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RackTop Systems, Seagate deepen partnership for secure NAS

RackTop Systems and Seagate are offering more in turnkey storage appliances and private cloud integration, combining security software into primary storage devices.

RackTop Systems and Seagate are deepening their partnership around secure primary storage offerings, with RackTop providing security software and Seagate providing hardware for on-premises and hybrid NAS appliances. 

RackTop Systems' BrickStor SP software is now being combined with Seagate's Exos E JBOD systems, Exos X Fibre Channel and iSCSI SANs and Exos Corvault block storage. The partnership provides functionality so that BrickStor, for example, can now integrate with Seagate Lyve Cloud object storage for tiering off to Amazon S3 for retention. Previously in 2018, the two companies partnered with a focus on encryption and compliance for a hybrid NAS.

As with that partnership, the two companies are using Seagate's FIPS-compliant self-encrypting drives, which are targeted at customers in sectors where security is a central focus, such as research and development, government and healthcare, according to Enrico Signoretti, an analyst at GigaOm.

This is a NAS system designed from the ground up with security in mind.
Enrico SignorettiResearch analyst, GigaOm

"This is a NAS system designed from the ground up with security in mind," Signoretti said.

Layering security into primary storage

RackTop built BrickStor SP on top of the ZFS open source file system, which adds a level of traceability to all operations through copy-on-write snapshots so that data cannot be overwritten and BrickStor can go back to any point. This enables companies to monitor and identify potential security issues. RackTop's BrickStor and Seagate also use features inherit in NAS, such as logging and thorough auditing, to make data easier to find, including files as well as suspicious actions.

"With this system, you can discover when something is wrong before it becomes a real problem," Signoretti said.

All these different points help to detect changes in user behavior, according to Jonathan Halstuch, CTO at RackTop Systems. RackTop uses what it calls "assessors," AI-based algorithms that track data changes as they are happening. Once an issue occurs, the assessors block access from the anomalous user and can restore from the most recent snapshot before suspicious changes were detected. The snapshots are kept on the appliance for faster recovery.

With growing concerns about ransomware, companies need to invest in a layered approach to security, according to Marc Gonzalez, co-founder and chief operating officer at Site2, a managed service provider, customer and value-added reseller of RackTop.

"No solution provider provides the silver bullet to solve all your security concerns," Gonzalez said.

Vendors sell security products for the network as well as for storage in the form of backup systems, but primary storage products often aren't built with security from the ground up, Gonzalez said. RackTop with Seagate is trying to change that by building in data encryption at rest and in transit and user and entity behavior analysis, he said.

RackTop and Seagate NAS
RackTop Systems and Seagate have released more turnkey secure storage appliances.

One-stop shop

Turnkey offerings are more attractive to customers that don't want to string together various parts or be tied into a vendor's ecosystem and may require a hybrid infrastructure strategy, Gonzalez said. The partnership between RackTop and Seagate is to provide that kind of model to customers through an on-premises appliance coupled with access to Seagate's private Lyve Cloud, with RackTop providing appliance support, he said.

This partnership also benefits RackTop, still a niche vendor, by helping expand its reach into Seagate's customer base, GigaOm's Signoretti said.

"As a storage product, RackTop competes against everybody with a file storage product," he said. "But at the same time, they don't have direct competition as they are designed around security in a way no one else is."

Adam Armstrong is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering file and block storage hardware and private clouds. He previously worked at

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