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Security products proliferate

Security is all the rage, judging by a recent spate of encryption-related announcements. For example, tape library maker Spectra Logic now offers AES-256 encryption in the form of a blade upgrade to its T120 and T950 libraries. And Sun has announced the T10000 tape drive, which will come with AES-256 encryption built-in. Those come as welcome announcements to storage administrators looking to secure their backups, who until now had a choice between slow host-based software and pricey encryption appliances like Decru's DataFort and NeoScale's CryptoStor.

But encryption is just the beginning. Last month, Network Appliance (NetApp), which acquired Decru this summer, elaborated on its security "vision." Called "Uncompromised Security," the initiative calls for the firm to not only deliver encryption products, but to revisit the security of existing products like its NAS filers and NetCache Web delivery appliances. Among other things, NetApp plans to "harden" the Data Ontap operating system used to run its filers, says Kevin Brown, Decru's VP of marketing.

NetApp isn't alone. Networked storage vendor Dynamic Network Factory (DNF) Inc., Hayward, CA, this fall became the first vendor to offer a hardened storage platform—DNF SafeGuard—for its storage products. It does so with the help of IT control software called S3 Embedded from Solidcore Systems, Palo Alto, CA.

SafeGuard was what sold Allegiance Health, an independent medical evaluations provider in Buffalo, NY, on DNF's NAS, says Dan Rau, director of IT. A user of Solidcore's S3 for its document management system, Allegiance Health welcomed the ability to secure its data down to the disk. "Our customers are bound by HIPAA, so we're bound by HIPAA," says Rau. As a third-party provider processing medical documents, "there are all sorts of requirements you need to meet before they'll even talk to you."

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