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Secure Deletion Of LUNs Of Active High-End Storage Systems Part 3/3

In the last two articles, we discussed the two most common scenarios leading to LUN erasure: securely erasing a LUN, so that the volume can be used again and erasing LUNs on one or more defective or degraded hard drives, which are subsequently either returned to the manufacturer or stored by the company.

Another scenario is the substitution of one high-end system from one manufacturer by one from another provider (system-migration). In addition to the extensive data migration from one system to another, data security and secure data erasure are also of immense importance.

As a rule, a system migration is a rather long-term project and runs parallel to the normal operation of the old system before the latter can be shut down permanently. As can be seen in the image, the migration project starts close to the end of the life cycle of the old system. It should be noted that, besides data migration, enough time for data erasure on the old system has to be planned and included in the overall process. If the data has been successfully transferred to the new system, it’s time to start with the right option of secure data erasure.

There are three possible situations concerning the above:

  1. The machine is active and still has a certain residual value.
  2. The machine is no longer active or is deactivated and has a residual value
  3. The machine is no longer active, is virtually worthless, and is ready to be disposed of.

In the first case, in which the system can still be accessed, LUN erasure using a special LUN software solution such as Blancco LUN is indicated. With this solution, all data on the LUNs are securely erased from the system without the risk of data being recoverable. Afterwards, the system may be sold.

If the concerned high-end machine is no longer active and still has a residual value, the hard drives can be removed and erased using appropriate data erasure software, such as offered by Kroll Ontrack. In this case, however, the time required is quite long, since even older high-end systems have a certain number of built-in hard drives, which must all be erased individually. You should check in each individual case, whether the cost of data erasure doesn’t exceed the expected income from the sale of the system, so that shredding and disposal of the system is perhaps the best solution…

As for the third scenario: In this case the system only has scrap value. However, all data on the LUNs must be securely erased. Since it is no longer possible to access the LUNs and this is not even necessary, all hard drives are removed, so that an Ontrack Eraser Degausser can be used on them. The hard drives are erased individually by a strong magnetic field and made unusable. The drives are then disposed of professionally along with the rest of the system by a certified waste disposal company.

But be careful! The following applies in all three cases: the erasure of the old system and the data on it must necessarily involve proof of successful erasure in the form of a report and a certificate.

Otherwise, problems with internal or external audit bodies who don’t accept the erasure may appear later on. Especially in view of the dramatically tightened data protection regulations at European level, which will be probably in force next year with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the penalties of up to EUR 100 million or 3 percent of the annual turnover it imposes, certified data erasure is a must in any case!!!

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