"The value of Quantum is 65 percent up since the acquisition," says Quantum's European sales director Steve Mackey. That's his way of putting the recent quarterly results in context. Adding ADIC to Quantum's operation was clearly a good idea. But that was in the past. What is going on at Quantum now?

Encryption

LTO4 encrypting drives are here and the devices have to get encryption keys from somewhere. The idea of selling another added value, storage-related software always appeals to storage hardware makers. So Quantum has announced EKM, its Encryption Key Manager, which provides a central key management resource. Initially it will support the Scalar 500 and i2000 libraries.

Mackey said: "We're encrypting data being transmitted between DXI de-duplicating devices. Only data transmissions are encrypted, not data stored on the DXI's disks. Also you can optionally turn encryption on or off."

EKM will support the IEEE 1619.3 standard and Quantum is working with IEEE. The standard defines a protocol to be used for encryption key management systems to talk to encrypting devices. But EKM and 1610.3 won't cover all the marketing bases.

Mackey explained Quantum's approach: "EKM is a mid-range offering. For small businesses library-based encryption will probably be the chosen method (of securing data). At the high-end FIPS 140-2 compliance is needed."

He thinks that: "We'll start to see key management being a feature of backup products from now on. TSM and Yosemite have it today. Others will probably follow suit."

De-dupe progress

How's de-dupe going for Quantum? Mackey said: "It's early days." Quantum is suing Riverbed for the same IP infringement that it went after Data Domain with. "Yes, Data Domain and us now have a cross-licensing agreement. The patent in question is something fundamental to de-duplication. We have several patents around variable block length de-duplication. In fact we have licensing deals with other vendors."