Thales (pronounced ‘talus’) this week announced the Thales Encryption Manager for Storage (TEMS) key management appliance. In contrast to proprietary key management systems, TEMS is currently based on the IEEE P1619.3 standard and will eventually support the Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) standard, which was developed by vendors such as Thales, EMC, HP and IBM, and has been submitted to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). The KMIP standard is expected to finalized by the end of this year.

Thales will sell the appliance to both storage vendors and end users, with shipments scheduled for July.

“For storage vendors, TEMS provides a ready-to-use appliance for storage devices with embedded encryption, which eliminates the need for vendors to develop and maintain key management systems,” says Kevin Bocek, Thales’ director of product marketing. “For storage managers, TEMS eliminates the concerns associating with encryption, including reliability, data recoverability and the need to maintain multiple key management systems, which reduces time and costs.”

The key management appliance includes an interface that enables integration of additional key management protocols, including proprietary protocols. The appliance can be used with tape- and disk-based storage devices, as well as switches and host bus adapters (HBAs).

“Theoretically, you could have one key management system for tape, disk, switch and HBA devices,” says Bocek.

Thales plans to announce OEM agreements when the appliance ships in July.

TEMS features include automated key management, auditable encryption key security controls, and FIPS 140-2 compliance.

Thales will demonstrate the TEMS appliance at next week’s RSA Conference in San Francisco.

Thales acquired nCipher, which had acquired encryption specialist NeoScale, last year.

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