Be Fearless with Work Data : NetApp Launches New iPad App for Office Compliance

The long-standing issue with BYOD is security — how to juggle cloud access with compliance in the enterprise, and who’s responsibility is this?  Storage solutions provider NetApp has taken on the burden, introducing a new application that enables end-users to view sensitive information from their mobile devices without fear of data leakage. The app is available on the App Store immediately, and will soon make its way to other platforms.

NetApp Connect creates a ‘container’ on the user’s iPhone or iPad to address enterprise compliance concerns and give IT full control over company data. This approach also keeps employees’ personal information beyond the reach of a curious intern.

“Security ought to be in the hands of IT,” explains Nick Triantos, senior director of Mobile Solutions at NetApp in a recent interview.  “Mobile employees, such as salespeople, field technicians, and executives, shouldn’t need to configure anything to work securely. By keeping everything in control of IT, a customer can ensure that all of their employees follow the rules.”

While IT bears the brunt of the responsibility for securing devices and data, that doesn’t mean end users should get the short end of the stick.  They deserve proper data management options, and protection as well.

“There are some approaches to enterprise mobility that try to secure too much of how I use my device,” Triantos goes on. “It shouldn’t matter to IT if I want to play a game, watch a video, or keep pictures of my kids on my mobile device. If a security solution is too heavy-handed, and ends up interfering with my personal use of the device, odds are good that employees will find ways to work around it.”

NetApp Connect leverages technology the vendor gained through the acquisition of ionGRID in February to access data stored in NetApp environments without a VPN setup or separate authentication. The app is also compatible with Citrix ShareFile and VMware Horizon, which means that users can seemingly share and collaborate behind their corporate firewall.

Integrating with partner solutions is a top priority for NetApp, ensuring BYOD security is enhanced at the storage level.  It’s software that’s making it all happen, and that represents a fresh opportunity for NetApp in the expanding world of software-defined storage solutions.  Other partners are getting in on the action.

Last month SanDisk announced that FlashSoft, its SSD-based caching solution, has been certified to run in environments that leverage NetApp’s ONTAP storage operating system.  SanDisk got its software certified two weeks after NetApp unveiled a file share prototype at the OpenStack Summit. The code serves as an interface between the cloud platform and a range of file-system types that are presently not supported in the project.