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Self-encrypting SSDs to become de facto standard

Posted: 27 Jan 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Kaminario? self-encrypting SSD? encryption? Sony? Samsung?

Kaminario recently announced it had added always-on, data-at-rest encryption capabilities to its K2 all-flash array, but Jyoti said interest in encryption features has been expressed by the company's customer base for several years. She said the K2 encryption uses 256bit AES keys technology and requires administrative authorisation for access, ensuring no data is available on drives after deletion through a cryptographic SSD erase feature.

To address performance concerns, Kaminario leverages Samsung SEDs as well as its own architecture, which support non-disruptive software and hardware upgrades so encryption can be added without downtime or loss of data.

Self-encrypting SSDs to become norm

Jyoti said SEDs and encryption of all-flash arrays have become a growing trend in the enterprise. "They are going to become the de facto standard very quickly."

George Crump, president and founder of research firm Storage Switzerland, recently blogged about Kaminario's all-flash array and addressed its features including encryption, which he wrote is critical for flash systems in particular because of the way controllers manage flash. "When NAND flash cell wears out the flash controller, as it should, it marks that cell as read-only. The problem is that erasing a flash cell requires that null data be written to it," he wrote. "But how do you do that if the flash controller had previously marked the cell as read-only? If you can't erase the data, but you can read it, then some enterprising data thief may be able to get to your data."

Crumb noted that some vendors have special utilities they claim will override this setting to make sure the erasure can be done, but he has yet to see any guarantee this is the case. He said the only safe way to repurpose a flash system is to make sure that all data is encrypted on it and then change the key prior to changing ownership.

Ultimately, Crumb concluded, the fact that Kaminario can provide encryption with little to no performance impact makes the use of encryption a "no-brainer."

- Gary Hilson
??EE Times


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