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Sepaton adds data erasure technology for virtual tape libraries with Secure Erasure

Todd Erickson
Virtual tape library (VTL) vendor Sepaton Inc. today moved to beef up security for long-term data retention and regulatory compliance by adding secure data erasure technology.

Sepaton's new Secure Erasure feature lets storage

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administrators completely erase data on Sepaton virtual tape libraries in accordance with the National Institute and Technology (NIST) publication 800-88 for media sanitization. Sepaton said Secure Erasure leaves no residual data on the VTL cartridge that could be retrieved with forensic techniques. The technology is a licensable feature on the Sepaton S2100-ES2 data backup appliance.

Secure Erasure also provides a compliance audit trail for the data-erase function.

"For every [VTL] cartridge that you request to be deleted, an email is generated when the cartridge has been securely erased, which can be targeted to the compliance manager," Sepaton's director of product marketing Peter Quirk said.

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Quirk said the feature was requested by companies subject to regulatory compliance, members of the government intelligence community, and organizations with well-defined data retention policies. Some government regulations require not only that companies retain customer data for a specified period of time, but that customer data be destroyed. This is especially prevalent in the retail industry where customer credit card information is stored.

The government intelligence community was looking for ways to securely destroy sensitive and classified information from its own data storage media, and any data inadvertently shared with people without proper clearance. Organizations with well-defined business policies routinely destroy data after specified time periods to save media resources, money, and increasing to avoid data discovery in litigation.

"The greater level of e-discovery and litigation challenges is prompting CIOs to take a much harder look at not just retention forever policies, but deletion and the need for data destruction," Quirk said.

IDC analyst Robert Amatruda said these feature announcements can be important. "Some of these things that appear to be really mundane are actually critically important," Amatruda said. "The notion that they can securely purge data off of disk volumes is a really important capability in the world of data protection."

Amatruda also said features like Secure Erasure can help Sepaton compete with larger backup and archiving vendors. "Sepaton has experienced a great deal of growth and market adoption around offering viable alternatives to a tape system," Amatruda said. "They actually bolt into the infrastructure and can look, smell, and feel like the tape interfaces."

The Secure Erasure feature can be obtained by current customers by downloading the latest version of the S2100-ES2 software, beginning Wednesday. The license key costs $5,000 and requires a yearly maintenance fee of 15%.