Award, NetApp

Proact & Cetus win partner awards from NetApp UK&I

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Both Proact and Cetus pick up NetApp awards in UK&I as Proact was awarded ‘Flash Partner of the Year 2020’ and Cetus ‘Gold Solution Partner of the Year 2020’.

In October, Proact announced their acquisition of Cetus Solutions in the United Kingdom with the ambition to further broaden the portfolio of offerings and to expand their presence in this key market. With key similarities between the businesses, both also pride themselves as being long-standing valued partners to NetApp. It is therefore a pleasure to announce that both Proact and Cetus individually have been recognised for their excellence at this year’s NetApp UK&I awards.

“We’re proud to receive this award from NetApp for our commitment to all-flash projects. To see that our new colleagues at Cetus also picked up an award was yet another testament to the possibilities we see around the combined strengths and synergies between Proact and Cetus. We each have industry-leading skillsets and together, we will achieve even greater results for our customers”, said Martin Thompson, Business Unit Director at Proact in the United Kingdom.

Mike English, Managing Director of Cetus Solutions added, “Our relationship with NetApp is core to our success and we’re thrilled to have been recognised this year. There are many other Gold partners in the UK and it goes to show the skill and dedication of our team to have come top of the list.”

Commenting on the Proact award, Denise Bryant, Channel Director for NetApp UK&I said, “Proact continues to drive business value through IT, offering world-class hybrid solutions delivered by highly skilled and accredited people. As they continue to develop, we have seen particular growth in NetApp all-flash arrays. We look forward to this continued growth for the remainder of this fiscal year and beyond.”

Commenting on the Cetus award, Denise added, “Cetus has been a very loyal NetApp Gold partner for in excess of 10 years and has consistently achieved year after year, working openly and collaboratively with NetApp. FY20 saw a fantastic result for the sales team and the passion and determination to win new business, the dedication of the marketing team who ran various campaigns and activities throughout the year, and the knowledge and skills of the technical team helping to close deals was evident in their overall performance.”

For further information, please contact:

Martin Thompson, Business Unit Director UK, Proact IT Group AB, +44 7824 505 497,

Mike English, Managing Director, Cetus Solutions Limited, +44 7824 505 462,

About Proact

Proact is Europe’s leading independent data centre and cloud services provider. By delivering flexible, accessible and secure IT solutions and services, we help companies and authorities reduce risk and costs, whilst increasing agility, productivity and efficiency. We’ve completed over 5,000 successful projects around the world, have more than 3,500 customers and currently manage in excess of 100 petabytes of information in the cloud. We employ over 1,000 people in 15 countries across Europe and North America. Founded in 1994, our parent company, Proact IT Group AB (publ), listed on Nasdaq Stockholm in 1999 (under the symbol PACT). For further information about Proact’s activities please visit us at

Blog, IT Solutions, NetApp, News, Uncategorized

What’s new with NetApp ONTAP 9.3?

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ONTAP 9.3 was officially announced back in October 2017 during the annual NetApp Insight event. With it now officially in GA (as of January 2018), is it time to be looking at upgrading to this new release?

As always there is a buzz around the latest releases of vendor software to find out which of the new features are going to make the biggest impact. Whether it’s for individual user cases or a knockout blow to competitors in the market. With the latest ONTAP release there are the usual performance increases and additional effective storage capacity increases due to more efficient optimisations of dedupe and compression. However, the features that catches the eye the most and will certainly draw attention in the current security conscious business world is the additional features around security and compliance.

External Key Management
With the addition of NetApp Volume Encryption (NVE) in ONTAP 9.1 meant bringing encryption to existing arrays with the granularity of only encrypting specific volumes, previously it was all or nothing approach. The draw back has always been on box key management, meaning that if the storage array was compromised then the key to decrypt the data is held on the same array. This type of encryption and key management will fail some compliance standards. ONTAP 9.3 now introduces external key management by using the industry standard Key Management Interoperability (KMIP). 

Encrypting data is never a bad thing and now having suitable external key management control for volume level encryption can only increase compliance with GDPR just around the corner. I must point out that encryption is not mandatory for GDPR but it definitely helps mitigate risks and adds safeguards to any sensitive customer data being held at rest.

The other notable security feature added to ONTAP 9.3 is the introduction of MFA for OnCommand System Manager further protecting the data from compromised Administrator passwords. This will be done by using SAML authentication and Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) as the identity provider.

As mentioned ONTAP 9.3 has performance increases over previous versions, this time by up to 30% via WAFL improvements, parallel processing and flash optimizations. Significant increase have been made in iSCSI parallel processing and general parallel processing of workloads allowing for higher throughput and IOPS at lower latencies.

Adaptive QoS  has also been introduced to manage QoS policies across multiple volumes. Adaptive QoS effectively automatically adjusts the defined IOPS/TB QoS policy when the volume grows or shrinks to keep the effective IOPS/TB inline with the data size change. As you can imagine without this management of potentially hundreds of QoS policies could consume large amounts of time from the storage Administrator.

Storage Efficiency
Storage efficiency increases are by up to 30% with ONTAP 9.3 by enabling inline aggregate deduplication on All Flash FAS (AFF) arrays. Inline deduplication, compression and compaction on all new volumes is also enabled by default to give the best possible efficiencies on all data.

With the Software Defined Datacentre in full swing and with vendors nowadays introducing faster than ever update cycles for software and vendors always recommend being on the latest release, NetApp are now on bi-annual major releases, it can be easy to get left behind with new features and performance upgrades. Most vendors include the software itself as part of the support fees businesses pay each year so why not upgrade to receive these latest and greatest improvements and others that could have been missed in previous updates. If updates aren’t completed regularly then you are not only missing out on virtually free performance and new features that could benefit the business but also vital security updates which are rolled into each update.   

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Martyn Lewis profile picMartyn Lewis: Enterprise Architect
Martyn is responsible to help understand customer business challenges and provides robust, secure solution ideas to drive business efficiency through change.