Use this article for an overview of what K2 Cloud Secure Data Access (K2 SDA) is and how you can start using it.

For other options when connecting K2 Cloud to on-premises systems, see Connecting to On-Premises Data from K2 Cloud.

The information in this article requires that you purchase a license for K2 SDA and use K2 Remote Mentoring to guide you in setting it up. If you have not yet purchased a license, please contact your K2 Sales representative for details and pricing.

Overview

K2 SDA is a secure mechanism by which you access on-premises data from K2 Cloud. K2 recommends this approach instead of other data access mechanism to query and update data stored on-premises from the cloud.

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It is important to keep in mind that K2 SDA does not require a VPN connection from your K2 Cloud tenant to your on-premises environment.  Additionally, incoming ports on your network do not need to be opened and, for most customers, no outbound ports are required to be opened either. Your physical network and internet connection remain safe with this approach, and on-premises assets are protected from the internet; only your K2 Cloud instance can access these on-premises data sources. In the architectural diagram, notice that your servers and data still reside on your LAN and not in the DMZ where they could be more vulnerable to attack.

Common uses of K2 SDA include accessing proprietary, on-prem data sources stored in SQL, web services, and other data sources that K2 Cloud supports using SmartObject services. The SDA Access Controller (represented by the shield in the diagram located on your private network) is a virtual image that you download which, once configured, polls the SDA Access Gateway (represented as the shield next to the cloud) for data requests made in K2 Cloud. This means that only authorized, outbound communication occurs from your network over a secured channel to your K2 Cloud instance. Data is then passed through this secured channel without the need to open ports in your firewall to incoming traffic.

(For more details on K2 SDA, please see the article KB002739: How K2 Cloud Secure Data Access Works .)

Benefits

The benefits of using K2 SDA to connect K2 Cloud to your on-premises data include:

  • Reduces the possibility of successful attacks coming from malicious users on the internet
  • Eliminates the need to open incoming ports in the internal firewall by using a reverse access technology
  • Simplifies managing firewalls and the DMZ
  • Eliminates the need to store sensitive data in the DMZ
  • Simplifies adding new back-end services
  • Eliminates the possibility of users establishing direct connections from an untrusted network to specific hosts in the internal network
  • Can provide substantial cost savings by reducing or eliminating DMZ-based servers, both their physical hardware, OS, and application server licenses

Supported Data Sources

You can configure any combination of the following data sources in K2 Cloud that reside on your internal network. For the latest compatibility information, see Product Compatibility, Integration and Support.

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014, 2016, and 2017
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, 2015, and 2016
  • Microsoft Exchange 2013 and 2016
  • Oracle 11g (releases 1 & 2) and 12c 
  • REST web services
  • WCF web services
  • SOAP web services
  • OData web services

 

Custom service brokers are not supported in K2 Cloud. You cannot use them to bring data from your internal data sources into K2 Cloud.

Virtual Machine, Password, and Port Requirements

The first action to take for getting your environment ready is to download the virtual machine from the email you receive after purchasing a license. Use the following information on the requirements for this VM and the new passwords you set:

VM Requirements

  • 4 vCPUs, 4 GB RAM, 40 GB HD
  • Minimum processor type: Intel Xeon E5-2620 @ 2.00 GHz

Password Requirements

Passwords should contain at least 10 characters and meet three out of four of the following rules:

  • at least one lower case character
  • at least one upper case character
  • at least one number
  • at least one special character
The default password for the standard account, sda, is sda1. The default password for the expert and admin accounts is rsaccess12345.

Port Requirements

You must open the following ports in your firewall to allow outbound traffic:

  • 808
  • 809
  • Also, open the ports for outbound traffic given to you by K2. If this request may take some time to complete, open at least one set of the Callback Ports for outbound traffic that correspond to your LOB.

SQL Server Ports

Open one set of the following Callback Ports for outbound traffic for each SQL Server to which you are connecting. (Note: Only open these ports for outbound traffic, not inbound.)

External Node Bind Port

Callback Ports

1433

1434 & 1534

1443

2443 & 2543

1444

2444 & 2544

1445

2445 & 2545

Other LOB Ports

Open one set of the following Callback Ports for outbound traffic for each on-premises LOB to which you are connecting. (Note: Only open these ports for outbound traffic, not inbound.)

External Node Bind Port

Callback Ports

17000

17100 & 18100

17001

17101 & 18101

17002

17102 & 18102

17003

17103 & 18103

17004

17104 & 18104

17005

17105 & 18105

17006

17106 & 18106

17007

17107 & 18107

17008

17108 & 18108

17009

17109 & 18109

17010

17110 & 18110

17011

17111 & 18111

17012

17112 & 18112

17013

17113 & 18113

17014

17114 & 18114

17015

17115 & 18115

Installation and Configuration

To install and start using K2 SDA, you must first purchase a license. Once you have done that, the high-level steps that you follow are:

  1. Download the Open Virtual Appliance (OVA) file which is the virtual image containing the SDA Access Controller.  The download link will be provided to you via your Remote Services SDA ticket. You must run this image in your private network, and you can convert it to a different format if necessary using the conversion tool of your choice.
  2. Once your VM is running, connect to it and log in using the command line interface with the sda user and change your password. The default password is sda1
  3. On the Main Menu press 2 and press Enter to go into Maintenance

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  1. Press 1 for Networking and press Enter
  2. Press 2 for Edit and press Enter
  3. Press 1 and Enter to edit the IPv4 address
  4. Enter a new internal IPv4 address for the VM and press Enter
  5. Press 4 for Save Configurations and press Enter and note the message Changes were saved.
  6. Press 9 and Enter to go back to the Network Settings Menu
  7. Press 4 for Commit and Enter to commit your changes
  8. Press 9 and Enter to go back to the Main Menu
  9. Press 9 and Enter to exit the console session, then y and Enter to log out
  10. Restart the VM
  11. Browse to the SDA Access Controller website with the URL https://{the IP address you assigned in step 7}:3000. Login with the admin user and change your password. The default password is rsaccess12345
  12. Accept the End User License Agreement (EULA).
  13. Click the plus (+) next to K2 Cloud Secure Data Access to create a new pair

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  1. Give the pair a name. If you’re setting up multiple different environments, they will be created under the same pair.  Optionally, you can provision a separate VM for each K2 Cloud environment.
  2. The Internal Address is the IPv4 address of the virtual machine. Enter that IP address and leave the port set to 8888.
  3. Enter “0.0.0.0” as the External Address and click Save.
    “0.0.0.0” will be changed to the address of your K2 Cloud tenant during your Remote Services call.
  4. When the pair is created, you see two tabs at the top of the page – General and License. Select License.
  5. Enter one hundred (100) for the Number of rules and click Generate License Request.
  6. Click Copy License Request and add it to your Remote Services ticket.
  7. Set up a time with your Remote Services contact to complete the configuration. In this call you will:
    • Update the External Address(es) for the pair.
    • Add a rule for each on-prem data source for access from K2 Cloud.
    • Setup your service instances in K2 Cloud for each data source.
    • Verify and test that data and communication flow between K2 Cloud and your on-prem data sources is successful.
    • If you need to configure additional data sources or change your existing rules at a later point, create a new Remote Services request.

See Also

For more information about K2 SDA, see How K2 Cloud Secure Data Access Works