Intradyn Adds Encryption to E-Mail Archiving Appliance

The company aims to attract SMBs by adding Encryptape, based on 256-bit AES WORM tape encryption technology, to its ComplianceVault appliance.

Intradyn, a backup and archiving storage vendor, has introduced a new version of its ComplianceVault e-mail archiving and retrieval appliance that encrypts tapes used to archive sensitive corporate data.

The addition of the companys Encryptape technology marks the first upgrade to the original version, a hardware- and software-based appliance introduced in spring 2004. The new version initially will work with Sony AIT WORM (write once, read many) tape.

CEO Gary Doan, CEO of Eagan, Minn.-based Intradyn, said Sonys AIT WORM technology was a natural choice for adding encryption. "We looked at optical media, but it really didnt have the storage density that tape does, and the solutions were much more expensive," he said.

The companys Encryptape technology is based on 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) WORM tape encryption technology—the same type of encryption used by the federal government.

According to Charles Kolodgy, a research director in the security products division at Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, there are a number of security solutions that perform file encryption and appliances that can perform tape-based encryption, each with various algorithms, including AES at various key lengths. Although 128-bit keys are generally considered to be secure, some might choose to use 256-bit keys for further protection.

Doan said he planned to include AES-based tape encryption on the original release of ComplianceVault last year, but pulled back when some brokerage companies expressed concern that the Securities and Exchange Commission might not like to see encrypted tapes.

"But almost immediately after we released it, more brokerage firms said they wanted the option of being able to encrypt the tape, so weve added it back in," he said.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about compliance worries driving the e-mail archiving market.

Intradyn initially introduced ComplianceVault for its brokerage customers, many of whom needed better ways to address requirements from the SEC and NASD (the National Association of Securities Dealers). But over time, Doan found that more than 50 percent of the companys customers not only were not brokerage firms, but wanted the technology more for e-mail archiving and search than for compliance.

In fact, the main market for ComplianceVault today is SMBs (small and midsized businesses), thanks in part to its low-cost platform.

By focusing on the SMB market, Intradyns technology, especially now that it has added tape encryption, has significant potential to make inroads, said Robert Amatruda, research manager in IDCs storage program.

"Intradyn is addressing a marketplace that has lots of potential, not only for data protection but around compliance and security, especially for SMBs," he said. "A lot of them have a real challenge in managing their data."

Although other companies are addressing compliance and security, many of them—such as Decru and NeoScale—are focused on larger, enterprise-type environments. Another company, Overland Storage, targets workgroup and SMB environments with an appliance that can emulate or even replace tape, but its a different type of offering, Amatruda said.

"Its all of the features and functions Intradyn has built into this. Thats what makes it unique," he said.

Although initially co-marketed with Sony Electronics for use with Sony AIT tape, ComplianceVault with tape encryption eventually will be available on more platforms, Doan said.

In related news, Maxell Corp. of America of Fair Lawn, N.J., last week announced that it will support the IBM format compatible 3590 Extended tape cartridge, used primarily by enterprise customers that need high performance, the ability to share tapes and support for Ultra SCSI, Fibre Channel, and ESCON and FICON environments.

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