Seiko Instruments Inc. developed a new hard disk drive protection system, the "Secure Disk Protection Ni-3100 Series." The company said it is the world's first HDD protection system based on hardware control, and there is a patent pending. It will be launched on Dec. 14.
In this system, a HDD can be accessed in a "read only" state or a "read/write" state by each partition (applicable to up to six partitions) through switching. For example, when delivering contents on a Web site, a HDD of a related Web server can be protected against illegal alterations by setting its state to "read-only." When editing or updating the contents, the hardware control switches on the "read/write" state for the administrator to write onto the HDD.
The protection system also includes a reboot function to allow an administrator to remotely reset a HDD in the case of an abnormal halt of a server. The HDD's mode-switching (between a read-only mode and a read/write mode) can be triggered with a "key" to be additionally installed, as well as through a network connection from a remote site (via an intranet).
The system is provided in the form of hardware (a PCI board) physically independent of the HDD in the server. Thus, it can be built into servers of various makers. The system is supported on a DOS/V-compatible machine with an Intel processor (that is, an IA server). The target type of HDD is the one with an IDE interface. The system development kit is priced at $1605.