Users and groups

There are two types of users in vSphere:

  • direct-access users – defined directly on an ESXi host.
  • vCenter Server users – defined on a vCenter Server system.

The user types listed above are entirely independent of the other. For example, a direct-access user on an ESXi host could have no access to the vCenter Server used to manage the same ESXi host.

You can also use a directory service, such as Active Directory, to manage users and groups for both a vCenter Server system and ESXi hosts. Note that, by default, all Domain Administrators in an Active Directory domain have full administrative privileges over all ESXi hosts and VMs managed by vCenter Server.

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