Emulex is collaborating with IBM to deliver a host-based encryption system to secure data in cloud-based storage, virtualised environments and converged networks.
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The system is based on the Emulex Secure Host Bus Adapter (HBA) that sits in every physical server in a datacentre and IBM's Tivoli Key Lifecycle Manager.
Although due for commercial release in mid 2010, Emulex is to demonstrate the system at the RSA Conference Europe 2009 this week in London at the Hilton London Metropole.
Emulex claims this hardware-based approach to encryption provides a cost-effective, easy to use way for enterprises to protect data outside the server.
By encrypting every piece of data before it leaves the server, this system avoids the need to classify data and keep track of it, which simplifies data management, said Brandon Hoff, director of security product management at Emulex.
The data is encrypted and therefore protected no matter where it goes, for data in-flight on the network and for data at-rest on disc arrays, he said.
The system is the first to offload encryption processing onto the HBA card in the server, virtually eliminating reliance on the main server processor.
This is in strong contrast with software-based encryption systems that tend to be processor hungry and can consume up to 100% processing power at peak periods, said Hoff.
The Emulex system uses the Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP), which was developed as an industry standard by companies including IBM, RSA and Emulex.
This approach gives IT managers a seamless standards-based encryption method that will enable them to achieve maximum enterprise-wide datacentre protection, without affecting server performance, said Steve Daheb, chief marketing officer at Emulex.
Venkat Raghavan, director of security, risk and compliance at IBM, said the combination of technologies will enable businesses to minimise the risk of loss or breach of sensitive information.
The combination will also make it easier for organisations to ensure compliance with regulatory standards that are becoming increasingly stringent.
This is a powerful, standards-based step for providing security for both virtualised and cloud environments, said Daheb.