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Qlik Sense Enterprise on Windows deployed to Azure

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Qlik Sense Enterprise on Windows deployed to Azure

In a Microsoft Azure deployment, you install Qlik Sense Enterprise on a Azure cloud infrastructure that is flexible, high performance, and is quick to set up.

Deploying Qlik Sense Enterprise on Azure will enable you to quickly add new applications in a simple, and scalable manner. You can do this with a basic knowledge of Azure security and scalability options but without the need to follow complex on-premise installation and configuration procedures. Using Azure will enable you to get your Qlik Sense infrastructure up and running in fraction of the time required for an on-premise deployment, and will enable you to scale your deployment quickly and easily, regardless of unexpected changes in demand.

You can deploy Qlik Sense to Azure manually, or you can use an Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) available in the Azure Marketplace that includes Qlik Sense preinstalled. However, predefined images do not include a file share, so can only support single node Qlik Sense deployments.

Benefits of using Microsoft Azure cloud

  • A quick and effective way of deploying Qlik Sense to the cloud.
  • Simple and cost-effective, reducing overall deployment times.
  • Quick and easy to deploy Qlik Sense applications.
  • Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 file system - This makes theQlik Sense file share highly resilient to failures, and AWS does not offer a similar alternative.
  • Scalable, reliable and high performance cloud platform.
  • Microsoft security and networking functionality.
  • Geographic deployment to multiple regions around the world makes lower latency possible.
  • A reliable and high performance platform.

Components

To successfully deploy Qlik Sense on Azure cloud you need a basic understanding of the architecture, and services available in an Azure deployment. As part of a Qlik Sense deployment on Azure, you need the following components:

  • Azure Virtual Machine
  • Azure SMB 3.0 file system storage
  • Azure Virtual Network
  • Azure Resource Group
  • Azure Resource Manager

Azure services

You should also have a basic understanding of other Azure services that you can use for managing resources and as data stores for your Qlik Sense applications:

  • Azure Portal
  • Azure Active Directory and Identity Management
  • Azure SQL Database – SQL Server 2016 on the Cloud
  • Azure SQL Data Warehouse – Enterprise level scale-out, massively parallel processing, highly scalable database for both relational and non-relational data.
  • Azure Storage – scalable cloud storage (Blob Storage, Table Storage, Azure Queues and Azure Files)
  • Azure HDInsight – elastic map reduce (Hadoop as Service)

For more information about Azure services, see the Microsoft Azure website.

Microsoft Windows versions

Your Azure instance needs to be running a Microsoft operating system onto which you can install a Qlik Sense instance. Qlik Sense supports the following Windows operating systems for an Azure deployment:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019

Qlik Sense Enterprise

Install a single-node Qlik Sense server on your Azure instance.

Qlik Sense Enterprise configuration:

Use the QMC to configure the following:

  • Licensing

    • Tokens (only token-based license)
    • User access (token-based license) or Professional access (user-based license)
    • CPU cores
  • Security groups

Create a proxy setup for allowing HTTP access.

Other considerations

When you deploy Qlik Sense to Azure for the first time you should also consider the following.

Security

Use the Resource Manager to configure Azure security and the QMC to configure all security groups and authentication settings in Qlik Sense.

For more information about security, see AWS and Azure security, and for more on Qlik Sense security, see Qlik Sense Enterprise on Windows security

Connectivity

Qlik Sense applications can use the following Azure web services as data stores:

  • Azure SQL Database – SQL Server 2016 on the Cloud
  • Azure SQL Data Warehouse – enterprise level scale-out, massively parallel processing, highly scalable database for both, relational and non-relational data
  • Azure Storage – scalable cloud storage (Blob Storage, Table Storage, Azure Queues and Azure Files)
  • Azure HDInsight – elastic map reduce (Hadoop as Service)

In an Azure deployment you can use the following connectivity mechanisms to connect to different data sources:

  • ODBC connection
  • OLE DB connection
  • REST API connection
  • Native connector to a specific source

Connectivity scenarios:

  • Qlik Sense instance that uses data stored in Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.
  • Hybrid Qlik Sense instance - uses data stored in Azure data sources as well as data stored on premise.

For more information about connectivity, see Connecting to data sources.

Scalability and sizing

As your environment grows in terms of number of users, number and size of applications, and the number of data sources, it is important to understand how to size and scale your environment correctly. Resources need to be allocated correctly across the following Qlik Sense services:

  • Engine Service – The QIX engine, provides in-memory Associative Data Indexing and calculation supporting analysis
  • Proxy Service – Manages authentication, handles user sessions and load balancing
  • Repository Service –Manages Qlik Sense applications, controls access, and handles configuration
  • Scheduling Service – Manages reloads of Qlik Sense applications and other scheduled tasks
  • Service Dispatcher – Launch and manage the data profiling service for data load model, migration service to make sure the app can run in the installed version of Qlik (runs on the central node only) and chart sharing between two users

For more information about scalability, see the Qlik Sense Performance Benchmark technical brief.