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The impact of backup encryption on restore time

Jon Toigo, founder and CEO of Toigo Partners International, discusses the impact backup encryption has on restore time in this Expert Response.

Are there any issues to watch out for when encrypting tape?

The most important thing to consider with tape backup encryption is what stands in the way between you and the decrypted data set. With older LTO versions (LTO 4 in particular), encryption added about 40% to data restore time. It took about an hour to record a TB of data to LTO 4, and three hours to restore that TB. When you were dealing with media-based encryption, the same amount of data took nearly 5 hours to restore. So, I guess you should check on the impact of whatever method of encryption you are using on data access speeds.

The other point I would make is that a lot of backup encryption systems use crypto keys. That means you need a key management system. Some of these are simple to implement, others much more time-consuming, resource intensive, and otherwise challenging. Be sure to probe the management requirements of the entire crypto process before selecting an approach.

This was last published in March 2012

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