Siafu Combines Replication, Encryption In New Appliance

encryption replication

The company this week enhanced its IP SAN appliances with block-based replication for encrypted data for use in data recovery and remote office data consolidation, said John Matze, president and CEO of the Poway, Calif.-based vendor.

Encrypting data is easy, but replicating encrypted data to a remote site opens a whole set of different issues, Matze said. "There are key management issues involved," he said. "But we have it wired."

When using Siafu's IP SAN appliances, data at a remote office can be stored in an encrypted form, Matze said. As the data is changed, the appliances unencrypt the changed data blocks, compress them, re-encrypt them and then replicate them to the central or backup site, he said. The overhead of such a process is kept to a minimum using hardware encryption, he said.

Jeanne Wilson, president Condor Storage, a Sedona, Ariz.-based solution provider, said she has a Fortune 1000 client looking for a remote replication solution for which Siafu's new IP SAN appliances would fit the need.

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However, Wilson said, Siafu is still too small and Matze's vision is still too forward-looking to get the attention of such a client.

"Nobody's every heard of Siafu," she said. "It's like pushing a snowball up a hill. With Siafu, I want to get involved, but Matze's message gets lost."

Matze is great at packaging new technologies together, Wilson said. "But when I talk to end-users, they're not screaming for [encryption]," she said. "I love John. But he's ahead of the curve. His products are more functional at the same price level of other products. His mind is outracing other people's."

Siafu's Swarm Series of IP SAN appliances now include both AES 256-bit encryption and block-based replication at no extra cost. Prices for the appliances start at $8,995 with 1 Tbytes of storage capacity. They include both an iSCSI initiator and Microsoft Windows software for NAS, allowing them to be used for both SAN and NAS purposes at the same time, Matze said.