USB Lock Keeps Data Safe with AES-256 Encryption

The new RAIDBank5 is a five-bay quad interface RAID system from Micronet Technology, which claims it’s the first device of its kind to combine AES encryption with USB 3.0 connectivity. The system supports RAID levels 0, 1, 10, 3, and 5, and available interfaces are USB 3.0 at 500 MB/sec, eSATA at 300 MB/sec, and FireWire 400 and 800.
Actually, that bit about USB 3.0 might be a red herring. “USB is all the rage,” Alex Koyshman, director of product development at Micronet, told StudioBytes. “But most of the people in content creation aren’t going to be using it today, so it’s more future-proofing. A lot of people are still operating under the impression that they have to use FireWire.”

So what are the more immediately relevant features of RAIDBank 5 compared to previous versions? Koyshman calls it incremental improvement. “If you want to do individual addressing, you can,” he says, explaining that each disk can be drive-mapped as a separate volume, should you wish to configure your system that way. “That actually works over every interface, FireWire and USB included. And by using USB 3.0, it guarantees that every single host interface currently in use is supported. That adds an extra layer of flexibility for people who plug it into computers outside of their own control.” The disk drives are hot-swappable, as are the noise-free fan modules.

But an especially useful feature, particularly for those who do a lot of work with studios and production companies who are justly concerned about content security, is the streamlined and completely self-contained encryption support. “Up until recently, I didn’t have a good solution that didn’t need something to be installed on the host computer, which would give me headaches as far as Windows vs. Mac,” he explains. “Now, encryption is done in the box. It’s a lock-and-key process. You plug in the [USB encryption] key and you have access to the drive. You can take the drives out and try to reform the RAID on another box, but all the data is encrypted with AES-256.”

For very paranoid customers, Micronet offers devices that haven’t been configured for RAID yet, so that the user can initialize a new AES code and create their own volumes. “We build the RAID set in the factory, test the unit and the IO, and then erase everything and send it with the key unformatted,” Koyshman says. “We couldn’t even get to it if we wanted to.” In this business, that’s just what we want to hear.

The primary configuration of the RAIDBank5 will have 10 TB and will run you $1799. If you’re in the market for something smaller, you can get a 2.5 TB version for $799 or a 5 TB unit for $999.

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