NetApp Acquires ionGrid for Mobile File and Content Access

Posted on February 14, 2013 By Pedro Hernandez

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NetApp, while disclosing its third quarter earnings (3Q13) yesterday, announced yesterday that it has completed the acquisition of ionGrid, a Mountain View, Calif.-based software company. Financial terms were not disclosed

ionGrid's platform, called Stratos (formerly Nexus), provides mobile and remote users with cloud-like access to files and content that reside on an organization's storage systems without keeping copies of the data on a third-party cloud server. The company's technology offers iPad users VPN-bypassing, direct access to SharePoint, EMC Documentum, Alfresco, and FileNet environments.

According to the company, the software works by creating "a secure 'container' in the iPad or iPhone that acts like a virtual hacker-proof wall, separating applications accessed by Stratos from other personal iPad or iPhone data and apps such as Angry Birds, Dropbox, or Facebook."

Similarly, it allows tablet-toting workers to access business applications and "critical systems behind the firewall such as your CRM/SFA, order processing, or even Microsoft SharePoint files directly from the iPhone or iPad."

For NetApp, the deal enables the storage vendor to align its portfolio with the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend that's rocking the IT industry.

In a company blog post, ionGrid founder and CEO Nick Triantos wrote, "Almost two years ago I wrote ionGrid’s first blog post where I proudly proclaimed, 'ionGrid’s mission is simple: Make tablet computing awesome for the enterprise'. We believe software should be easy to use, and customers should love the experience of working with our products and our company.'"

Today, NetApp gets to build off the ioGrid's innovations to enable enterprise-grade, secure mobile access to business information.

Triantos also hinted at the areas NetApp will be tackling as it integrates Stratos into its product mix. "Our early customers taught us a lot over the last two years and helped us identify significant shortcomings that needed to be solved in order to satisfy users and maintain consistent security and compliance standards," blogged Triantos.

Some of those shortcomings include user authentication that doesn't replicate login to the cloud, hacker-proof data transport and policy control flexibility, according to Triantos.

NetApp isn't alone in delivering cloud-like access to files and content residing in on-premise storage systems.

Since acquiring Syncplicity last year, EMC has begun integrating Syncplicity's file sharing and sync tech with Isilon NAS and EMC Atmos systems. Like ionGrid, EMC's Syncplicity-enabled storage systems allow organizations to provide their mobile users access to files without running the risk that it will leak from a third party cloud storage provider.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.


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