A role is a predefined set of privileges. When you add permissions to an object, you pair a user or group with a role. vCenter Server includes several system roles, which you cannot change.

vCenter Server System Roles

vCenter Server provides a few default roles. You cannot change the privileges associated with the default roles. The default roles are organized as a hierarchy. Each role inherits the privileges of the previous role. For example, the Administrator role inherits the privileges of the Read Only role. Roles that you create do not inherit privileges from any of the system roles.

Administrator Role

Users with the Administrator role for an object are allowed to view and perform all actions on the object. This role also includes all privileges inherent in the Read Only role. If you are acting in the Administrator role on an object, you can assign privileges to individual users and groups. If you are acting in the Administrator role in vCenter Server, you can assign privileges to users and groups in the default vCenter Single Sign-On identity source. Supported identity services include Windows Active Directory and OpenLDAP 2.4.

By default, the administrator@vsphere.local user has the Administrator role on both vCenter Single Sign-On and vCenter Server after installation. That user can then associate other users with the Administrator role on vCenter Server.

No Cryptography Administrator Role

Users with the No cryptography administrator role for an object have the same privileges as users with the Administrator role, except for Cryptographic operations privileges. This role allows administrators to designate other administrators that cannot encrypt or decrypt virtual machines or access encrypted data, but that can perform all other administrative tasks.

No Access Role

Users with the No Access role for an object cannot view or change the object in any way. New users and groups are assigned this role by default. You can change the role on an object-by-object basis.

The administrator of the vCenter Single Sign-On domain, administrator@vsphere.local by default, the root user, and vpxuser are assigned the Administrator role by default. Other users are assigned the No Access role by default.

Read Only Role

Users with the Read Only role for an object are allowed to view the state of the object and details about the object. For example, users with this role can view virtual machine, host, and resource pool attributes, but cannot view the remote console for a host. All actions through the menus and toolbars are disallowed.

Best practice is to create a user at the root level and assign the Administrator role to that user. After creating a named user with Administrator privileges, you can remove the root user from any permissions or change its role to No Access.