Yeah Baby – Now My Data Is Mobile, Too!

By Ingo Fuchs, Senior Manager, Marketing


For years we mobile workers have struggled with getting access to “our” corporate data, always hoping that IT departments would figure out a way to make our lives easier – or at least trying not to get caught using our favorite tools (I’m looking at you Dropbox). You know who you are - you spend more time in airports, meeting rooms and hotels than at home. When you walk into a bar in a Silicon Valley hotel the bartender pours your favorite beer as soon as you walk in, knows you by name and your favorite vacation destination.


Today, with its sights clearly on us mobile users, NetApp announced a new product, enabling secure, mobile access to corporate data, called NetApp Connect.


NetApp Connect consists of essentially two components.


First – a server component that runs in your organizations’ data center (on-premise) and takes care of authentication (integrated with your existing infrastructure, so no new passwords to remember), streaming of content (like office docs and intranet applications) and policy enforcement (what you are allowed to access and how).


Second – a client app that runs on your mobile device and provides the sleek, native app experience we mobile users have come to expect.


So what do you do with NetApp Connect? I use it to access all of my corporate content from my iPad mini and iPhone. Everything I need to access sits either in my home directory, file shares, SharePoint sites or behind intranet applications (such as intranet pages, CRM and ERP tools, etc.). These are all supported data sources in NetApp Connect. I tap on a file to open it and I can review/present/annotate/comment as I please (as long as I have the right permissions), or use the built-in browser to get to my intranet sites without needing clunky VPN access.


A typical use case for me is presenting slides on the road. I now only bring my iPad and a display adapter to plug it into a projector. NetApp Connect provides pixel-perfect rendering, which means that I can easily present my slides without the awkward mis-renders that you usually get from native viewers (you know what I am talking about – diagrams all messed up, wrong fonts, bullets using Cyrillic for some reason and the like). With pixel-perfect rendering everything looks exactly right, even when I zoom into a spreadsheet or Word document.


The best part is that all of “my” content is always stored and brought back to where it should sit – storage systems inside the corporate data center. I don’t have to worry about outdated data or running backups. I can have offline copies when needed (don’t you wish every plane had WiFi?), but everything is brought back to the corporate data center when I get back online.


NetApp Connect combines the ease-of-use of your typical mobile experience with the control, data protection and compliance enforcement desired by IT.


Go check it out – we have a video demo ready for you here:


And watch the product in action here:


Safe travels!




Follow me on Twitter: @ingofuchs

Check out my blog: Data Bingo

on ‎2013-06-21 01:45 PM

Great app, but should have built in some more security functions like application management (white list, black list) and even device control to avoid abusing specific device features, otherwise you still need another app "type MDM" to do that management ...

NetApp Employee on ‎2013-06-24 01:06 PM

Thanks for your comment. The philosophy behind NetApp Connect is to create a secure container on your device, so your data remains in a secure location. This way, you don't have to perform MDM-like functions like wiping the entire device when it is lost or compromised. This addresses the concerns that end users in BYOD environments have - they don't want IT departments to have the power to wipe your device and remove data from your (personal!) device. This approach also avoids blacklisting applications as all network functions are inside NetApp Connect, eliminating the need for VPN and the resulting wide-open door into your network for malicious apps. So NetApp Connect solves the problem for enabling secure access to corporate data from mobile devices in a different way - through a secure, convenient app on your device that provides encrypted and safe access to corporate data. So in a way NetApp Connect protects and manages data, where traditional MDM tools protect and manage devices.

Hope this helps,


on ‎2013-06-29 03:18 AM

Hi Ingo, thanks for the reaction but I'm still not convinced. As malicious apps will always "improve", I think enterprises really do need some device protection as well. For instance just to be sure nobody tries to get away with  credentials by taking taps or screenshots or whatever even before you are in the container... I'm sure Netapp Connect is a great app, but IMO it would be a killer enterprise app if it would integrate some device management in just one single touch and this way 100% preventing device abuse by some of those "password stealing malapps” whereof one can be sure that they will get around some day... JMHO of course ...