LSI supports 8Gbps FC, adds encryption

By Dave Simpson

-- LSI today announced support for 8Gbps Fibre Channel host interfaces, as well as SafeStor encryption services that work with self-encrypting drives (SEDs) from Seagate, in its Engenio 7900 line of disk arrays.

Addressing escalating security concerns, SafeStor encryption services are designed to mitigate risks associated with costly data exposure and to meet regulatory requirements by combining LSI's controller-based firmware and local key management with Seagate's SEDs, which are based on Full Disk Encryption (FDE) technology. LSI plans to extend the encryption services to disk arrays beyond the Engenio 7900 and to its MegaRAID adapters in the future.

In the next phase of its encryption project, LSI will also extend the local key management by providing integration with enterprise key management systems.

SafeStor is integrated with LSI's SANtricity Storage Manager software, and company officials claim that managing SEDs is as easy as managing traditional drives.

According to Steve Gardner, director of product marketing in LSI's Engenio Storage Group, the drive-level encryption does not degrade performance and offers a number of advantages over other methods of encryption, such as network-based appliances.

"Putting the keys as close to the data as possible, at the drive level, provides better key management," Gardner claims. "It also allows features such as instant secure erase [which enables users to erase a drive's data in less than one second] and it makes it easier to manage encryption."

LSI also announced support for 8Gbps Fibre Channel host interfaces on the Engenio 7900 disk array, which now has 16 4Gbps or 8Gbps Fibre Channel connections and up to 448 FDE, Fibre Channel or SATA drives, for a total capacity of 448TB with 1TB SATA drives. The company also introduced 8Gbps Fibre Channel host cards.

Although no OEM deals were announced for the new 7900 system, existing OEMs include IBM, SGI (which was recently acquired by Rackable Systems) and Sun (which is being acquired by Oracle).

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This article was originally published on April 21, 2009