Brocade and NetApp simplify data encryption

Brocade and NetApp have announced a collaborative development effort that will enable datacentre customers to more quickly and easily encrypt corporate data for increased security and compliance.

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Brocade and NetApp have announced a collaborative development effort that will enable datacentre customers to more quickly and easily encrypt corporate data for increased security and compliance.

The collaboration will also provide customers with simplified policy management and allow them to protect all data in the datacentre.

Under terms of the agreement, Brocade and NetApp will integrate the secure, scalable, and centrally managed Lifetime Key Management solution from NetApp with Brocade's fabric-based encryption technology. As a result, Brocade will resell the NetApp Lifetime Key Management appliance as part of its fabric-based encryption switches and blades portfolio.

Products and technology that enable advanced data encryption and security are important elements of the Brocade Data Center Fabric (DCF) architecture, an open framework that helps customers enhance their datacentre infrastructures for maximum security, performance, flexibility, and investment protection.

Brocade is currently developing an innovative, high-performance encryption and compression capability that will leverage the NetApp OpenKey API, an open interface that allows third-party security applications to integrate with NetApp's secure key management framework. This provides a common tool for easier policy management across encryption technologies.

NetApp already has a substantial list of Lifetime Key Management customers, which include some of the industry's largest storage encryption deployments by scale, and expects this to increase dramatically as its new encryption platforms are adopted.

The combined technologies will provide an easy-to-use, high-performance solution for increased protection of critical corporate information.

Additionally, the collaboration presents a new approach to encryption of data at rest - a breakthrough in data protection - making it feasible to protect all data in the datacentre.

"With so many approaches to encryption receiving attention today, the complexity of encryption itself can pose a risk. Fabric-based encryption is one approach that can help reduce the complexity of storage encryption," said Scott Crawford, research director, Enterprise Management Associates.

"Today, administrators may manage different encryption for tape, appliances, applications, disk, and more. Fabric-based encryption allows for a single, common method of encrypting all types of data. By centralizing encryption, fabric-based approaches can also centralize key management and reduce its complexity."

The new approach will be significantly faster than today's solutions, as it will be based on Brocade's 8Gbit/sec DCF architecture. For applications requiring data encryption, the Brocade fabric-based solution will enable applications to perform at full wire speed, and protect significantly more data in less time without compromising application or user performance.

Additionally, the heterogeneous nature of Brocade fabric-based encryption allows customers to support multiple data backup and data storage solutions concurrently.

"As the cost and risk of exposing sensitive information continue to rise, organizations must broaden their data encryption capabilities across their datacentres," said Ian Whiting, vice president and general manager of the Brocade Data Center Infrastructure Division.

"Brocade recognises that scalable, tightly integrated key management is an essential component of a solid enterprise-class data encryption solution. That's why we are partnering with industry leaders in storage security, such as NetApp."

"NetApp is committed to multiplatform options for data encryption and to simplifying the management infrastructure for keys," said Tim Russell, vice president and general manager of Storage Security Solutions at NetApp.

"We have taken a leadership role to move the industry toward standards and interoperability. We feel that extending our work with Brocade is pivotal and demonstrates our commitment to our relationship with Brocade."

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