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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Invests in Hybrid Connectivity, Releases On-Premises Data Gateway

Microsoft Invests in Hybrid Connectivity, Releases On-Premises Data Gateway

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In a recent blog post, Microsoft announced the On-premises data gateway has reached General Availability (GA). This gateway allows for remote connectivity from many Microsoft PaaS and SaaS services to data sources residing behind a corporate firewall.

Within the Microsoft documentation, the service is referred to as

a bridge that provides quick data transfer and encryption between on-premises systems and Microsoft Cloud services. The gateway relays data from on-premises sources on encrypted channels through the Azure Service Bus. All traffic originates as secure outbound traffic from the gateway agent.

The Microsoft Cloud services that are currently supported, by the On-Premises data gateway, include:

  • Power BI – for self-service data exploration and visualization
  • Microsoft Flow – for IFTTT-like personal workflow and connectivity
  • PowerApps – a cross platform citizen developer mobile development platform
  • Logic Apps – an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)

Microsoft is also planning on including support for Azure Analysis Services within the next few months.

With a gateway provisioned, some of the data sources that can be exposed include:

  • BizTalk Server
  • DB2
  • File System
  • Informix
  • MQ
  • MySQL
  • Oracle Database
  • PostgreSQL
  • SAP Application Server
  • SAP Message Server
  • SharePoint for HTTP only, not HTTPS
  • SQL Server
  • Teradata

The On-premises data gateway is a software agent that needs to be installed in your corporate network. It can be installed on the same server as the underlying data source that you would like to expose, or on its own server. In order to complete the gateway configuration, you need to provide an account, that has a work or school email address, which is managed by Azure Active Directory. This same account must have access within the Azure subscription to register the gateway in the Azure Portal.

The Azure Service Bus Relay provides the On-premises data gateway with connectivity between the corporate environment and the cloud. To facilitate this connectivity, the Service Bus Relay will create an outbound connection to the Azure where it will create a rendezvous endpoint. Requests are then tunneled through this connection to your on-premises network. For many customers, this connectivity can occur without any changes to your firewall.

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During the preview of the On-premise data gateway service, there was a default that placed the gateway in your Azure Active Directory tenant’s location. This has changed, as of the GA announcement, customers

can now select the region for the gateway cloud service and Azure Service Bus communication channel that you want to use with your gateway installation.

Also included in the GA release, is the ability to delete a gateway connection resource and associate your gateway to a different Azure resource. 

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