NetApp Takes an Enterprise-Class Approach to Mobile Computing

Michael Vizard

IT organizations have been struggling with a way to make corporate data securely available to users of multiple types of mobile computing devices for several years now. The problem is that most of the available approaches have relied on an outside-in approach to the problem rather than thinking in terms of how to make data on the inside of the corporation accessible in a way that maintains all the policies associated with who gets to view what data when.

NetApp today released a new NetApp Connect application that makes it easier for IT organizations to manage who gets to access data stored in NetApp storage systems from what type of mobile computing device.

Based on technology that NetApp gained via the acquisition of ionGrid earlier this year, NetApp Connect represents what NetApp describes as a truly enterprise-class approach to giving users of mobile computing devices access to corporate data.

According to Nick Triantos, senior director of mobile software at NetApp, the goal most organizations are trying to achieve is to strike a balance between the flexibility afforded by bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approaches to mobile computing and the need to make sure sensitive corporate data doesn’t fall in the wrong hands.

In addition, Triantos contends that in addition to allowing organizations to consistently apply policies to data, the NetApp approach winds up doing a much better job of preserving the fidelity of the data within the context of the application it was created. In contrast, rival approaches that are dependent on the mobile computing device to render the data will do so in a way that alters the way the information in any application was originally intended to be presented.

While there is a lot of interest these days in mobile computing in the enterprise, there is a tendency to think of it as a mobile computing problem rather than a data management issue. For example, NetApp recently proposed that a file sync capability should be included as part of the OpenStack cloud management standard.

In effect, NetApp is starting to remind people that regardless of the platform or device being used, at the end of the day, it always comes back to data management in one form or another.



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