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Avatar of grangersi

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Tape Encryption

Hi all, Just a gerneral question,

We have 3 tape libraries,
1 Dell ML6000
1 Quantum I500
1 IBM Ts3000 (I think)

We have  a project to look at encrypting the data we send off site, We would like to avoid software based encryption, but does anyone know of a product that is compatible with all 3 of the above libraries.

The independant solutions is the Dell DEKM, and for quantum QEKM and there is another one for IBM. But ideally we would be looking at one solution accross the board.

Does anyone know if this product exists? I know the encryption is getting better with the introduction of KMIP but Quantum are not adopting this on the I500.


Avatar of Rob Knight
Rob Knight
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I believe LTO4 and LTO5 support native encryption which should be enabled via your backup software.

LTO3 does not support native encryption, from what I believe.


Avatar of grangersi


Hi, EMC Networker have decided not to include Key Management in their product at the moment.

All drives are LTO4 so we were looking at a possible other solution.


Looks like the TS3000 (TS3500 or TS3494?) supports hardware encryption depending on the drives installed.

The Quantum i500 looks as if it uses LTO5 and the Dell ML6000 can use LTO 4 or 5.

Therefore, they may already support hardware encryption and you just need to enable via your backup solution(s)?

Try and determine which drives are installed to determine whether they support hardware encryption.



How about CA - they have an encryption key management solution?

What platforms are you using?


If you've got LTO-4 and LTO-5 drives, you *should* have support for hardware
encryption in the tape drives, although I have heard that some (non-Fibre Channel?)
IBM drives do not have HW encryption enabled.

If you have drives that support HW encryption, then you just need a backup application
that can give an encryption key to the drive.   If Networker doesn't do this and you're
stuck on Networker, then... you're out of luck.   Most other backup applications have
had support for the LTO encryption for quite a while now.   BTW -- this is NOT software
encryption; it's using the HW encryption of the tape drive.

The second choice, if your libraries are Fibre Channel attached, is to get a switch that
can encrypt the data in flight.  But this is not likely to be a cheap solution.

You're correct that key management and interoperability is a problem today.  I'm not
aware of any solution -- other than an encrypting FC switch -- that works today to
provide encryption to heterogenous libraries.

That said -- HP has a really elegant and inexpensive encryption solution for its MSL libraries
in the MSL Encryption Kit... but it won't work with other vendors' libraries.

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