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Securing your data beyond the physical realms using Storage Encryption

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

For most organisations having Raid protected storage is a given but what if your need complete piece of mind that your data is protected and “SECURE”

For some organisations Storage Encryption is not considered, and this can be for several reasons. It could simply be that there is a perception that the Encryption process will have an unwanted overhead, which may be deemed counterintuitive. It could be that there is just a lack of understanding as to what storage Encryption is and what it can give you.

So let’s take a look at what NetApp® offers.dsc_0122

NetApp® Storage Encryption (NSE) provides full-disk encryption and what’s more they do it without compromising storage efficiency or performance using self-encrypting drives supplied from some of the leading drive producers. NSE has the beauty of being a non-disruptive process that gives a comprehensive, cost effective, hardware-based level of security that has a very simplistic approach in its operation and usage. Although it is a simple solution to use it does not detract from its compliance with government and industry regulations. There is also no compromise on storage efficiency.

NetApp® uses full disk encryption (FDE) capable disks.  Data is not encrypted external to the disk drive itself – this is truly data at rest only.  Once in the controller or on the network, data is not encrypted. What makes this so good is that the encryption engine is built into the disk so all encryption takes place at close to line speed and therefore it does not give a performance penalty so whether your system uses encryption or not the performance will be the same. It is fair to say that encryption disks cost more then it will be a price point as to whether the cost is justified.

FDE disks have a requirement for a key to be generated and pushed down to the disk to enable encryption of data. FDE capable disks are available in a varying sizes from 600GB -1.2TB performance, 800GB and up SSDs, but there is the added advantage that if someone steals one drive or a complete set of drives without the key it is impossible to read the data.

So what exactly does NSE offer:

NSE supports the entire suite of storage efficiency technologies from NetApp. This includes array-based AntiVirus scanning, Deduplication, inline and post process compression. It also supports the SafeNet KeySecure encryption-key appliance, which strengthens and simplifies long-term key management. NSE complies with the OASIS KMIP standard and helps you comply with FISMA, HIPAA, PCI, Basel II, SB 1386 and E.U. Data protection Directive 95/46/EC regulations using FIPS 140-2 validated hardware


Pete Green
Fast Lane Lead NetApp Expert

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NetApp’s New OnTap 9 Features – introducing RAID-TEC

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

With the release of OnTap 9, NetApp have introduced RAID-TEC, or triple erasure coding. With RAID-TEC, up to three spinning disks or SSDs can be lost without impacting capacity or crucially without affecting performance, Fore said. “With the latest large-capacity drives 15TB SSD drives, the rebuild times can be really long,” so a third drive protection gives better stability during the rebuild duration. Historically when a drive failed and was being rebuilt from data and Parity there was always an overhead on performance during the rebuild process. With RAID-TEC the performance is not affected during rebuild.


Pete Green
NetApp Technical Instructor


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NetApp ONTAP 9 RC1 is now here!

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

That’s right – the next major release of ONTAP is now available.

So, why do you need ONTAP 9?

Well if your version of ONTAP is working for you, great. No need to change a thing. But, once you see some of the feature enhancements in ONTAP 9, you might have a change of heart…..

Features aplenty!

The list includes:na_authorized-learning-partner_2c_rgb-(002)

  • Support for 15TB SSD
  • Inline data compaction
  • SnapLock® software for data compliance
  • RAID-TEC triple-parity protection
  • Headroom for visibility of performance capacity
  • MetroCluster enhancements (8 nodes!)
  • Onboard key manager (Included for FREE)
  • FlexGroups (PVR only in 9.0)
  • Workgroup mode for CIFS/SMB
  • LDAP Signing and Sealing for CIFS/SMB
  • Kerberos 5p support
  • AFF Simplicity templates
  • SAN Optimized factory configurations
  • Performance improvements
  • ONTAP Select (4 nodes, HA failover, software defined storage!)
  • Faster failover times
  • Per-aggregate CPs
  • Filehandle preservation for SVM DR – no more re-mounting after cutover!
  • Volume rehost
  • Global FIPS mode for FIPS compliance
  • TLS 1.1/1.2 support
  • Increased per-node LIF limits (cluster-wide limit remains)

That’s a lot of bang for your buck!

To view our upcoming NetApp training schedule follow this url –

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