Cisco and EMC-owned RSA Security are to work together on encryption products for tape, disk and other media.

At EMC World in Orlando, the two companies talked about the technology, which is called Storage Media Encryption. It runs on a Cisco MDS 9500 or 9200 storage blade in the company's MDS 9000 director-level switch and uses RSA's Key Manager technology to control the encryption keys.

Storage Media Encryption will be an alternative to appliances from Decru, NeoScale, Vormetric and CipherMax. Users of the Cisco/RSA approach are expected to be in the medical and financial-services industries, where the security of records and financial information is paramount.

Initially, Storage Media Encryption will be available only for magnetic tapes. Cisco expects to roll it out by the end of the year. A subsequent release will extend it for use with other storage media.

Cisco will also offer an open key management API.

The RSA Key Manager is designed to ease the deployment and management enterprise encryption. It is used to generate, store and broker access to cryptographic keys, and manage their life cycle.