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Streamlining Private Data Handling Deployment with Alteryx on AWS

Technology   |   Deep Patel   |   Mar 21, 2024

Businesses are increasingly relying on secure and efficient data management solutions to fuel their decision-making processes. Many businesses, including those in highly regulated spaces or those handling confidential data, require Private Data Handling (PDH).

What is private data handling? PDH ensures that all data stays within the company’s hosted cloud environment instead of being transferred to a third-party hosted cloud environment for analytics. This data control and security level is crucial for organizations dealing with sensitive information.

At Alteryx, we understand the critical importance of data security and accessibility. With the introduction of Alteryx’s Private Data Handling feature within Alteryx Analytic Cloud, we have paved the way for a groundbreaking solution that empowers our customers to have full control over their data storage and processing. Through Alteryx PDH, our customers now have the capability to establish and manage their own Alteryx analytics environment, seamlessly hosted within their preferred cloud infrastructure, ensuring that their valuable data never departs from their secure cloud environment.

The challenge: complexity in deploying a PDH backend environment

When implementing a Private Data Handling environment, the challenge arises in creating a backend network with the necessary Identity and Access Management (IAM) user permissions. Initially, customers had to navigate through Amazon Web Services (AWS) to deploy a CloudFormation template. This process demanded a deep understanding of AWS networking and identity access management, often necessitating customers to learn how to run multiple CloudFormation templates for setting up the virtual private cloud and IAM dependencies.

The solution: making PDH deployment easier and more flexible

Our Professional Services team at Alteryx recognized the need to simplify the PDH deployment process, and to achieve this, we introduced a multifaceted solution:

1. Terraform integration

We converted the CloudFormation template into Terraform code, offering customers a more flexible and user-friendly option. The benefits of Terraform over CloudFormation are numerous, including easier-to-read code, multi-cloud compatibility, and the ability to easily customize the network. This transition significantly reduced the complexity associated with setting up a Private Data Handling environment.

2. User-friendly front-end interface

To further streamline the deployment process, we developed a user-friendly front-end interface. This interface empowers customers to input key values such as a state file bucket name, user access keys, and region, without having to deal with code in CloudFormation or Terraform. This means users can apply or destroy the PDH environment without the need to download any additional packages or tools like Terraform executables, Python packages, and the AWS command line interface. Our interface makes it easily accessible by allowing customers to access a web URL and instantly spin up their cloud infrastructure for private data handling.

Setting up private data handling

Here are some example screenshots of the interface you would see when setting up PDH

Easy access URL:

Once you access the URL to deploy the backend environment, you can choose between the three major cloud providers to deploy private data handling. Currently, we support AWS, with Azure support planned for release in May 2024.

Selecting the AWS icon, you will be taken to a screen to enter in the necessary details to deploy the backend environment for private data handling.

Easy-to-use UI

Just by entering a couple of values and hitting submit, an entire network and permission set is created on AWS to deploy Alteryx Private Data Handling.

Monitoring and logging – After clicking submit, logs are generated of what is being created in the AWS account. There are features to download logs and access keys, which will be used to deploy the private data handling resources for Alteryx Analytics Cloud.

After your PDH infrastructure has been successfully set up, the Alteryx Professional Services team will seamlessly proceed by utilizing the logs and access keys generated in the previous step. They will then take care of the entire process, including installing your Alteryx Analytics Cloud Products within your private environment, establishing secure connections to your data sources, and initiating your first use case. This step-by-step guidance ensures a smooth transition into your cloud analytics journey, making the entire process both effortless and comprehensive.

Improving customer experience

Our innovative approach to Private Data Handling deployment significantly enhances the deployment experience in several ways:

  • Simplicity: Customers deploying PDH no longer need to be AWS experts or wrestle with complex CloudFormation templates. They can easily deploy PDH environments with just a few clicks, and without downloading any sort of packages to their computer.
  • Flexibility: Terraform offers greater flexibility, allowing customers to tailor the network to their specific needs and preferences.
  • Accessibility: The user-friendly front-end interface eliminates the need to download additional software, making the deployment process more accessible to a broader audience.
  • Efficiency: Customers can deploy their PDH environments more quickly, resulting in improved operational efficiency.

The future of private data handling

Alteryx is committed to providing the best solutions to our customers. In line with this commitment, we’re working on expanding our Private Data Handling to other major cloud providers, including Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). This will ensure that our customers have the freedom to choose their preferred cloud environment while benefiting from the simplicity and flexibility of our PDH solution.

With the introduction of Terraform integration and the user-friendly front-end interface, we’ve made it easier than ever for our customers to maintain control over their data, and we look forward to further expanding our offerings to Azure and GCP, solidifying our position as a leader in cloud analytics and data management.

To learn more about how Alteryx Professional Services can help implement PDH, reach out to the Professional Services team.

About Alteryx professional services

The Alteryx Professional Services team is a group of trusted advisors who can assist you as you define, develop, and execute your vision for the Alteryx platform. We can help accelerate your analytics capabilities through deployment and migration, creating process control and governance frameworks, building automation efficiencies, or developing custom analytic solutions. Get in touch if you want help on your analytic journey!