Browse Prior Art Database

System to manage passwords of local accounts on offline VMs

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000191676D
Original Publication Date: 2010-Jan-11
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2010-Jan-11
Document File: 2 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Many development groups at IBM manage a large number of virtual machines (VM). A common management issue is maintaining passwords for administrative accounts on the VM. Although directory services can be used to manage passwords for users accessing the machines, they do not cover accounts created on the actual machine, such as the administrator account. In addition, it is very common for VMs to not use directory services and only maintain local accounts for machine access/authentication.

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System to manage passwords of local accounts on offline VMs

The system proposed in this publication would manage passwords of administrative accounts on the actual VM disk images. The aspect of this invention that makes it most novel, however, is that it will manage accounts on offline VM images. The solution addresses three problems.

1) This solution will make it easier to maintain passwords when an organization's security policy prescribes passwords need to be changed on a regular basis. In typical development environments, significant costs are encountered in maintaining the passwords and keeping a group of developers updated on the access credentials.

2) This solution will simplify adding and removing accounts on multiple machines. For example, if a person moves jobs, a person's access might need to be removed from multiple machines. This proposed solution would automate the update instead of allowing ineligible individuals access to machines.

3) This solution maintains the passwords by manipulating the disk image of the VM and therefore does not require that the image be started to perform account administration on it. This approach eliminates the costly process of booting each image to apply the account/password change. This also helps maintain VMs that are not frequently used. For example, A VM might be created for backup purposes. It might be months before it is referenced again. The proposed system wo...