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Ironically, encryption wasn't a consideration for Patillo Construction. "Now that we've had the drive for a while, we're starting to think about encryption, but it is not a priority," adds Kaas.
LTO-4 encryption may not be a slam dunk, at least not immediately. "It comes down to three things: key management, key management and key management," says Preston. Security best practices require each individual LTO-4 tape to be encrypted with a different key. Over time, there will be thousands (even tens of thousands) of keys. A lost key means data is gone forever. Therefore, each key has to be protected, yet still be available under all circumstances. That means secure key replication, redundancy and backup on a very large scale. Complicating the situation is that each LTO tape vendor will have its own key management scheme and you can be sure, at least initially, they won't work together.
However, work has started on standards for key management and interoperability. Specifically, the Trusted Computing Group's (TCG) Key Management Services Subgroup (KMSS) has been working for a year on an Enterprise Key Management Infrastructure specification designated T10. Other groups are pursuing related work. The results should begin appearing in 2008 or 2009.
| very hot. NPIV addresses virtualization in the FC SAN arena. "Almost anything that helps the physical environment deal with virtualization offers advantages. NPIV is no exception," says Mike Karp, senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, Boulder, CO.
This was first published in December 2007