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Knowledge Base  /  Cloud Application Manager  /  Dedicated Edition

Cloud Application Manager Dedicated Edition with Master Account

Updated by Roberto Santamaria and Diego Sanjuan on Jul 03, 2019
Article Code: kb/1299

In this article:


This article shows how to leverage a Master Account as the only authentication principal for AWS accounts in Cloud Application Manager Dedicated Edition. Once this is enabled, AWS providers are identified only by a role ARN instead of by key and secret. It is then possible to manage AWS accounts from Cloud Application Manager without creating account-specific credentials: AWS will authenticate only the master account, and grant privileges on the managed account based on the ARN role.

There are two methods to achieve this:

  • Custom Master Account credentials: This method lets you specify the key and secret of an API-ready user of the master account. This user will then impersonate the ARN defined in the managed account. This method is available in all deployments of Cloud Application Manager Dedicated Edition.
  • EC2 Instance Roles: These roles ease credential management and increase security for applications running in EC2 instances because AWS handles key expiration and renewal automatically. This method is only available when Cloud Application Manager Dedicated Edition has been deployed as an EC2 instance. The master account will be the one hosting it. The role assigned to the EC2 instance must allow impersonation on the managed account. You can learn more about EC2 Instance Roles in the AWS documentation.


All Cloud Application Manager users who want to deploy workloads into AWS from a Cloud Application Manager Dedicated Edition.


  • Your Cloud Application Manager Dedicated Edition (appliance) should be properly configured and running. You can refer to the Cloud Application Manager Dedicated Edition documentation.
  • You are able create IAM Policies and Roles on the master account, that is, the account that will be trusted on the managed accounts. It can be an arbitrary account where you can create users and API credentials (for custom Master Account credentials) or the account that hosts the Cloud Application Manager appliance (for EC2 Instance Role).
  • You are able to create IAM Policies and Roles in any other account that will be managed as a CAM Provider.

Additional information

  • The EC2 Instance Role method only applies to appliances running as AWS EC2 Instances.
  • Once set, you will only be able to configure new AWS providers using an IAM Role. Providers created previously with key and secret pair will still work using these credentials.
  • Only AWS API communication is affected by this feature. All other provider types (CenturyLink Cloud, Microsoft Azure, VMware vSphere, etc.) will continue to work as expected.

Create the Policy for the Master Account role

  1. Go to AWS Services console and login into the account that hosts the instance of Cloud Application Manager.

  2. Create a custom AWS Policy by going to Services, then click IAM below Security, Identity, & Compliance. Then select Policies in the left side menu.

    AWS Console Policies

  3. Click on Create policy button, select Create your own policy, then click on the JSON tab. You can use the following snippet to allow impersonation on any role:

        "Version": "2012-10-17",
        "Statement": [
                "Sid": "VisualEditor0",
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": "sts:AssumeRole",
                "Resource": "*"

    You may restrict the policy even more by adding the roles that the appliance will need to assume. The policy can be modified at a later date if additional roles are required. Please note that if you add a Cloud Application Manager provider with an ARN that is not listed in this policy, Cloud Application Manager will not be able to assume it and will show an error message.

        "Version": "2012-10-17",
        "Statement": [
                "Sid": "VisualEditor0",
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": "sts:AssumeRole",
                "Resource": [

    AWS Console Assume Role Policy

  4. When the policy document is ready, click on Review policy and if there are no errors you will be prompted to enter a name and a description. Save the changes clicking on Create policy at the bottom of the page.

AWS Console Assume Role Policy Review

In this example the policy is named CAMApplianceAssumeRolePolicy.

Method 1: create the user and API credentials

Follow this section if you plan to use custom Master Account credentials. This method is the only one supported if Cloud Application Manager Dedicated Edition is not deployed in AWS EC2, but can be used used in that case, too.

  1. Once you have created a custom AWS policy go to main left side menu and select Users option. Create an IAM user by clicking the Add user button, enter a username and select only Programmatic access in the Access type section. Click on Next: Permissions.

    Master Account User and Access Type

  2. On the Set Permissions page, click on Attach existing policies directly button, then search for the policy defined in the previous section and click on the checkbox to the left of the policy name. Please note that you can follow any other standard operation procedure within your organization for assigning policies to a user, such as assigning the user to a group.

    Master Account User Policy Assignment

  3. Click on Next: Tags, then Next: Review, and verify that the details are correct before you click Create user.

  4. The last page will give you the option to copy the credentials (the Access Key and the Secret Key) or download a CSV file that contains the credentials. These credentials will be entered in Cloud Application Manager later.

Master Account User Credentials

Method 2: create the EC2 Instance Role

Follow this section if you plan to use EC2 Instance Role as an impersonation mechanism. This method is only supported for instances of Cloud Application Manager Dedicated Edition deployed in AWS EC2.

EC2 Instance Roles are created automatically when you create an IAM Role on the AWS Console. That is not the case for the AWS CLI or an AWS SDK, so refer to the proper documentation for the specific commands for instance roles. The rest of the guide assumes the roles are created on the AWS Console.

