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RackTop Systems, Seagate launch secure NAS

RackTop Secure Data Protection Platform transfers data to cloud or other storage systems. It is intended for enterprises with compliance requirements.

With cybersecurity and the looming General Data Protection Regulation rapidly gaining IT attention, RackTop Systems...

and Seagate are launching a hybrid NAS with native tools for compliance and encryption.

The RackTop Secure Data Protection Platform (SDP2), introduced last week, is based on RackTop's BrickStor unified storage and MyRack Manager operating system. The storage is designed as a drop-in to storage systems that must comply with evolving data protection regulations.

SDP2 uses Seagate OneStor enclosures and Seagate FIPS-compliant self-encrypting drives.

RackTop Systems is a 7-year-old vendor that specializes in highly secure storage for customers in government and regulated industries. The Seagate partnership was launched last year. Along with the SPD2 storage hardware, Seagate provides a secure supply chain from assembly to manufacturing and delivery.

Secure data protection, compliance put pressure on storage admins

BrickStor is RackTop's flagship product, designed with five hybrid storage pools known as "strata" to place data intelligently across DRAM, NAND flash and disk. BrickStor serves most I/O requests from DRAM.

SPD2 embeds automated cybersecurity and compliance tools more deeply in BrickStor, including always-on ransomware alerts, multiple encryption keys and policy-based data protection. System tracking audits the behaviors of end users to thwart data exfiltration from insider threats.

"We take the advanced security and compliance components you typically find in software or at the edge of a network and merged those capabilities directly into the storage system. We can protect the data where it lives," said Eric Bednash, CEO at RackTop Systems, based in Fulton, Md.

Enterprise users can share data via standard NFS, SMB and iSCSI protocols. MyRack allows data to move transparently from an SDP2 system to any S3-compatible cloud, or to a secondary storage system. Location of the data is tracked in metadata tables that are maintained on the SPD2 storage array.

The RackTop-Seagate storage comes as new regulations spur demand for systems that better tie together security and storage. That includes rules from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Encompass Digital Media Inc. was a beta tester for SPD2. Encompass has used previous BrickStor arrays to support video and animation projects for customers in advertising, broadcasting and digital communications. Encompass CIO Jon Bourke said the combination of fast storage with compliance and data protection opens up new market opportunities for his company.

"Having compliance built into the core RackTop platform lets us support healthcare and other industries that need to protect personally identifiable information. If you live in fear of [exposing] consumer data, like I do, having a built-in compliance layer is really helpful," Bourke said.

Bourke said he has tested other scale-out storage, but those systems require third-party software to encrypt data at rest, which can degrade performance. Encompass is based in Atlanta, but has offices in Europe, Asia and South America, which means it deals with a variety of regional regulations.

"One of the beauties of RackTop is it gives you the tools to deal with GDPR at the native storage level," Bourke said. "It gives you [tools to manage] data sovereignty, the ability to track where data is and meet all the compliance levels, with pretty much zero performance overhead."

The Secure Data Protection Platform is sold as a two-node cluster, available in all-flash or hybrid configurations. Storage scales to 4 PB per node in 2U. Each node provides 1.4 TB of cache.

RackTop Systems does not support expanded clusters. Customers can buy multiple configurations and manage each separately in the MyRack management pane.

"We have customers that have deployed two or three of those types of systems that they manage universally, but the data exists in each of those systems individually," Bednash said. 

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