So the Preacher Says to the Choir...

NetApp states the obvious in security pitch, but there's potential for coolness here

November 16, 2005

2 Min Read
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That's the way it started to sound as Network Appliance rolled out a broad-based security strategy last week.

I know its just the latest in a long line of marketing gambits. Still, one of the central tenets of NetApp's new strategy is that customers are just waking up to the vulnerability of enterprise data. (See NetApp Unveils Initiative.) That’s a bit audacious, and in my opinion, really off-base.

What I found even more striking about NetApp’s Uncompromised Security Initiative is that the vendor itself seems to be waking up to the value of its Decru division, acquired last June. Decru’s DataFort line leads the security storage market by a couple of different measures – encryption strength and government certification.

And to my mind, that makes a better story than recycled headlines of data loss. Indeed, while they’re at it, why shouldn't NetApp take it a step further and combine storage security with the policy and network management aspects of NetApp’s Ontap framework?

I'm not talking about a general positioning statement, as NetApp made with its USI last week. Instead, it would be great to see specific new software packages that make it easier to store stuff securely and retrieve it without spending the better part of a day, or a small fortune.Enterprises know data is at risk, especially the oft-cited data at rest, stored in an archive on or offsite. They know they risk fines, embarrassment, share price erosion, and lost revenue if data is compromised. They’re well aware of the threat from hackers and insiders looking to profit, or just vandalize. So while it’s commendable that NetApp wants to educate the market, the market is smarter than that. It could use more tools and less on the vision thing.

Either offline or in its quarterly earnings tomorrow, I’m sure NetApp will move to assure us all that such tools are coming. For enterprise customers, that would be welcome news to wake up to – and it can’t come soon enough.

— Terry Sweeney, Editor in Chief, Byte and Switch

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