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Vol. 4 No. 11 January 2006

Tape security... with compromises

Security. Performance. Affordability. Pick two. Storage administrators who have been instructed to secure their organization's backup tapes are grappling with this reality. The bulletproof, high-performance encryption appliances offered by vendors like Decru (now owned by Network Appliance) and NeoScale Systems come at a cost of $25,000 or more per appliance (see "Encryption appliances reviewed," this issue). Encrypting data in software is cheap, but it places a huge load on the host, and can double the time it takes to complete a backup. Quantum's new DLTSage Tape Security represents the latest approach--it's fast and free, but may not pass muster with regulatory agencies or be an ample deterrent for a dedicated "black hat." DLTSage Tape Security is a firmware addition to Quantum's existing DLT-V4 drives, and will be included on the next generation DLT-S4, due out this quarter. It works by embedding a 256-bit key in the header of the tape cartridge that can only be unlocked if the drive reading it has the same key. The data ...

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Features in this issue

  • Pump up array performance

    As data wends it ways from hosts, through the fabric and to the array, it encounters many potential bottlenecks. But that also means there are a number of ways to improve storage subsystem performance. The key to the tuning process is a thorough understanding of your application requirements.

  • Encryption appliances reviewed

    Lost tapes have been headline news lately, making encryption products hotter than ever. We review encryption products from Kasten Chase, NeoScale Systems and Vormetric to help you choose the best product for your shop.

  • Top tape libraries revealed

    by  Rich Castagna

    Users cite a high level of satisfaction for these backup mainstays, citing StorageTek and Spectra Logic as the top libraries, in the Diogenes Labs-Storage magazine Quality Awards.

Columns in this issue