HP Joins the Key Management, Encryption Club

HP's new key manager centralizes control over all encryption devices scattered through an enterprise.

Hewlett-Packard Oct. 29 joined the ranks of the storage "keymasters" by introducing a new data center security appliance that centralizes control of a companys key management and encryption.

The announcement was made at Storage Networking World/Europe in Frankfurt, Germany.

The HP StorageWorks Secure Key Manager consolidates key management for encryption devices deployed throughout enterprise and midsize businesses. Security is improved by providing a single control point across the data center, HP Storage Marketing Director Patrick Eitenbichler told eWEEK.

HP thus joins market leaders IBM, Sun StorageTek, EMC and NetApp in the data center key management space. IBM and Sun StorageTek have long had their own key management software options, while EMC obtained its key management software through the acquisition of RSA for $2.1 billion last year.

NetApp joined the group with the purchase of Decru for $272 million in 2005.

Secure Key Manager offers identity-based access, administration and logging—which provide auditable security measures for customers under government compliance mandates in financial, health care and retail industries, Eitenbichler said.

With lifetime key archival and automatic multisite key replication, Secure Key Manager provides high-availability clustering and failover capabilities to safeguard keys and reduce bottlenecks during high-transaction periods, Eitenbichler added.


HP fortifies storage virtualization security. Read more here.

How important was it for HP to fill this hole in its product line?

"I would say it was a hole—but not necessarily a gaping hole [in the product line]—for an extended period of time," Stephanie Balouras, storage analyst at Forrester Research, told eWEEK.

"Most vendors have focused more specifically on providing the actually encrypting devices or tools. As these started to proliferate is when everyone realized that the vendor who can provide key management is the vendor thats really relevant in security."

HPs "holistic approach" to addressing enterprisewide security is evident in Secure Key Manager, said Jon Oltsik, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, in Milford, Mass.

"HP clearly understands all of the complexities in securing a corporate infrastructure and is one of the first vendors to deliver a comprehensive solution to address security concerns for the enterprise and midsize corporate data center," Oltsik said.

This software package has been submitted for rigorous U.S. government FIPS 140-2 security validation, Eitenbichler said.

At the Frankfurt conference, HP also announced its new StorageWorks 9000 Virtual Library System, which provides scalable backup and recovery of data, along with a new notebook security feature.


Read more here about HPs identity management suite.

The StorageWorks 9000 Virtual Library provides scalable backup and recovery that accelerates performance in complex storage-area network environments, Eitenbichler said. The Virtual Library uses a two-stage backup with initial backups to disk, followed by data encryption and migration to tape.

Finally, HP introduced a new drive encryption feature for HP ProtectTools that encodes all information on hard drives in notebook PCs so that it becomes unreadable to an unauthorized person. This feature ensures that sensitive information cannot be accessed if the notebook or hard drive is lost or stolen, Eitenbichler said.

For more information about HP storage security, go here.


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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...