Imation Prepares New Architecture For Holistic Storage Security

Imation Tuesday said it is taking a holistic approach to managing the security of stored data with a new architecture that offers security from the creation to the destruction of the data.

Oakdale, Minn.-based Imation also unveiled a new version of its NST unified flash and spinning disk hybrid storage family in both performance-optimized and capacity-optimized versions.

Imation's new Secure Data Movement Architecture, or SDMA, is targeted at midsize organizations looking for ways to prevent loss and leakage of high-value data, said Mike Stolz, Imation's vice president of marketing and global services.

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While most storage vendors typically focus on point solutions for securing the data on their storage systems, including data loss prevention, encryption and access control, Imation is taking a holistic approach, Stolz told CRN.

"We want to actively safeguard data from hand to cloud, from creation to destruction," he said.

SDMA takes advantage of some existing Imation technologies, including the company's Assureon archive solution that encrypts data at the file level, and its IronKey Secure Workspace solution that provides encryption of data on USB flash devices, Stolz said.

SDMA will be expanded to other storage devices as a way to provide encryption on archived and active data as well as data destruction policies, Stolz said. "If files are lost, customers will be able to retrieve and access those files," he said.

However, Stolz said, Imation is not yet talking about when SDMA will be extended to new platforms. "We're talking about a phased approach," he said. "It's a unique solution. We want people to understand what we are doing as we roll it out. And we also want to make sure partners get information about it, and learn how to leverage it."

SDMA is turning out to be the "secret sauce" of Nexsan, which in 2013 was acquired by Imation, said Corey Preville, CEO, business development manager and owner of CorData, a Herndon, Va.-based solution provider and Imation partner.

"Nexsan has always been good at producing bulletproof storage arrays," Preville told CRN. "But it had a marketing challenge selling Assureon, which wasn't easily understood by SMBs. But enterprises preferred buying from other vendors like IBM. At the same time, SMBs understand the value of securing their data, and they can't afford to build the security themselves or hire consultants."

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SDMA is for that reason a brilliant strategy for Imation, CorData's Preville said. "Imation has technologies like IronKey, as well as storage systems and other technologies to ensure data is available," he said. "So they will be successful. Imation has the resources to deliver a rock-solid product compared to its smaller competitors. And it can engineer it on top of its existing products."

Imation Wednesday also unveiled the NST2000, an entry-level version of its NST family of hybrid flash and hard drive arrays.

Stolz said there are two models. One model features an IOPS-intensive focus for high-performance applications including virtual desktop infrastructure and online transaction processing, with a starting capacity of 13 TB. The other model is capacity-optimized to scale from 28 TB to 168 TB of raw capacity for higher-capacity applications.

Both versions, which are slated to ship in April, support Fibre Channel, 10-Gbit Ethernet, iSCSI, NFS, CIFS and FTP operations, he said.