are added to a higher-level object in vCenter.


5. After combining the role and the user, test the user permissions just set and log in the account.


Securing your virtualized environment is crucial for maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of your data, that’s why vCenter roles and permissions are so essential for securing your virtualized environment. And it's also important to consider data backup as a crucial aspect of protecting your data in the event of a data breach or disaster.

Seamless data protection for vCenter VMs

As you know, vCenter can manage multiple virtual machines, so there must be much VM data in vCenter that needs to be backed up. Here's AOMEI Cyber Backup for you, a VMware backup software that enables you to backup multiple VMs either managed by vCenter server or a standalone ESXi host.

Agentless Image Backup: Create independent and image-based backup for VMware ESXi and Hyper-V VMs without installing agent on each VM.
Support Free ESXi: Support both paid and free versions of VMware ESXi.
Various Backup Methods: Besides full backup, you can perform incremental or differential VM backup to capture only changed data and save storage space.
Automated Hot Backup: Auto backup running VMs ensuring business continuity.
Restore from Any Point: Easily restore a whole VM to usable state from any history backup version.

AOMEI Cyber Backup supports VMware ESXi 6.0 and later versions. Next, I will demonstrate how to quickly backup VMware virtual machines. You can click the button below to try AOMEI Cyber Backup for a 30-day free trial:

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
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*You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.

Step 1. Access to AOMEI Cyber Backup web client, select Source Device, click VMware >> +Add VMware Device >> +Add vCenter or Standalone ESXi to add a host. And then click to Bind Device.


Step 2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task and Create New Task. Then select VMware ESXi Backup for Backup Type. After that, set the Task Name, Device, Target, Schedule and Cleanup as you want.

Task Name: Customize the task name so that you can find it faster.

Device: Select a large number of VMs managed by vCenter or standalone host to backup.

Target: Select the backup path, like a local path or a network path.

Schedule: Select the Backup Method and Schedule Type here.

Cleanup: Click on the Backup Cleanup button, it will automatically delete the old copies that exceed the retention period.


Step 3. Click Start Backup and choose Add the schedule and start backup now or Add the schedule only.


Step 4. Once the backup is finished, you can go to the last step. Navigate to Start Restore, you can choose to restore to a new location here so that you can create a new VM directly or restore VMs to another datastore/host.



Virtualization is rapidly evolving into a core element of the next-generation data center, and this change is creating new challenges for the network.

vCenter roles and permissions are an important part of managing security in a vSphere environment. However, vCenter roles and permissions are not enough to ensure the security of a vCenter environment. In addition, regular vSphere roles and permissions checks and backups of vCenter-related data will help protect the vCenter environment from potential security threats.

Zelia · Editor
Zelia is an editor from AOMEI Technology.She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. Writing is one of her hobbies and she wants her articles to be seen by more people. In her spare time, she likes to draw and listen to music, and it is a pleasure for her to focus on her own world.