Seagate has shipped 1 million-plus self-encrypting drives

Multiple Seagate lines of enterprise drives gain FIPS 140-2 certification

Seagate Monday announced that it has shipped more than 1 million self-encrypting hard drives (SEDs), and that it has received a key government security rating for its top four lines of laptop and enterprise-class products.

The company said its Cheetah, Constellation, Savvio and Momentus SEDs have secured FIPS 140-2 certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

FIPs 140-2, one of four levels of 140 certification, means a drive has encryption plus some physical security, such as tamper-evident coatings or seals that must be broken in order to gain access to the cryptographic keys.

Seagate's shipments of SEDs have tripled over the last two quarters, said Teresa Worth, a Seagate senior product marketing manager.

One reason for the boost in SED shipments, Worth said, is that as companies retire hard drives, they're automatically choosing more secure technology to replace them. She also noted that original equipment manufacturers are increasingly using SEDs in products.

"One [OEM] is leaning toward taking only self-encrypting drives," Worth said. "It really raises the bar in saying you have to have a secure system to even play in the enterprise space."

Seagate SEDs in the Cheetah, Savvio and Constellation hard drive families are used in storage, server and PC products sold by Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, LSI and NetApp.

Most of Seagate's drives are using the 128-bit AES encryption algorithm. As of last year, the company began a refresh of its drives using the more advanced 256-bit AES algorithm, beginning with its line of 7200RPM Constellation drives.

"We'll be rolling out 256-bit AES on other products this year," Worth said.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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