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4/5/2008
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Terry Sweeney
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In Lockstep At RSA

Just a few days before the RSA show begins in San Francisco, it's HP and not EMC that's talking loudest about storage and security. Why is that odd? Maybe because EMC owns RSA.

Just a few days before the RSA show begins in San Francisco, it's HP and not EMC that's talking loudest about storage and security. Why is that odd? Maybe because EMC owns RSA.Recall about two years ago when all the major storage vendors went security shopping (or were acquired). Symantec bought Veritas, NetApp got Decru, and EMC scooped up RSA. The age of compliance and data privacy and malicious activity demanded the twinning of storage and security, the vendors said, and analysts and the trade press dutifully repeated it.

I don't think it's any less true. But it makes me wonder why EMC's being so circumspect with regard to RSA, especially after EMC chairman Joe Tucci's cameo at last year's RSA event. I guess you don't mess with a well-known brand name in a market that's as reticent or buttoned-down as security.

One other interesting addition to this year's RSA agenda: National politicians. Michael Chertoff, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, will deliver a keynote Tuesday and has even deigned to a sit-down with the press afterward. On Friday, Nobel laureate Al Gore grabs the mic, and with any luck, will not talk about how security products can reduce their carbon footprint. These two book-ended speakers remind us it is indeed an election year.

But for the next 72 hours, HP has the security microphone to itself with its new encryption product and key manager. We can expect to hear from IBM, Microsoft, Symantec, and others (probably even EMC) about data protection; compliance and policy enforcement; more secure USB drives; and the like. Two years after the storage=security consolidation, it also will be a good chance to see just how closely linked these two technologies really are.

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