IBM Moves Encryption into the Midrange

Enterprise Storage Forum content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

IBM is taking encryption to the midrange storage market, equipping its new System Storage TS3400 Tape Library to protect data as it comes into the box.

The TS3400, a two-drive library that can fit as many as 18 cartridges and store up to 37.8 terabytes of data, includes security technologies found in the IBM TS1120 tape drive for large enterprises.

Security in general and encryption in particular are emerging requirements for hardware and software vendors trying to sell their wares these days.

Two major trends are converging to create a Web of paranoia around data housed on computers: the proliferation of laptop thefts and database breaches, along with the emergence of corporate data privacy policies that require data be kept safe are forcing businesses to demand technology to keep their data shored up.

Naturally, vendors such as IBM, HP, EMC, Sun Microsystems and others are rushing to offer encrypted machines that give enterprises an extra measure of security.

Encrypting data in a tape drive is valuable for customers because, unlike other devices, tape drives show no significant performance slips. Encryption in the drive also allows for data compression.

Sun, for example, offers Sun StorageTek Crypto Key Management Station manages keys used to encrypt and decrypt data on the StorageTek T10000 tape drive.

But Bruce Master, senior programming manager of tape storage at IBM, said Big Blue believes it is the first to offer midrange encryption on a tape-based device.

With IBM’s new TS3400, users can tap the Java Encryption Key Manager to encrypt and access data across AIX, i5/OS, Linux, HP, Sun and Windows operating systems.

Master said IBM believes it is ahead in the market because it was able to pack the same encryption features from its high-end TS1120 tape drive into the new TS3400 tape library to appeal to midrange customers.

These features include rapid data access technology to help manage backup and restore functions, Web access for online management, and availability tools, such as dual hot swappable power supplies and various failover traits.

Moreover, Tivoli Storage Manager, which provided encryption key management and key store functions for the TS1120 drive so that only authorized parties can decrypt the drive data, works with the T23400.

Other enterprise functions added to the TS3400 from the TS1120 include rapid access to data, multiple media options, partitioning into two logical libraries and support for a 4 gigabit-per-second dual-port Fibre Channel attachment.

Customers also have the option for WORM (write once, read many) storage for the TS3400, which will be available March 9 and start at $30,000.

Article courtesy of

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Cloud Insider for top news, trends, and analysis.

Latest Articles

15 Software Defined Storage Best Practices

Software Defined Storage (SDS) enables the use of commodity storage hardware. Learn 15 best practices for SDS implementation.

What is Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)?

Fibre Channel Over Ethernet (FCoE) is the encapsulation and transmission of Fibre Channel (FC) frames over enhanced Ethernet networks, combining the advantages of Ethernet...

9 Types of Computer Memory Defined (With Use Cases)

Computer memory is a term for all of the types of data storage technology that a computer may use. Learn more about the X types of computer memory.