By Kevin Komiega
-- Shredding a physical tape cartridge or zapping it with a magnetic field are sure-fire ways to erase data in compliance with organizational policies or federal regulations but, in the world of disk-based backup, a different set of rules apply. To that end, virtual tape library (VTL) vendor Sepaton is now offering Secure Erasure, a licensed option for its S2100-ES2 data protection appliances that guarantees the erasure of information on virtual tape cartridges.
Sepaton is positioning Secure Erasure – an optional software feature priced at $5,000 per node – as a cost-effective way to comply with data destruction policies.
"A lot of people want to keep [all their data] forever now that 2TB disk drives cost a little more than $100," says Jay Kramer, Sepaton's vice president of worldwide marketing, "but having deletion policies in place is bubbling up as a significant part of an overall information asset management and data protection strategy."
The Secure Erasure option handles the grunt work. The software manages tape selection, scheduling and reporting via the GUI and eliminates the manual steps required to remove, reinsert, or transfer media. Secure Erasure then generates audit reports for each erased cartridge and e-mails them to an organization's compliance officer.
Secure Erasure also adheres with the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) recommended guidelines for clearing or purging low, medium and high sensitivity data to ensure that no data can be retrieved.
"There is no way that anyone applying forensic procedures to a virtual tape [that has been erased using Secure Erasure] could recover the data," says Peter Quirk, Sepaton's director of product management.
Quirk says Secure Erasure also helps stem the tide of eco-waste created by the destruction of physical media because, unlike physical tape, virtual tape cartridges are useable after the data is overwritten.
Each node of a Sepaton S2100-ES2 disk-based backup appliance can be configured with up to 96 virtual devices as either a virtual tape library or a virtual tape drive (up to 768 per system) for a maximum of 5.3 million virtual tape cartridges and 1.6PB of data per appliance.