Enjoy the benefits of SaaS within your own network
Today Qlik has released the highly anticipated product, Qlik Forts, into Qlik Sense SaaS. This new product allows users to securely access Qlik Sense SaaS capabilities within their own infrastructure ensuring their data is secure and doesn’t compromise data locality requirements. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at Qlik Forts and how it works.
What is Qlik Forts?
Qlik Forts is a hybrid service that acts as a bridge between your own infrastructure and Qlik Sense SaaS, allowing you to securely access Qlik Sense SaaS capabilities wherever your data must reside – on-prem, virtual private cloud or public cloud. It is a free add-on offering, readily available for customers with a Qlik Sense Enterprise license.
- Qlik Forts is a pre-packaged and pre-configured virtual appliance, ready to run in your virtualization/IaaS platform of choice.
- The complexity of managing Qlik Forts is handled by Qlik. Qlik ensures Forts are always up to date with the latest updates. Deploy your Qlik Sense environment without the headache of maintaining it!
- Data and applications always stay local to Qlik Forts, which is hosted behind your organisations’ firewall and can only be accessed by users on their network.
- Admins manage the deployment as one and users have a single point of entry to all analytics content, driving easy analytics adoption at scale.
- Customers can choose to deploy one or many Forts, each fort operates independently and is easily configurable in different physical locations around the world.
How does it work?
Qlik Forts can be deployed within your data centre as well as major cloud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. At Tahola, we have been selected by Qlik to beta test the new Forts feature within our SaaS environment. Upon logging into Qlik, users can use the Qlik Sense Hub as a single point of access for all their data. You can add “Spaces” in your Qlik Forts from your Qlik Sense Hub. All applications and data files used within those spaces stays in your Forts securely away from the Qlik SaaS.
When a user opens an app in a Fort’s space in Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS, they are redirected to a Fort which is behind a firewall in the same location as the data. This data is only accessible when you are connected to your VPN. The user experience is unbroken, but the data does not move to the cloud. The redirection happens from the user’s browser and the Fort validates the user has been authenticated by Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS, which prevents users accessing the fort directly.
When adding a Fort into a customer’s Qlik Cloud tenant, a customer assigns one or more spaces to the Fort, the same Fort can be used in several spaces. You can have several spaces using Fort apps, but only one Fort per space. Fort spaces have a green space icon for both shared and managed spaces, making it easier to spot.
Any content created in those spaces is created in the Forts, the user experience is very similar to working with an app present in a regular space in Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS.
Once you navigate to your Qlik Forts space, a link is sent to your SaaS tenant showing you which apps are available, as soon as you click any of them it will send you to your network and you will have to follow your network protocols to gain access e.g. personal level access etc. Any data connection you create in here can only be accessible within the spaces in your Forts, it doesn’t go outside of your infrastructure. If you ever delete your data, it won’t be saved by any Qlik backup or server.
This hybrid cloud approach is particularly useful regarding very critical data that does not need to be transferred to the cloud.
Our Solution Architect and Qlik Partner Ambassador Kabir Rab tested out the new Qlik Forts offering on behalf of Tahola. Here were Kabir’s thoughts:
“In my opinion, Qlik Forts is a great addon to Qlik SaaS that really fills the gap in the market for security conscious organisations. Many organisations want to take advantage of SaaS features to advance their analytics journey and Qlik Forts makes this possible. I really recommend this truly hybrid approach that makes SaaS accessible for all without the headache of managing multiple environments while maintaining security. Qlik forts brings analytics closer to your data source, addressing more than your security requirements.”