NEW! Ingrian

Unveils high-end encryption box and reveals interoperability plans

November 1, 2007

3 Min Read
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Security specialist Ingrian took the wraps off some high-end hardware this week and revealed its plans for managing encryption keys from different vendors.

The newly unveiled DataSecure 400 Series can handle double the encryption of its predecessor, the 300 Series, according to Derek Tumulak, Ingrian's vice president of product management.

"Its really tuning and optimization on the software side," he says, explaining that the 400 Series also benefits from faster dual-core Intel Xeon processors, unlike its predecessor's single-core Intel chips.

Thanks to these enhancements, Ingrian claims the 400 can encrypt 100,000 pieces of data a second, compared to its predecessor's 50,000, although these figures are based on in-house testing and customer feedback.

The 400 Series could nonetheless prove key for certain applications, according to Jon Oltsik, senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). "You really need a lot of horsepower to provide encryption processing point of sale, e-commerce, and credit-card clearing applications," he says.The two-rack-unit-high box is also Ingrian's first product compliant with the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS), a set of specs for encryption, authentication, access, archiving policies, and data transfer. "This is obviously very important for government, but we have seen a lot of enterprises also looking for that certification," says Tumulak.

Despite bulking up its compliance story, Ingrian, like its rivals Decru and NeoScale, is yet to offer Type 1 encryption on its devices. Type 1 encryption is a National Security Agency (NSA) standard that includes testing and analysis of tamper resistance, emissions, and manufacturing processes. "That's not to say that we won't be doing it in the future," says Tumulak.

Even though Ingrian is still fleshing out its standards story, ESG analyst Oltsik feels that that vendor has carved a real niche for itself in the security market. "They really play at a layer above where Decru and NeoScale play," he says. "Those guys are down at the storage layer, and Ingrian is at the database and application layer [where] you get a higher layer of protection."

Like a number of other vendors, including Microsoft, IBM, HP, and Sun, Ingrian has also opened up on its long-term key management strategy.

For months now, CIOs and IT managers have been complaining about the keys used to manage encryption. These users cite the lack of interoperability among different vendors' technologies."We have been talking to NeoScale about how we can work together on key management," says Tumulak, although he would not reveal specific details.

The exec explained that Ingrian has also been working with Microsoft, which plans to offer out-of the box support for key management in SQL Server 2008, as well as teaming up with IBM and Netezza.

"We're building solutions for some of the IBM tape drives out there that support the LTO 4 standard," says Tumulak, adding that Ingrian has already demo'd an integrated key management solution with Netezza.

Despite the noises coming out of Ingrian et al, ESG's Oltsik warns users not to hold their breath waiting for interoperability.

"Within three years there will be some pretty good implementations that support most of the encryption and key management products," he says. "But most of that will be based on custom integrations, not standards."Pricing for the high-end DataSecure 400, which is available in November, starts at $35,000.Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Decru Inc.

  • Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Ingrian Networks Inc.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • NeoScale Systems Inc.

  • Netezza Corp.

  • Sun Microsystems Inc.

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