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Vendors Dive Into Data Protection

SAN DIEGO -- Storage Networking World -- Vendors cranked up their data security and integrity stories here today, unveiling locked-down tape drives and an initiative to tackle corrupted data.

Dell, for example, took the wraps off its LTO-4 tape drive, pushing device level encryption as a way for CIOs to avoid hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons. (See The Year in Insecurity, Iron Mountain Keeps Truckin', and Houston, We've Got a Storage Problem.)

A year after the industry announced plans to encrypt LTO-4 technology, the 800 Gbyte PowerVault LTO-4-120 drive offers double the capacity of Dell's existing LTO-3 products. (See LTO Ultrium to Be Encrypted, LTO Tape Libraries Lead, LTO Hits 1.5M Drives, and LTO Maintains Momentum.)

At least one analyst thinks that this type of encryption is fast becoming a prerequisite for enterprises. "There's more and more interest in tape encryption -- anything that makes it easier has to be a positive," said Doug Chandler, program director for storage software and services at IDC.

Despite the brouhaha surrounding storage security, one user attending SNW warned that he has reservations about device level encryption. "It's highly dependent on the environment that you have got," said Dave Lease, chief architect of Minneapolis-based radiology specialist Virtual Radiologic, which uses a mix of Dell LTO-3 and StorageTek tape. "If we were to do device level encryption I would have to have the same encryption algorithm across my entire environment, and that limits my operational flexibility," he said.

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