In a hosted environment there is an admin group or set of admin groups responsible for each top-level Organizational Unit (OU). In this case administrators may not want others to see what is going on in their OU structure. Active Roles can accommodate this easily. Since except for the Active Roles administrators no one has any default rights, a delegation model may look something like the following:
Top-level OU / OU Admin
With this delegation model, everyone can see the domain and change the domain controller they are using for management. However, below that only the OU admin can see their associated OU. This keeps administrators from seeing or managing anything outside of their control.
More than likely a delegation model would incorporate features of both. For instance, you may have a hosted environment where each business unit is responsible for their own Active Directory management, with a central helpdesk to perform basic user and group management tasks.
Lastly is the issue of syncing permission to Active Directory. Although Active Roles enables you to accomplish this task, it is a better idea to keep all of the permissions within Active Roles for the following reasons:
Active Roles introduces claims-based authorization rules (access rules) to allow or deny access to Active Directory objects depending on the attributes of the identity attempting to access those objects. Built on the concept of Dynamic Access Control (DAC), this feature enables Active Roles to recognize and evaluate the attribute-based claims of the identity that requests access to data held in Active Directory.
Access rules improve access control management for Active Directory administration. With access rules, Active Roles adds more flexibility and precision in delegating control of Active Directory objects, such as users, computers or groups, through the use of claims—that is, Active Directory user and computer properties—in the Active Roles authorization model.
By using access rules, you can control access to Active Directory objects based on the characteristics of both the objects and the delegated administrators requesting access to the objects. This feature enables you to define and enforce very specific requirements for granting administrative access to Active Directory data. For example, you can easily restrict access of delegated administrators to user accounts whose properties (such as department or country) match the properties of the delegated administrator’s account in Active Directory.
Access rules help you create more complete access controls on Active Directory objects by comparing object properties with user and device claims. A domain controller issues claims to an identity that consist of assertions based on the properties of that identity retrieved from Active Directory. When an identity requests access to a particular object, Active Roles evaluates the claims of that identity and the properties of that object against the access rules, and then, depending upon the evaluation results, applies the appropriate Access Templates to make an authorization decision.
Access rules enable administrators to apply access-control permissions and restrictions based on well-defined conditions that can include the properties of the target objects, the properties of the user who requests access to target objects, and the properties of the device from which the user requests access to target objects. For example, when the user’s role or job changes (resulting in changes to the attributes of the user’s account in Active Directory), access rules can cause the user’s permissions to change dynamically without additional intervention from the administrator.
An access rule is an expression of authorization rules that can include conditions that involve user groups, user claims, device groups, device claims, and target object properties. When you apply an Access Template, you can use an access rule to determine the conditions that must be satisfied for the permissions resulting from the Access Template to take effect.
Active Roles enhances its authorization model by introducing conditional Access Template links, and takes advantage of conditional links by inserting user claims, device claims, and target object properties, into conditional expressions specified in access rules. An access rule can be applied to an Access Template link, causing the link to have an effect only if the access rule’s condition evaluates to TRUE. During permission check, Active Roles inserts the claims and properties into conditional expressions found in the access rule, evaluates these expressions, and enables or disables the Access Template link based on results of the evaluation. In this way, the access rule determines the results of the permission check.
Access rules, along with conditional Access Template links, enable Active Roles to leverage claims for authorization to securable objects. This authorization mechanism (known as claims-based access control) supplements Access Template based access control to provide an additional layer of authorization that is flexible to the varying needs of the enterprise environment.