Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NetApp Releases NetApp Connect

NetApp today released "NetApp Connect 4.0", a rebranded and updated product from the acquisition of ionGrid. This mobile information management (MIM) software allows enterprise users to access files from Microsoft SharePoint 2013, 2010, or 2007 and CIFS file shares using Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.) -- without migrating those files to a public cloud provider or using VPN software.

When a user starts the app on their mobile device, the app connects to a messaging broker and begins communicating with the NetApp Connect server. The server analyzes information such as file formats, policies governing user's file access, and rules governing the processing of different types of files. The server then serves file information back to the mobile app, generates thumbnails for files on the mobile app, and renders the images or pages of the file.

NetApp Connect can scale from a single machine servicing a small user population to a large, multiserver installation with thousands of concurrent users. It can be deployed differently, depending on performance goals, flexibility goals, and different data pathways.

The NetApp Connect server consists of several software components that are standalone Java or Erlang applications, which can be deployed on a single virtual machine or physical server running Windows Server 2008 R2 with the latest service pack. The NetApp Connect server installation wizard provides these components:

Apache Tomcat
Apache Tomcat is an enterprise Java application container used to host two components: the Administrative Dashboard and the Application Boot Manager. Both applications are deployed as web application resource (WAR) files. While the Administrative Dashboard can be hosted in a central Tomcat installation, the ABM and thus Tomcat must run on each node in the system. Neither component relies on proprietary Tomcat extensions, so they can run under other application containers. Only Tomcat 6.0.33 has been tested, and it is included in the installation.
Erlang is a programming language typically used to develop highly scalable and reliable distributed applications. RabbitMQ is written in Erlang, so Erlang is required on each node. Erlang R15B03 is included in the installation.
Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
The JRE v6 or later must be installed on every node in the system. It is included with the installation.
Microsoft .NET
The server that hosts the Asset Operator requires Microsoft .NET v3.5, which is included in the installation.
Microsoft Office
The server that hosts the Asset Operator requires Microsoft Office Professional.
PostgreSQL or Microsoft SQL Server
PostgreSQL stores two data collections: system configuration information and per-document information. NetApp Connect uses PostgreSQL for data storage and can work either in a local installation or on a remote server in a shared infrastructure. NetApp Connect provides the PostgreSQL JDBC driver as part of its installation package. NetApp Connect has been tested using PostgreSQL 9.0.x and 9.1.x.  Alternately, NetApp Connect works with Microsoft SQL Server. If you use Microsoft SQL Server, you do not need PostgreSQL.
RabbitMQ is the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) message broker that enables all nodes within the system to communicate. It is required on every node. RabbitMQ Server v3.0.2 is included in the installation.

NetApp Connect also requires an LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) connection, which will typically be Microsoft Active Directory. NetApp notes that the generic LDAP authenticator might not work in all Active Directory configurations, where multiple domains are used with local domain groups.

NetApp Connect is available to quote and order today.