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Users Linger Over LTO-4

The advent of LTO-4 tape drives was greeted with fanfare by vendors, but users may take some convincing before they deploy the technology. (See LTO Maintains Momentum, LTO Hits 1.5M Drives, and LTO Ultrium to Be Encrypted.)

The 800-Gbyte tape drives offer double the native capacity of existing LTO-3 drives, as well as device-level encryption, something vendors are touting as a way for firms to avoid embarrassing data breaches. (See The Year in Insecurity, Iron Mountain Keeps Truckin', and Houston, We've Got a Storage Problem.)

The last few months have seen a flurry of announcements from Dell, IBM, HP, and others flaunting a capacity hike and native encryption as key benefits to tape storage products. (See Dell Delivers LTO-4, Quantum Debuts LTO-4, and HP, IBM Pass Tests.)

But it may be too much, too late. At least one IT manager told Byte and Switch that past events have forced him to take the issue of encryption into his own hands. "I think LTO-4 is a little bit late -- we had a mandate to encrypt everything a couple of years ago," says Harold Shapiro, technology architect at Warner Bros., which uses all the previous "flavors" of LTO in its data center. (See Warner Bros.) "If they had had a tape drive that did encryption back then, I would have looked at it."

Hardly in a position to sit around waiting for the arrival of LTO-4, the exec deployed an encryption appliance from Decru in late 2005 to lock down data on tapes. (See Decru Unveils SecureView, ISCorp Picks Decru, Decru Selects Mu, and Tempest in a Tape Encryptor.)

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