Seagate Technology is adding a self-encrypting capability to its Cheetah 15K disk drive.

The TCG Storage Architecture Core Specification 1.0, based on a specification from the Trusted Computing Group. defines a way that storage system drives will recognise encryption commands and authorisation requests, saidGianna DaGiau, senior product marketing manager at Seagate.

The self-encrypting functionality will be added to the Seagate Cheetah 15K drives by this summer, she added.

"The drive will be encrypting data coming to it," DaGiau says. "The encryption key is inside the drive and never leaves it. It will require an authentication key for decryption." The type of encryption supported in the Seagate self-encrypting process is the Advanced Encryption Standard.

The reason that supporting the TCG specification is important is that "a storage system is likely to have dual sources, not just Seagate necessarily," and system managers will benefit from having a common way to use the self-encrypting process, she says.