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Disk and disk subsystems

Seagate Technology Momentus 5400 FDE.2

Seagate's Momentus 5400 FDE.2 can hold 160GB and uses just 2 watts of power for normal seek operations, a true mobile hard drive.

Encryption is the heart of modern data security, protecting all types of corporate information assets from exposure due to loss or theft. In 2007, Seagate Technology LLC incorporated full disk encryption directly onto its Momentus 5400 FDE.2 hard drive. This seemingly small step has forever changed the rules of enterprise data protection, especially for the most vulnerable enterprise data that resides on the "edge" on laptops and other mobile computing systems.

Seagate's 2.5-inch 5,400 rpm hard drive can hold 160GB and uses just 2 watts of power for normal seek operations--a true mobile hard drive. But the inclusion of full-time, whole-disk AES encryption turns the Momentus into something special. Mobile data can now be protected at full SATA interface speed with a single user password. Judges were unanimously impressed, with one judge noting, "This is a good approach to solving one of the most pressing problems in IT, encrypting laptop data." The implications of this security innovation are significant. Mobile employees can now carry ever-greater volumes of corporate data without

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the fear of loss or "forgetting" to run a time-consuming, independent full-disk encryption tool.

Seagate's technology keeps the disk secure and eases end-of-life concerns.

While judges liked the 5400 FDE.2, key management emerged as a potential concern. Hashed passwords are stored on the drive, and an emergency password recovery file can be kept on a separate device, so the security and integrity of encryption passwords has yet to be determined. Still, Seagate's Momentus 5400 FDE.2 hard drive represents one viable answer to perplexing storage security problems, and is easily worthy of this year's gold award for disk and disk subsystems.

This was first published in February 2008

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