How Safe Harbor Resonates with the Data Fabric Vision



In October, Martin Warren shared how NetApp’s Data Fabric is empowering thousands of companies across the 28 member countries in the European Union to maintain control of their data through the Safe Harbor initiative.


With the explosion of data in today’s world, ensuring that our data is secure and well-protected from cyber threats is an ongoing battle. The Safe Harbor policy safeguards the interests of organizations and our Data Fabric is setting the right infrastructure for them to control and ensure privacy of customers’ data in the hybrid cloud. I am pleased to share this very insightful blog with all of you!


By Martin Warren, Product, Solutions and Alliances Marketing EMEA team


I was at a major UK trade show last week, talking with many senior IT people about how they see the cloud opportunity, but also about their concerns around security and data privacy - particularly in light of the recent EU court ruling on the use of Safe Harbor across the 28 member countries.


For many organizations this will mean a thorough investigation of where and how their data is stored to make sure they are meeting the correct levels of governance and data privacy. The challenge for some will be finding out whether the cloud service providers are compliant and if not how they repatriate their data to either bring it back in-house, or push it back out to another service provider who is. Also, from a data privacy perspective, it’s not just about ensuring data is properly protected and secured, but also about knowing where all instances of that data are stored and having the right levels of policy management available to control access, retention and deletion.


A Vision Close to Customer Reality


For me this ruling provides absolute validation of NetApp’s Data Fabric vision for the hybrid cloud in that for around five years now we have been strongly advocating that organizations think very carefully about the merits of separating the cloud compute from their cloud data. At its heart, our vision for the Data Fabric is about empowering organizations to be able to control their data to make sure that their data is in the right place, at the right cost and with the right levels of data security and protection. Furthermore, as technologies, suppliers, and business strategies inevitably change over time, the data fabric with its inter-connected software approach to data management provides the necessary flexibility to adapt to the prevailing needs of the day.


Enhanced Data Privacy and Security


With NetApp Private Storage for Cloud for instance, data can be 100% separated from the cloud by housing the storage element in a cloud colocation provider which is connected by a low-latency link to a so called, cloud hyperscaler (AWS, Microsoft Azure, or IBM SoftLayer) for the compute element. By using this ‘next to the cloud’ approach data sovereignty is never an issue since the data is securely held in-country and is in essence treated in a similar way to if it were stored in a private data centre. This approach is very well illustrated in this recent blog from my colleague: Herbert Bild in which he outlines what our customer: DARZ is doing in Germany.


Walking the Talk


I’ve worked in IT long enough now to know that sometimes the advice given to those outside of the company is not always replicated in the way that things are run internally… As a responsible and forward thinking data management specialist, NetApp took the strategic decision eight years ago to invest in local compliance for our own operations in Europe, as opposed to the easier and less costly Safe Harbor option taken by many other IT vendors. Basically, it’s a case of ‘walking the talk’, which when combined with our deep understanding of all aspects of data management means that with NetApp you can be rest-assured you are in safe hands.


Data Fabric is NetApp’s vision for the future of data management. It gives you the freedom to seamlessly manage your data across the hybrid cloud. You can move data where you need it most, innovate faster, and always make the best decisions for you and your organization.


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