  1. Once you have created a custom AWS policy go to main left side menu and select Roles option. Create an IAM role by clicking the create role button, leave the default option as AWS Service, then click on EC2 and Next: Permissions.

  2. Filter the policy list and select the policy you created on the previous section. Then click Next: Tags, tag the role as necessary, and then click Next: Review.

    AWS Console Role create

  3. Add a name and a description, then click Create Role.

    AWS Console Role review

  4. Once the role is created, navigate to the EC2 console via Services, Compute and EC2, and then locate the instance where the Cloud Application Manager appliance runs. You may need to switch to a different region to find it. IAM roles are region-independent, so you can define it once and use it in several regions. The Attach/Replace IAM Role is available for both running and stopped instances. Click on it to select the role.

    AWS Console Attach Role

  5. Locate the role you created on the previous step, select it and click Apply.

AWS Console Attach Role

Note: An Instance Role can be attached to an instance also at deployment time. Therefore, you can also stage the role before deploying the instance of your Cloud Application Manager appliance.

Enable the Master Account on Cloud Application Manager

By default, the Cloud Application Manager appliance does not make use of the EC2 Instance role nor the custom Master Account credentials.

  1. Open the Cloud Application Manager interface, then navigate to the top right menu by clicking on your username, and then click Setup Console.

    Cloud Application Manager Dedicated Edition Setup Console

  2. Scroll down to the Master Account for AWS providers section, then click on the Master Account Mode dropdown box.

    Cloud Application Manager Dedicated Edition Master Account Setup

  3. If you defined a user account for programmatic access in the previous setup, select the Custom Master Account option, then enter the Access Key and the Secret Access Key.

  4. If you defined an EC2 Instance role in the previous step, then select the EC2 Instance Role option.

    Cloud Application Manager Dedicated Edition Master Account with EC2 Instance Role

  5. Optionally, enter an External Id. This field is an additional security measure by AWS: if you decide to use an External Id, all IAM Roles that your Cloud Application Manager appliance will assume have to expect it (this will be configured on the next section).

  6. Finally, click on Save Settings.

At this point, you can create AWS providers that will use this feature. Let's create a role for one of them.

Create a Policy and Role for the managed account

The next step involves creating a Policy and Role that will grant access to AWS resources. For a Cloud Application Manager appliance running as an EC2 AWS instance, this role can be located in the same account as the instance or in a separate one.

  1. First, create a Policy as specified in the first section of Using AWS. This policy limits the available actions on the AWS resources that Cloud Application Manager will be able to perform. Please refer to this Knowledge Base page for updated details on required policy settings.

  2. Then create a role that uses that policy: still in the IAM console, click on the Roles option in the left menu, then click the Create role button, and select the Another AWS Account tab. Enter the following information:

    • Account ID: the master account where you created the user for programmatic access or the EC2 Instance role
    • External ID: the external id selected on the CAM Setup Console, if any (this field may be empty)
    • Require MFA: Leave unselected

    AWS Console Create Role

  3. Then click on Next: Permissions and select the policy that you created on step 1. Proceed to the last next, assign any tags you require, and finally enter a name and a description. In this example the role is named CamProviderAssumedRole.

    AWS Console Role Details

  4. Once you create the role, find it on the role list and click on its name. The Role ARN is listed at the top of the screen: arn:aws:iam::managed_account_id:role/CamProviderAssumedRole. This is the ARN that should be included in the Policy attached to the EC2 Instance Role (CAMApplianceAssumeRolePolicy in the previous sections) and as the Cloud Application Manager Provider credentials in the next section.

    AWS Console Role Details

Create a Cloud Application Manager AWS Provider

You are now ready to create a Cloud Application Manager AWS Provider.

  1. Go to the Cloud Application Manager Console, click on Providers on the left menu, then click on New.
  2. Select AWS from the dropdown menu, then enter a provider name.
  3. Enter the ARN of role CamProviderAssumedRole in the Account Role ARN field, then click Save.

Cloud Application Manager new AWS Provider dialog

You will be taken to the provider view and the provider will start synchronizing. If the policy of role CamProviderAssumedRole restricts some of the actions on the AWS API, error or warning messages will appear on the activity log of this view.

Cloud Application Manager AWS Provider synchronization

You will need to create additional roles for any additional provider you want to configure in Cloud Application Manager. If you restricted the CAMApplianceAssumeRolePolicy to a specific list of resources, you will need to update that one, too.

Contacting Cloud Application Manager Support

We’re sorry you’re having an issue in Cloud Application Manager. Please review the troubleshooting tips, or contact Cloud Application Manager support with details and screenshots where possible.

For issues related to API calls, send the request body along with details related to the issue.

In the case of a box error, share the box in the workspace that your organization and Cloud Application Manager can access and attach the logs.

  • Linux: SSH and locate the log at /var/log/elasticbox/elasticbox-agent.log
  • Windows: RDP into the instance to locate the log at C:\ProgramData\ElasticBox\Logs\elasticbox-agent.log