DEV Community

Tony Metzidis
Tony Metzidis

Posted on • Originally published at on

GCP: Managing IAM Access Control Across Projects -- The Simpler Version

GCP resources are organized into projects -- all resource IDs and IAMprinciples are grouped under a project ID. This means that by default rolesassigned to a principle (e.g. a user or service account) are scoped only toproject resources. This can be tricky if say your images are in one project'sstorage bucket and your app is running in another

If you want to provide a service principle in one project access to resourcesin another , the approach is not obvious, nor is it well documented.

Below we'll talk about the most direct way, which works for projects that are not part of an organization. This is good for projects managed by different teams or GCP projects that are part of a personal account (without gsuite)

Use Case -- Allow an Outside App Engine App Access Build Status

For this example, the app engine app running in ${SOURCE_PROJECT_ID} needs to access build status in ${GOOGLE_CLOUD_PROJECT}.

This can easily be done using the cloud shell activated for the project id = ${GOOGLE_CLOUD_PROJECT}

Grant a Role to An Outside Service Principle

gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding $GOOGLE\_CLOUD\_PROJECT \--member=serviceAccount:${SOURCE\_PROJECT\_ID} \--role=roles/cloudbuild.builds.viewer \

How Does This Work?

GCP Access control for projects is an ACL mapping members -> roles. The abovecommand refers directly to the app engine service account( in the outside account, andattaches the cloudbuild.builds.viewer role

e.g. You can view the entire project-level ACL this way

gcloud projects get-iam-policy `${GOOGLE\_CLOUD\_PROJECT}`bindings:- members: - - role: roles/appengine.appAdmin- members: -

Won't this Get Messy?

Any sane person can see that this doesn't scale well. It can work if the deps are often one way, but once you get two-way dependences it would be a disaster. At that point look into creating an organization and manaing the ACL at the organization level

How is this Better or Worse Than AWS IAM?

There are pros and cons to project-based resourcing. On the plus side, aproject works like a c++ namespace so all resources are implicitly granted toprinciples in the same project. AWS policies contain an explicit resourcepattern match, which makes every grant more complex.

Security is also improved by default since deny is the default among projects.

How About Larger Projects?

tl;dr , don't put all of your resources in one project, and when yourprojects start having two-way deps, think about moving those into a starpattern and using a GCP organization for the ACL

Top comments (0)