Cisco, RSA to debut SAN-based data encryption

Technology to run on Cisco storage switch blades

Cisco and RSA are expected to announce Wednesday that they are working together to deliver encryption products for data at rest on tape, disk and other media.

At EMC World in Orlando, the two companies talked about the technology, which is called Storage Media Encryption. It runs on a Cisco MDS 9500 or 9200 storage blade in the company’s MDS 9000 director-level switch and uses RSA’s Key Manager technology to control access and deployment of encrypted systems.

Storage Media Encryption will be an alternative to appliance-based approaches from Decru, NeoScale, Vormetric and CipherMax. Users’ that are expected to use the Cisco/RSA approach are those in the medical and financial-services industries, where the security of records and financial information is paramount.

Initially, Storage Media Encryption will be available only for magnetic tapes. Cisco expects to roll it out by the end of the year. A subsequent release will extend it for use with other storage media.

Cisco will also offer an open API to develop key management.

The RSA Key Manager will ease deployment, management and operation of enterprisewide encryption. It is used to generate, store and broker access to cryptographic keys, and manage their life cycle.

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