Securing data in decommissioned datacenter hardware

Summary:Making sure that data has been wiped from the thousands of hard disks in your datacenter might be a job best handled by specialists.

How many times have you heard about a user finding data on a hard drive purchased used or found on donated hardware? Despite the best efforts of IT departments this is an ongoing problem, and in the finest tradition of "no good deed going unpunished" it is often the case when a corporation donates outdated hardware to a good cause.

This issue of missing a drive or two when wiping data to repurpose hardware is an important one and the fact that data is commonly exposed in this fashion means that it is a bit more difficult to prevent than you would first think.  And keep in mind that these stories of easily found unsecured data is usually in the form of desktop or notebook computers, where there is only a single drive per device.  So what happens when you need to decommission hundreds, if not thousands of hard drives found in SAN or NAS arrays that are being repurposed, aged out, or simply sold off?

This is the question that CloudBlue is addressing with their DataToaster and related services. The technology is designed to wipe fiber attached and SATA drives, still in the equipment drive caddies, and assure the customer that the data has been eradicated from the hard disks. The DataToaster is designed specifically for a high-volume data eradication process, and can do both three and seven pass overwrites. Additionally, the DataToaster identifies drives that cannot be properly written, and marks them to be degaussed and then physically shredded by the onsite CloudBlue team that is handling the project.

As assets are reused, repurposed, and recycled, managing the data security of information on those assets is an integral piece of the information lifecycle.  Services like those offered by CloudBlue are a necessity if you want to guarantee that your large enterprise business doesn't end up inadvertently releasing proprietary information stored on physical media on the datacenter.

Topics: CXO, Data Centers, Hardware, Storage

About

With more than 20 years of published writings about technology, as well as industry stints as everything from a database developer to CTO, David Chernicoff has earned the term "veteran" in the technology world. Currently the principal of an independent consulting business and an active freelance writer, David has most recently been a Seni... Full Bio

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