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Storage Drive Encryption Featured at Shows

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Cisco, EMC, IBM, Seagate, and LSI are talking up disk drive encryption for data center storage this week, but they're not necessarily on the same page.

IBM was first to reveal plans Tuesday at SNW to deploy the same kind of encryption integral to its TS1120 tape library on its DS series disk arrays.

IBM's plan is based on its relationship with Seagate, which unveiled its Cheetah 15K.6 FDE (Full Disk Encryption) drive at the RSA show in San Francisco on Monday, as IBM was talking things up in Orlando. Seagate first unveiled FDE for laptops last summer.

Seagate plans to ship the new FDE drive this summer. If it does, it will be among the first major drive vendors to offer an encrypted drive for data center applications. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has encrypted drives for notebooks, but doesn't presently offer them for data center gear.

LSI got into the act yesterday with a suite-based press interview at SNW, during which Claudine Simson, LSI's CTO, vowed that LSI would continue to support Seagate's drive-level encryption in the future, principally by supporting Seagate drives in the arrays IBM OEM's from LSI. These arrays include the IBM DS3000 series of lower-end enterprise systems and IBM's DS4000 midrange SANs.

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