NetApp Advances Public Cloud Strategy With New Spot Security Service

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NetApp Inc. today launched Spot Security, a new cybersecurity service aimed at advancing the company’s efforts to grow its public cloud business to $ 1 billion in annual recurring revenue over the next several years.

NetApp, a publicly traded company, is best known as a supplier of storage systems for enterprise data centers. Like other data center vendors, the company is increasingly shifting the focus of its product roadmap to the public cloud as more of its corporate customers move workloads offsite.

Spot Security is a cybersecurity service designed specifically to protect public cloud environments. It maps all the components of a cloud environment and identifies resources with insecure configuration parameters that could potentially be used by hackers to launch cyber attacks. Spot Security also detects abnormal user behavior that suggests a breach may have occurred.

One of the most valuable features of the service is that it not only detects potential cybersecurity issues, but also prioritizes them. A common challenge for IT teams is that their cybersecurity tools generate a large number of alerts about issues with low probability of leading to a data breach, if at all. Administrators spend a significant portion of their workweek investigating false positives instead of solving more pressing issues. According to NetApp, Spot Security’s ability to uncover the most serious vulnerabilities makes it easier for IT teams to work.

Spot Security determines the most pressing issues by analyzing the topology of a company’s cloud environment. The service maps how a vulnerable resource is connected to other components in the environment to estimate the impact of a potential breach. Spot Security makes decisions by evaluating several types of operational data, including information about network traffic and user activity, as well as data from cloud providers’ application programming interfaces.

The ability to quickly find and resolve cybersecurity issues is especially important in the public cloud, as organizations’ deployments change often, sometimes multiple times a day. Every configuration change or application update has the potential to introduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities into an environment. Problems need to be detected and resolved quickly before hackers find them.

One of the reasons cloud environments change often is the growing adoption of continuous integration and continuous delivery tools, or CI / CD, among enterprise software teams. CI / CD tools automate the manual work historically involved in updating an application so much that developers can now release new code every few hours. More frequent code updates mean more opportunities for vulnerabilities to find their way into the environment.

Applications running in a cloud environment are not the only computing resources that are updated frequently. In some cases, the resources of the underlying infrastructure are also changed on a regular basis.

Many organizations are reducing their cloud bills by using Spot Instances, which are essentially excess capacity in cloud provider data centers. Spot Instances cost less than standard VMs, but have a problem: Cloud providers can reclaim excess capacity on short notice if they need it. When this happens, an enterprise’s Spot Instances shut down, which is one of the factors why the configuration of enterprise cloud infrastructure resources can change quite often.

Helping businesses use Spot Instances is a key focus for NetApp’s Spot business unit, the developer of the brand new Spot Security service. The unit became part of the business through an acquisition last year. Along with the new cybersecurity service, Spot offers tools that make it easier for businesses to use Point Instances and help them run software container clusters.

“We will leverage NetApp’s credibility in the marketplace and we will use Spot as a brand to lean forward and lead with cloud native applications,” Amiram Shachar, senior vice president and general manager of Spot, noted on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE shortly after the startup was acquired by NetApp in 2020. Shachar founded Spot in 2015.

The unit has become a central part of NetApp’s strategy to place greater emphasis on the public cloud in its growth strategy. The company’s Public Cloud revenue segment, of which Spot is a part, jumped up rose 155% year-on-year last quarter to $ 79 million. Chairman and CEO of NetApp, George Kurian Recount investors in August that the plan is to increase annual recurring revenue for public cloud products to $ 1 billion by the company’s fiscal year 2025.

Kurian said NetApp intends to deliver “the best organic and inorganic innovations” to advance the effort. The reference to inorganic innovations suggests that the company could make more acquisitions. NetApp had acquired three startups last year and, in June, purchased Kubernetes-based analytics and machine learning specialist, Data Mechanics.

Photo: NetApp

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