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Storage Encryption Reevaluated

Recent developments in storage security have left customers wondering what's next in the evolution of tape and disk encryption.

The recent demise of NeoScale and the purchase of its assets by nCipher indicate that the days of the standalone tape or disk encryptor may be numbered. After all, another early supplier, Kasten Chase, went belly-up last year. And despite Decru's apparent success, some may ask whether at least some of that can be attributed to the deep pockets of parent company NetApp.

ESG analyst Jon Oltsik says it's too soon to shovel dirt over the grave of the stand-alone encryptor. "There's still plenty of demand for encryption in two areas -- tape and laptop," he says. Nonetheless, he notes that since Decru and NeoScale first came out, some alternatives to stand-alone devices have emerged.

Examples include IBM's TS1120 tape library with integral encryption, a product that typifies the trend among LTO-4 tape storage suppliers toward integrating encryption in their wares.

Oltsik envisions a solid market for tape encryptors for the next three to five years, after which disk will probably dominate.

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