RealTime IT News

IBM Floats Encryption Downstream

IBM  is taking encryption to the midrange storage market today, unveiling its System Storage TS3400 Tape Library to protect data as it comes into the box.

The TS3400, a two-drive library that can fit as many as 18 cartridges and store up to 37.8 terabytes  of data, includes security technologies found in the IBM TS1120 tape drive for large enterprises.

Encryption is a key buzzword for hardware and software vendors trying to sell their wares these days.

Two major trends are converging to create a Web of paranoia around data housed on computers: the proliferation of laptop thefts and database breaches, along with the emergence of corporate data privacy policies that require data be kept safe are forcing businesses to demand technology to keep their data shored up.

Naturally, vendors such as IBM, HP , EMC , Sun Microsystems  and others are rushing to offer encrypted machines that give enterprises and extra measure of security.

Encrypting data in a tape drive is valuable for customers because, unlike other devices, tape drives show no significant performance slips. Encryption in the drive also allows for data compression.

Sun, for example, offers Sun StorageTek Crypto Key Management Station manages keys used to encrypt and decrypt data on the StorageTek T10000 tape drive.

But Master said IBM believes it is the first to offer midrange encryption on a tape-based device.

To wit, with IBM's new TS3400, users can tap the Java Encryption Key Manager to encrypt and access data across AIX, i5/OS, Linux, HP, Sun and Windows operating systems.

Bruce Master, senior programming manager of tape storage at IBM, said IBM believes it is ahead in this track meet, because it was able to pack the same encryption features from its high-end TS1120 tape drive into the new TS3400 tape library to appeal to midrange customers.

These features include rapid data access technology to help manage clients backup and restore functions, Web access for online management, and availability tools, such as dual hot swappable power supplies and various failover traits.

Moreover, Tivoli Storage Manager, which provided encryption key management and key store functions for the TS1120 drive so that only authorized parties can decrypt the drive data, works with the T23400.

Other enterprise functions added to the TS3400 from the TS1120 include rapid access to data, multiple media options, partitioning into two logical libraries and support for a 4 gigabit-per-second dual-port Fibre Channel attachment.

Customers also have the option for WORM  storage for the TS3400, which will be available March 9 and start at $30,000.