K2 Cloud Secure Data Access (SDA) enables you to access your traditional, on-premises line-of-business systems from K2 Cloud applications without the need to open access within the firewall, place systems outside the firewall, or create VPN connections. Connections to your K2 Cloud tenancy originate from a network appliance deployed within your private network and are secured by an SSL-based, encrypted and exclusive connection between your on-premises environment and your tenancy.

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

Overview

Traditional approaches to connecting on-premises and cloud platforms require complex VPN structures or proxy solutions that require you to create firewall rules to open ports. These solutions create larger surface areas for data leakage and security breaches in your organization.

K2 SDA utilizes a patented, reverse-access technology that eliminates the need for opening firewall ports and does not require a VPN, DMZ, or other network infrastructure changes in your on-premises environment.

Accessing On-Premises Systems

K2 SDA provides integration with the following on-premises line-of-business systems compatible with K2 Cloud. 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

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You connect your on-premises systems to your K2 Cloud tenancy using a web-based administration portal that is part of the SDA Access Controller (the “controller”). This provides the ability to expose line-of-business systems, configure the ports that traffic flows through, and more.

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Deployment

K2 SDA is deployed as a matched pair of nodes: you deploy the controller node in your on-premises environment as a virtual machine hosting the administration site, while the gateway node is deployed by K2 to your K2 Cloud tenant.

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K2 Cloud Node – The Gateway

Located in the organization’s K2 Cloud tenant, the role of the gateway SDA node is to act as a front-end to all applications and users within K2 Cloud. It operates without the need to open any ports in your firewall and ensures that only legitimate session data can pass through into your internal network.

On-Premises Node – The Controller

The role of the controller SDA node is to:

  • Pull the session data into the internal network from requests originating in the K2 Cloud SDA gateway node
  • Scan the data for malware and viruses

If the session is legitimate, the data request is passed to the destination application server for processing and then returns to the K2 Cloud tenant.

 

Once you pair the nodes, an encrypted and exclusive tunnel is used between the nodes that allow traffic to flow from on-premises systems into your K2 Cloud tenant. The SDA Controller ensures that requests to on-premises systems can only be received and fulfilled by the SDA appliance if that request originated from within the paired node in your K2 Cloud tenant.

The controller is platform-agnostic and supports Windows Server and Linux distributions, and you can deploy it on your network using a virtual server infrastructure.

Security

K2 SDA isolates applications and APIs from external attackers, effectively making internal data invisible on the internet while providing the ability to build K2 Cloud apps to integrate with your on-premises line-of-business systems. To protect your on-premises environment, K2 Cloud SDA provides the following layers of security protection:

  • Traffic coming into the on-premises environment from the K2 SDA gateway can only originate from the corresponding paired node
  • The external K2 SDA node does not persist or store any data from requests to or from on-premises systems
  • Bolsters the protective effect of your corporate firewall by using a patented two-node, reverse-access technology
  • Eliminates opening any incoming ports on the internal firewall for client requests to reach line-of-business servers
  • Provides layer 3/4 (IP/TCP) attack protection
  • Provides fine-grained access control and security policies to limit access to line-of-business servers

See Also

For more information about K2 SDA, see Overview, Installation, and Configuration of K2 Cloud Secure Data Access