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Hubstor gives Microsoft Azure encryption a two-pronged focus

Cloud archiving startup HubStor is fortifying its data protection, adding two methods to apply Azure encryption of at-rest data in Microsoft public cloud storage.

Customers of the Ottawa-based software company may opt to use Azure Storage Service Encryption (SSE) or Hubstor’s virtual cloud gateway to apply Azure encryption of cloud-hosted data. Which method to choose depends on an organization’s expected level of cloud-based searching and the accompanying security level.

The Microsoft SSE setting automatically encrypts data as it is written to persistent storage in Azure.

Encryption with Hubstor’s virtual cloud gateway preserves a subset of encrypted data locally, then synchronizes file shares to Azure.  HubStor lets customers retain local control by applying 256-bit AES encryption ciphers, although its approach limits indexing and search capabilities.

Hubstor’s indexing engine performs transparent decryption of data to render content. For that reason, the vendor suggests customers use it locally. It recommends Azure encryption for enterprises that regularly perform search queries on cloud data sets.

“Before these enhancements, any content encrypted before (moving to) the cloud was work for the customer and the data was hard to manage. We now make it easier to encrypt before the cloud, and the encrypted data integrates with HubStor’s data-aware storage platform to make it easy to isolate it in searches and policies,” Hubstor CEO Geoff Bourgeois said.

Hubstor launched its eponymous software suite in July. Thus far, Microsoft Azure is the only public cloud it supports.  The Hubstor enterprise archive suite is an overlay atop the Azure cloud, particularly to tier cold or seldom used data related to legal regulations. Hubstor is installed behind a corporate firewall, but presents a cloud archive tenant for file storage in Azure.

Encryption is not the company’s only news.  Hubstor plans a feature for cloud storage chargeback, aimed at law firms and project-oriented enterprises that store unstructured data for long periods. Chargeback equips Hubstor customers to track, visualize, and report on storage costs associated with particular projects, clients, or departments.

Bourgeois said Hubstor analytics are getting a boost in November from planned taxonomy and user tagging. Hubstor also is developing a file system driver that virtualizes inactive array-based data and tiers it to Azure.