Collaboration that Meets Every Need – an Overview
Here at cloudscale.ch, we believe that accounts are something personal: every account belongs to a person and should not be shared. This ensures that it is possible to select truly personal and secure login credentials and, ideally, also two-factor authentication (2FA). Our cloud control panel has a range of features that facilitate collaboration, irrespective of how it is "organized". We would like to use a fictional example to illustrate the available options and the different aspects of the various approaches.
- Use cloudscale.ch – alone or together
- Invite and manage organization members
- Include specialists as external collaborators
- Partnership between two organizations: clear responsibilities
- Collaboration – the key concepts
Use cloudscale.ch – alone or together
Andrea is a committed open source user. She regularly finds and tests new tools for all kinds of tasks. She uses cloudscale.ch in order to ensure that she always has a fresh system that she can play around with and then delete again. This enables her to start virtual servers with just a few clicks and to choose from a selection of the most popular Linux distributions, depending on the tool she wants to look at.
Every account has a "My Project" for virtual servers and other cloud resources by default.
In her work, Andrea is Head of IT at Enjoy AG, a company that runs an online platform for restaurants and delivery services. So far, the platform has been running on a physical server that Enjoy AG set up with a housing provider. In addition, there is an on-premise server in the office that is used for the CRM among other things. Both servers are actually oversized in terms of performance, but they are getting old and Andrea is concerned that a hardware defect may result in business coming to a standstill for a long period of time. Simply buying new devices is not an option for Andrea as this would not resolve her concerns about the lack of redundancy.
Andrea would rather use the benefits of the cloud and, instead of an individual excessively large server, create a geo-redundant failover setup that can be scaled with the growth of her platform. In order to enable her and her employees to work on the new cloud setup together, Andrea creates a new organization "Enjoy AG" in the cloudscale.ch cloud control panel. This means that with just a single login, she has two completely separate areas: a personal one and a business one.
Account and organization each have their own balance and can be loaded independently of each other.
Invite and manage organization members
Andrea then creates invite links for her colleagues so that they can join the "Enjoy AG" organization with their own personal accounts. It comes as no real surprise that her employees Jeremy and Patricia are also already cloudscale.ch customers; the others quickly set up a new account for free via "Signup". Under "Members", Andrea has a constant overview of which colleagues have used the invite link to join the organization. She pays particular attention to the 2FA status and asks those who have not yet activated this feature to do so.
Existing members of the organization are managed in a clearly laid out manner and new members are invited to join the organization by means of an invite link.
Under "Projects" Andrea first creates three projects called "CRM", "Test" and "Prod" to group the new cloud servers logically. If further projects arise in future, she can add these at any time. She could now add the appropriate employees for each project as project members and specify whether these people only have read access or also permission to make changes, e.g. to create or delete cloud servers. However, in order to make her life easier, Andrea decides to use "teams". In keeping with the established structure of Enjoy AG, she creates teams with the appropriate team members and then adds the teams to the projects. In the team "IntOps", she makes Patricia team leader, which means that Patricia can manage the team members herself in future and, for example, include any colleagues who switch to her team.
Organization members can be grouped into teams in order to manage project rights efficiently.
Include specialists as external collaborators
Following a request from the marketing department, the "Landing Pages" project is soon added. Susanna is a freelance worker who has been given the task by Enjoy AG of running web pages for various marketing campaigns on a separate cloud server. It is clear to Andrea that Susanna requires full access to the appropriate cloud resources for this, but at the same time, she does not want Susanna to see all the other projects and people involved in the cloud control panel. This is why she generates an invite link for an "external collaborator", which she sends to Susanna. As previously, Andrea could now set up a separate team with Susanna and the internal colleagues as team members. However, in this case, she believes it will be clearer if she allocates the existing "Platform" team plus Susanna to the "Landing Pages" project as project members.
External collaborators can access selected projects without seeing the rest of the organization.
Partnership between two organizations: clear responsibilities
Sven is Andrea's contact partner at Coders GmbH. He and his team developed the online platform for Enjoy AG and also help with maintenance and troubleshooting during live operations. On the old server, the developers at Coders already had SSH access, but without being able to see the server "from the outside", they were sometimes limited in what they could do to help. This will all change with the new cloud setup. Coders GmbH also already uses cloudscale.ch internally and all employees have personal accounts. Andrea does not, however, want to invite every single one of them to be an external collaborator, which is why she and Sven agree on a "partnership" between the two organizations. This means that she can share her "Prod" project with Coders GmbH, and Sven, as a superuser of the "Coders GmbH" organization, can add its teams and members to this project independently.
Projects can be shared with partner organizations; superusers manage the rights for accounts in their own organization independently.
Unfortunately, Oliver leaves Coders GmbH shortly after this. He wants to take some time out in a peaceful mountain village so he can work on a few personal projects that are important to him. As well as for his work at Coders, Oliver also used his cloudscale.ch account for these projects, which is why he would like to keep his account. It is not a problem to make this wish come true as Sven can simply remove Oliver's account from the organization and thus also from the Enjoy AG "Prod" project.
Organization members can be removed from the organization at any time. The account per se and personal projects and cloud resources remain in place.
With a little luck, Sven almost seamlessly finds a replacement in Christina. At the same time, he would like to progressively include Thomas, who is completing his training at Coders, in the collaboration with Enjoy AG. At the moment, as opposed to the other employees, all Thomas needs is read access. Sven is delighted that he can implement all these administrative adjustments himself without having to bother Andrea.
In the meantime, the new platform release is almost finished and both Enjoy AG and Coders GmbH are looking forward to offering the restaurants and delivery services numerous new features. The landing pages for the new campaign are also ready. As everybody has been granted the access required for their contribution, there is nothing more standing in the way of a successful deployment. And once the work has been completed in the various workplaces, there might even be a face-to-face meeting to toast the successful collaboration.
To successful collaboration!
Your cloudscale.ch team
PS: In order to ensure that administration of the organization does not depend solely on her, Andrea plans to make her colleague Jeremy a superuser, too, so that they can stand in for each other if one of them is absent, for instance. In the cloudscale.ch blog, she found the following overview that she forwards onto Jeremy so that he can get started quickly.
Collaboration – the key concepts
Projects: Cloud resources can be grouped in projects, e.g. for separate test and production environments. Access rights – either read only or with permission to make changes – can be defined separately for each project.
Organization: An organization represents a company, a department or any other group of people who work together on cloud resources. Organizations have a separate framework agreement and a separate balance, which makes them suitable for the contractual demarcation of cloud resources from other accounts and/or organizations.
Organization member: Organization members can work on projects of the organization. Irrespective of their rights for individual projects, organization members can – in the same way as employees in a company – see which projects, teams and other members exist within the organization.
External collaborator: Accounts that need to be able to work on one or several projects without having any insight into the organization beyond this can be invited as external collaborators. They will then only see these projects and not the other projects, teams and members of the organization.
Team: To simplify rights management, accounts (i.e. organization members and external collaborators) can be grouped into teams. Access rights for the team automatically apply to all team members.
Team leader: Team leaders can independently add and remove organization members and external collaborators as team members of the relevant team. Team leaders can also make other organization members (but not external collaborators) team leaders within the team and remove this role again.
Superuser: A superuser can manage all aspects of the organization. This includes managing projects, teams and rights as well as inviting and removing organization members and external collaborators.
Partner organization: The superusers of two organizations can agree on a partnership and share projects with the other organization. The superusers in the two partner organizations manage the access rights of their own organization members and external collaborators for the joint projects. As is the case for external collaborators, only the shared projects – and not the other projects, teams and members – of the other organization are visible.