Data Domain Locks in Compliance

Data Domain's new 'retention lock' adds valuable new data controls for IT managers.

Data Domain, so seriously immersed in data deduplication technology that it changed its Nasdaq stock ticker symbol to "DDUP," said June 24 that it is now including a new "retention-lock" feature in its storage operating system for IT governance purposes.
IT governance is a subset of so-called corporate governance that focuses on risk management in IT systems. The increasing interest in IT governance is due mostly to compliance initiatives, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the United States and Basel II in Europe. In addition, IT projects-especially those involving security and virtualization-can easily get out of control and profoundly affect the performance of an organization.
Data Domain claims that its Retention Lock is the industry's first software to allow file locking for regulatory governance with high-throughput deduplication. In other words, it's industrial-strength security and deduplication for enterprise nearline storage.
Nearline storage is data that is not housed on primary production disks or in archives. SATA (Serial ATA) drives are commonly used for this purpose.
Data deduplication eliminates redundant data from a disk storage device in order to lower storage space requirements, which in turn lowers data center power and cooling costs and lessens the amount of carbon dioxide produced to generate power to run the hardware.
Using Retention Lock, IT administrators can store deduplicated files in an unalterable state for a specified length of time. This introduction of WORM (write once, read many) for active-archive, high-performance deduplication storage enables enterprises to implement a range of corporate IT governance policies that require data be retained and unchanged for fixed periods of time before removing it.
During the specified Retention Lock period, users cannot change or delete the files, but trusted operators can manage files and space as required. This level of compliance protection is designed to support those regulations that focus on protection from inadvertent or malicious data modification by storage users.
While some industry-specific regulations require immutability guarantees that assume even IT administrators cannot be trusted, many others allow that files may need to be deleted under court order-for example, to protect identity information or to remove other inappropriate confidential information. In these governance regulations, data still needs to be held with retention enforcement, but administrators need file-level policy flexibility.
"Compliance with record-keeping and legal preservation mandates, both of which require retention management solutions, are two of the biggest drivers for capacity growth," said Brian Babineau, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group.
"Data Domain has already proven it can help customers manage capacity in nearline storage environments, which have a direct impact on space, power and cooling. With the release of the Data Domain OS 4.5 and the Retention Lock product, Data Domain further extends these benefits to information that is retained for compliance purposes. The addition means that customers can now lock down archive and backup data within the same system that delivers the benefits of deduplication."
Data Domain Retention Lock is available now as a software license for all Data Domain systems running Data Domain OS 4.5.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...