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Alay
Helper I
Helper I

Power BI Personal Data Gateway architecture

Hello fellow Power BI Users,

 

My colleagues and I are comparing the Personal Data Gateway architecture to the Data Sources we defined in the Power BI for O365. We only have On-Prem data sources.

 

The Power BI for O365 does not have any dependencies on a user's laptop to refresh. You publish the report or visualization and it gets refreshed when it's supposed to. Now, there's a dependency on every users laptop to be online before the refresh can occur. Why is that? Are there any plans to change it or enhance the functionality so a SQL Server Database on an Azure VM will also not require a Personal Data Gateway?

 

Tks & Rgds,

 

Alay

11 REPLIES 11
mwherman2000
New Member

Does anyone have a good Power BI/Power BI gateway architecture diagram? ...detailed down to at least the "Windows service" level?

 

Best regards,

Michael Herman (Toronto)

Greg_Deckler
Super User
Super User

Power BI for O365 had a Data Management Gateway that was effectively the same as Power BI 2.0's Personal Gateway. You had to install somewhere in order to refresh certain on-premises data sources.

 

You can install the Personal Gateway in some central location as long as it has connectivity to the on-premises data sources.


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So is there an article on how we can install the data gateway on a VM that can be shared by all users within the enterprise?

@Alay

You can find details about how to set up the Personal Gateway here.


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@Seth_C_Bauer Thank you for the suggestion. I checked out this article and it is exactly what I already set up. It does not help with the central / alternative install suggested by @Greg_Deckler

In all of my cases, I have generally just had a single gateway and Power BI would find an available gateway and assign the data source to use it. Now, may be mixing some technologies here because Power BI for O365 definitely did this and I had an admin screen, etc. where I could see all of my gateways and manage them. Haven't seen that for Power BI 2.0 so I'll have to play with it and see if it still works like Power BI for O365. I have my hesitations though since it was rebranded "Personal...".


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Yes. There is a central location for Gateways and Data Sources in Power BI Admin Center (while using Power BI for Office 365.) For powerbi.microsoft.com, everyone has to install a personal data gateway on their laptops. The plus side is you can only see the data you are allowed to so if your windows or SQL account does not have the right permissions, you cannot view the data. On the negative side, refreshes don't work when your laptop is turned off and I can't find any articles talking about any alternative supported implementation. There has to be a central refresh mechanism for a set of dashboards or reports that the organization needs refreshed without depending on each individual's gateway working right etc. What if the users are not that tech savy to validate all that? Can someone from the Power BI development team kindly assist me with this question?

 

Tks & Rgds,

 

Alay

@Alay You know, this kind of "fits" with my overall impression of the two Power BI services. I have been scratching my head about it for a long time and your post triggered a thought that I think explains it. The original Power BI for O365 was geared toward MS's typical customer, the enterprise, and thus it had enterprise features. But, trying to break into enterprise BI with an almost purely cloud based service is really hard. I think the new approach is targeted to individuals and get individuals and departments hooked on it, sort of the "shadow IT" that has always existed with Excel. A lot easier to break into that market.

 

Eh, maybe not...


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My understanding is that the personal gateway is not the final sate.  I think it is safe to assume that a lot more enterprise grade gateway functionality is coming.

topry
Frequent Visitor

So, the only gateway available for v2 is the personal gateway and each user that creates a dataset that requires a gateway for local files / supported connections must EACH install a personal gateway?

 

We are using O365 Enterprise and started testing with the original PowerBI and installed a gateway on a server which the admins can see/manage and any dataset from any user could use, but that does not appear possible (currently) in v2 - is that correct?

 

andre
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

that's correct, the data management gateway works for Power BI in Office 365, the only way to refresh data in PowerBI.com is to use the Personal gateway.  I would expect a more robust gateway solution to be available soon.

 

As companies move more and more of their workloads in Azure a robust integration of data flow between on premise and the cloud becomes more and more important and there is no questions that Microsoft realizes that. 

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