SOURCE: CipherMax, Inc.

October 15, 2007 08:00 ET

CipherMax Eases Migration to LTO-4 Encryption and Virtual Tape Libraries

CM140T Includes First Unified Key Management System to Support Legacy Media, Encrypting Tape Drives and VTLs

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - October 15, 2007) - STORAGE NETWORKING WORLD -- CipherMax, the technology leader of enterprise-class storage security solutions, today announced that its CM140T storage security solution now supports the key management functions for LTO-4 encrypting tape drives and media, as well as line-speed data encryption capabilities for Virtual Tape Libraries (VTL). This marks the first storage encryption solution on the market that can seamlessly manage legacy and encrypting tape devices using a common key management system, providing a cost-effective means of migrating to an integrated storage encryption solution.

"Over the next three to five years, many companies will use a mix of legacy and encrypting tape media for back-up, disaster-recovery and data replication applications," said Jon Oltsik, senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. "But managing multiple key management systems and scratch pools with mixed media can introduce significant challenges within an organization. Companies clearly need a solution to simplify the process and ease the migration to encrypted tape."

"The fundamental problem is that there has been tremendous capital invested in legacy tape drives and media. Most customers might not want to upgrade to new encrypting drives immediately," said Ray Kao, chairman and CEO of CipherMax. "In addition, the key management solutions currently available for LTO-4 do not address the complexities of managing mixed media. The CM140T provides a common system to seamlessly manage and encrypt legacy tape drives and new encrypting drives. This technology is critical to enable the mass adoption of encrypted tape."

In order to consolidate data storage and speed data restore processes, many companies are considering Virtual Tape Libraries (VTLs). The CipherMax CM140T can centrally manage encryption keys for legacy and LTO-4 tape libraries in combination with VTLs using a single-pane-of-glass interface. Since most companies will likely migrate to VTLs using a phased approach, this single-point-of-management for encryption keys significantly simplifies data protection processes near-term and future-proofs a company's storage security strategy long-term.

The CM140T supports the following advanced key management features, which simplify the introduction of encryption into various Storage Area Network environments.

Automatic Tape Format Detection -- Automatically identifies blank, plaintext and encrypted tapes. If a blank tape is detected in a tape drive, the corresponding active encryption key is used for writing and reading the tape. If an encrypted tape is detected, the key associated with the tape is automatically recalled and used for read and append operations. And if a plaintext tape is detected, the system performs read and append operations without encryption.

Automatic Scratch Tape Detection -- Detects when a backup application overwrites a tape to indicate that the tape is being repurposed. The latest encryption key is applied to the tape, which allows the tape to be encrypted based on the latest security policies. Thus, plaintext tapes and previously encrypted tapes can automatically inherit the latest encryption rules as they are cycles through the applications scratch or expired media pools.

Support for Legacy Tapes in LTO-4 Drives -- Encrypted LTO-3 tapes can be written and read in LTO-4 drives. The system disables LTO-4 encryption/decryption and enables legacy mode encryption/decryption. LTO-2 tapes can also be read in encrypted or plaintext formats.

Tape Media Label Tracking -- Maintains a global database of encryption keys that are mapped to tape media barcode labels, streamlining tape encryption management.

Plaintext Tape Volume Header Support -- Allows backup applications to always read the volume header, which ensures that backup applications can recognize and circulate old tapes into correct scratch pools regardless of whether keys are available or not.

The CipherMax CM140T has been certified under the HP Tape Automation Compatibility Testing and is now included on the HP StorageWorks Enterprise Backup Solution (EBS) Compatibility Matrix. (See related announcement: CipherMax CM140T Completes HP Tape Automation Compatibility Testing, 10/15/07.)

The CipherMax CM140T secures sensitive information stored on tape media with standards-based 256-bit AES encryption and data compression in a 1U form factor. Its configurable architecture supports up to 16 Fibre Channel ports (or 32 ports in a clustered configuration) with an integrated switching function. The CM140T is compliant with the current IEEE P1619.1 draft standard for tape-based storage security. An inline processing architecture provides low-latency processing of compressed encrypted data for 8-12 tape drives.

About CipherMax, Inc.

CipherMax, Inc. is the technology leader of enterprise-class storage security solutions. The CM product line has been designed to protect medium to large volumes of data on tape and disk from unauthorized viewing or tampering and address information regulatory compliance relative to information confidentiality. The company has developed the only Storage Security solution that offers the flexibility of deploying encryption in switching mode, transparent controller mode or discovery mode. The CM product family can scale from 16 to hundreds of encrypting ports, which are centrally managed through a single graphical interface. The unique CM solution also provides the convenience of remote key management and cost-effectively scales to meet the requirements of medium to large, distributed storage networks. Founded in 2000, CipherMax is headquartered in San Jose, California. CipherMax business and technical teams are from Cisco, EMC, HP, McData, NetApp and Symantec. For more information, visit

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Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:

    Barbara Reichert
    Reichert Communications, LLC
    Email Contact

    Greg Farris
    Director of Marketing
    CipherMax, Inc.
    Email Contact