Virtualization Technology News and Information
VMblog's Expert Interviews: Catalogic Software Now Offering NetApp Tools from ProLion


Catalogic Software has entered into a new strategic partnership with a European-based software company, ProLion. This follows on their partnership with Storware announced in June of 2018. I checked in with Peter Eicher, Director of Marketing, to get the scoop.  

VMblog:  Let's kick things off with a quick summary of the news.

Peter Eicher: We're very excited about our new relationship with ProLion, a company based out of Austria that creates very valuable tools for NetApp storage administrators. The products we're offering cover ransomware, file index and search, plus data analytics. Each of these covers a specific challenge area for NetApp administrators in file environments. Catalogic will be the exclusive distributor for three products in North America.

VMblog:  Very interesting.  Ransomware is a topic on everyone's mind.  Why don't we cover that first?

Eicher: Sure. The product is called CryptoSpike, and it provides protection against ransomware outbreaks in NetApp file environments. As we know, ransomware attacks tend to enter organizations through users, who then end up spreading the infection across file shares. Millions of files can be encrypted in a short period of time.  CryptoSpike uses multiple approaches to identify attacks and stop them before they spread. 

VMblog:  What kind of technology does it use?  And can it help recover files as well?

Eicher: One approach is a black list. Every day the software updates with new, known ransomware signatures. This is similar to how anti-virus software works, and it provides a significant level of protection. But since you can't have a signature for a brand-new attack, it also uses a feature called the Learner Module that monitors user behavior. I'll give you an example. Say I'm a user working with files on NetApp shares. Normally, I write to maybe 10 or 15 files in an hour. Then I get infected with ransomware. Suddenly, I'm writing to maybe 1000 files a minute. CryptoSpike picks up this anomalous behavior and within seconds it blocks me from writing to the file share. So while a few files may have gotten encrypted, the ransomware spread is quickly blocked.  And then, since CryptoSpike knows just which files were written to, it can help you do a targeted recovery using NetApp snapshots. You don't have to roll back an entire volume because you know just which files have been affected.

VMblog:  That seems really useful.  What about the file index?   

Eicher: That product is called RestoreManager, and it tackles something that's been a pain for NetApp admins since forever. RestoreManager creates a searchable index of your files and snapshots of files, on primary storage, secondary storage or both. It has a whole host of search tools and filters that help you quickly find files anywhere in your environment. Then you just select the files and versions you want to recover, and click, it's done. You can restore back to the source or to an alternate location. NetApp tried building a similar solution a few years ago, but they cancelled it. So storage admins still don't have an answer to, "How do I find one file among many millions?" They do now. 

VMblog:  And the final product on data analytics?   

Eicher: The analytics product is called DataAnalyzer, appropriately enough! It does just what you'd expect. It pulls in meta-data about your NetApp file environment, and then turns out multiple reports on what it learns. The reports are in Excel so there's no extra reporting utility needed. DataAnalyzer really lets you understand what's out there in your file environment, which too often has become a giant corporate junk drawer. Do you really know how old your files are? What types of files are using the most space? Who are your biggest space consumers?  DataAnalyzer gives you easy answers to these questions. We've seen users gain huge storage savings by finally being able to identify old junk and target it for deletion, or archiving it to tape or cloud.

VMblog:  How are these products licensed?  And do I have to figure out how many files I have?

Eicher: Not at all. The licensing is super simple. It's all based on NetApp controller. Pricing is tiered by different sized controllers, but all you have to license is the controller itself. It doesn't matter how many files you have, or how much storage, or if you add disk shelves. So you're not left guessing how much it's going to cost. Licensing is by monthly subscription, with a minimum purchase of one year. And each product costs the same. There are discounts for longer terms or purchasing multiple products, but in any case, the licensing is simple and straight forward. No surprises.


Published Wednesday, March 27, 2019 7:09 AM by David Marshall
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