by Adam Armstrong

NetApp & Azure Partner On Cloud Security

Today at NetApp INSIGHT 2019 in Vegas, NetApp announced it is deepening its partnership with Microsoft Azure with new efforts on Azure NetApp Files for Azure Government and FedRAMP certification. The company is also announcing new security features for its NetApp HCI solutions. The new security features are all around safeguarding data fabric across the most demanding industries and regulations.

The story behind public cloud adoption is a colorful and interesting one, especially from a news organizations perspective. A decade or so ago, it would be difficult to convince many companies to go the public cloud option, one of the larger concerns was security (though performance was right up there). As time went on the big boys, Azure, AWS, Google cloud, proved themselves out to be secure from outside threats. In today’s environments, most companies use as least one public cloud, with a large chunk using several. However, all the threats and issues don’t come from the outside, and there is where NetApp enters this equation. 

Other issues on the cloud front can be meeting compliance with regulations; this can be especially tricky for clouds if the data has to be stored in a specific physical location. Organizations also need to worry about unapproved internal access to data that could be nefarious or accidental but in either case lead to security breaches. NetApp states that it is in a great position to enables users to know who is touching data and where it is stored by leveraging its NetApp Cloud Insights. Cloud Insights is a multivendor, multi-cloud monitoring and optimization service now extends to security and compliance, applying analytics and machine learning to the patterns of who is accessing files and data. This solution looks at both internal and external issues that appear suspicious or violate rules or policies anywhere in the hybrid cloud. 

Along with the updated NetApp Cloud Insights, NetApp also announce the new NetApp Cloud Compliance service. This service monitors native cloud storage in the public cloud. NetApp Cloud Compliance integrates with Cloud Volumes ONTAP, which provides data management and data protection for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud block and object storage. The service leverages AI to identify and classify sensitive data such as payment card information (PCI), personal health information (PHI) like patient data, and personally identifiable information (PII) and to make sure that it is being stored and used only in the clouds that were intended. The service makes sure the right data goes to the right place to ensure compliances and hit mandates such as GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California.

As stated, NetApp Files is available on Azure through a collaboration with Microsoft. Azure NetApp Files will soon be available in Azure Government, a much more demanding and security focused service for sensitive data used my governments. This will be made possible through FedRAMP certification for Azure NetApp Files in both Azure Government and the other dozen Azure regions that are available. Other security features mentioned above include an external key management and FIPS 140-2 compliance to both NetApp HCI and SolidFire solutions, making the solutions more ideal for government, finance, and healthcare.


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