EMC combines AES security, storage, de-duplication

EMC Corp. is adding Advanced Encryption Standard security to its Data Domain disk-based backup hardware line, claiming the combination of de-duplication and encryption is an “industry first” in the storage industry.

Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC announced Monday its Data Domain 880 backup product is available with extra software add-ons, which companies can buy for an extra licensing fee.

One of those options is called Encryption of Data at Rest. With this, IT managers can select either 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption to secure their data while backing it up. It also features de-duplication, which means, in essence, only updates to files are backed up, rather than entire files each time a backup is done.

“De-duplication solutions typically do not execute well with encrypted data,” said Brian Babineau, senior consulting analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., a Milford, Mass.-based market research firm. “That’s because when you encrypt data it’s hard to (break it up) to give you the level of data reduction you are looking for.”

Babineau made his comments in an interview after EMC briefed him on its DD 880 update.

The other software option, dubbed DD Replicator, is designed to let companies maintain multiple copies of their data at different disaster recovery sites.

Shane Jackson, senior director of product marketing, described the encryption option as an “industry first.”

“There’s always a security concern in data centres,” Jackson said. “What happens if the disk array gets lost or stolen in transit, or you bring it in for repair?”

The DD880 update was announced the same day EMC announced Global De-duplication Array (GDA), which has up to 285 Terabytes of usable capacity and throughput of up to 12.8 TB per hour.

With GDA, Jackson said, a company can have 270 remote sites with smaller deduplication systems replicating their data at the same time to a central data centre.

The products are part of EMC’s backup recovery systems division. That division includes what used to be Data Domain, a manufacturer EMC acquired in July for US$2.4 billion.

That acquisition resulted from a bidding war, which began with an offer from NetApp Inc. to buy Data Domain for US$1.5 billion. After EMC offered $2.4 billion, NetApp decided it would be too expensive to make a counter-offer.

EMC claims GDA can replicate up to 12.8 TB of data per hour.

In addition to the software options, EMC is also increasing the usable storage capacity of DD880 from 71 to 142.5 TB. DD880 also has up to 7.1 Petabytes of “logical storage.” EMC says administrators can now consolidate up to 180 backup jobs from remote sites.

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