Data management and storage solutions provider NetApp in June launched AltaVault Cloud-Integrated Storage, a backup and archiving platform for enterprise-class data protection.
NetApp Africa systems engineering manager Sven Hansen tells Engineering News that the AltaVault enables organisations to securely and efficiently protect valuable business data in a cost- effective way that leverages cloud economics.
“The business challenge of managing large data growth, which is estimated at 52% year-on-year, can be addressed using the AltaVault appliance to back up critical business data to the local appliance and then migrate the data to a cloud provider of choice,” says Hansen.
This enables organisations to restore data up to 32 times faster, with a 90% reduction in costs. “By leveraging the Advanced Encryption System 256 bit encryption technology, the data confidentiality, integrity and availability are always maintained . . . ensuring compliance with local Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards and Protection of Personal Information regulations.
Hansen notes that the AltaVault appliance was originally designed by US-based technology vendor Riverbed, under the SteelStore brand, which was acquired by NetApp last year. He adds that the NetApp engineering teams improved the design by enhancing the operating system and integration points earlier this year for its market release.
“AltaVault effectively delivers a single pane of management for virtually any storage iteration – whether public, private or hybrid cloud; converged or hyperconverged infrastructure; or hyperscale integration,” says Hansen, adding that the product can be used in either the physical or virtual appliance form.
AltraVault can also be used with NetApp Cloud ONTAP, a software-only storage appliance that can access and manage data centres from the cloud, enabling clients to automate data movement using their cloud service providers.
Hansen asserts that cloud services are relatively secure, noting that cloud service providers typically offer encryption of data in transit and encryption of data at rest: “Therefore, cybercriminals or hackers will not be able to view this data if it’s intercepted or stolen.”
However, Hansen adds that the more common security “hole” in the cloud could be on the user’s device that is used to access the cloud service. For example, a problem could arise with a weak password or single -factor authentication.
Hansen tells Engineering News that current global economic trends require organisations to improve their operating efficiency and to “do more with less”. He further notes that shrinking information technology budgets are one of the major challenges currently facing the industry.
He, therefore, believes that the best way forward is to leverage cloud solutions to help organisations provide services across platforms and at a competitive price, thereby addressing the need for increased storage capacity application requirements. “[This is] coupled with the need to innovate in the most cost-effective ways possible.”
Another notable trend currently impacting on the industry is the Internet of Things (IoT), which refers to electronics-, software- and sensor-embedded objects, such as machinery, cars, baby monitors and refrigerators, which can access networks to collect and exchange data.
“IoT is growing significantly and covers a broad array of machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies that will eventually feed into data analytics engines,” says Hansen.
He adds that M2M interaction is gaining momentum and, as a result, it has become progressively more likely that these machines are vulnerable to hacking.
Hansen believes that adhering to best practice for securing these systems “will be a solid first step to protecting the data”.
He notes that organisations’ security policies and practice need to be synchronised because “the best security plans mean very little when these are not implemented and checked continuously”.