KV-CSD is an acronym for Key Value Store Computational Storage Device and Hynix a NAND memory manufacturer is directing their technology towards this storage approach.
Here at GetUSB.info we focus on NAND memory and typically look at the write speeds of devices. However, for data centers and analytic companies, the ability to retrieve data is more important. The ability to read the index of where data is and then retrieve it is a key part for data analytics and how companies can react to queries.
Just imagine something like an insurance company holding millions of policies and related customers who need to search and sort through large amounts of data quickly while servicing customers… now imagine that same requirement during a natural disaster where the incoming requests skyrocket. Quickly finding the data needed becomes a mission critical task.
Traditional methods for indexing are “relationship databases” and done on a file-record level. A file-record indexing approach uses predefined data structures in the database as a series of tables containing data about the type of information related to the files, like meta-data tags.
In contrast, key–value systems treat the data as a single transparent collection which can have many different values for each record in a column structure. The indexing values in a column provide a more efficient method to search the indexed data to more efficiently find the requested data.
What Hynix is doing is introducing a method to index content on the fly (as it’s being written) into NAND memory so when a subsequent search is performed the result will present itself more quickly.
Hynix teamed with Los Alamos National Laboratory in Northern New Mexico who is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, and managed by Triad, a public service-oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.
Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.
Reference material: Los Alamos National Laboratory website page about collaboration.
You’ve heard the quote “the devil is in the details” and when it comes to duplication of data to SD cards, nothing can be more true. Today we talk about an SD Card Duplicator which provides the ability to data stream unique content to each card.
Typically a user would duplicate the same content to SD cards because they intend to make many copies of the same content. However, my companies who use SD media (or microSD media) want to not only copy the same content to each card, but also copy unique data to each card.
Let us dig a little deeper with an example:
It is very common for companies who generate map data also want to protect their mapping information. Maps are expensive to make and often times hold proprietary information that company wants to protect. So when it comes time to use an SD Card Duplicator to make hundreds or thousands of copies, it is required to have a protection scheme included with the duplication solution.
A common method to provide protection on SD card media is using the CID number of the card. The CID number is a value which is put into “read only memory” of an SD card and that CID number is unique to each card and follows the card around. It is not possible to copy or duplicate the CID number… it is a value which is designed to only be read. In addition to the unique number, there takes specific vendor commands to read the CID number from the card itself.
With an SD Card Duplicator from Nexcopy it is possible read the CID number because Nexcopy uses the special vendor commands to read the CID value.
So this is what a mapping company can do:
- Encrypt the mapping data
- Include a text file with the decryption code for the maps
- Include the CID number of the physical card in the text file mentioned above
- Since CID numbers are unique to each card, write the unique key code text file to each card
With the SD Card Duplicator the user can export the CID numbers in bulk during the duplication process. When the CID numbers are exported in bulk, the company can write a script to generate key code text files which can only be decrypted by the card which holds the correct CID value.
The final step of the SD Card Duplicator would be writing the encrypted map data to all the SD cards (or microSD cards) and make a second duplication pass to perform the unique data stream of the encrypted file which holds the CID number and key code to each individual card.
There is certainly some custom scrips or batch files which the end-user would need to write, but the bulk of the duplicator process would be done by the Nexcopy SD Card Duplicator.
Secure Digital (SD) is a proprietary non-volatile memory card format created by the SD Association (SDA) for use in portable devices.
The standard was introduced in August 1999 as an improvement over MultiMediaCards (MMCs) by a collaboration of SanDisk, Panasonic (Matsushita), and Toshiba, and has since become the industry standard.
In January 2000, the companies also established the SD Association (SDA), a non-profit organization, to promote and develop SD Card standards.
Nexcopy turns the market on it’s head with the Lock License flash drive. A flash drive which is by default a read-only or write protected device. The device will accept a user password to unlock the drive through Nexcopy’s Lock License utility software. This new approach gives the power back to the user for when a USB is writable.
“The fundamental change towards how our flash drive works should draw attention for those looking for read-only USB flash drives” says Greg Morris, CEO of Nexcopy Inc. “What is unique about the Lock License approach is whenever power is cut to the device, for example disconnection, the USB is automatically write protected. This is the strongest first line defense against malicious software or virus jumping onto a flash drive without the user knowing. It is impossible to infect a USB drive if the device is write protected.”
Lock License flash drives require a password upon first use. This password is used to unlock the write protection and make the USB a read/write device. This feature provides a personalized solution for each business which uses the Lock License technology. There is no need to set the write protection after being unlocked because simply cutting power to the device will put the USB into its default state: A read-only device.
The Nexcopy Lock License write protect USB flash drive has the following features:
- Default state of drive is read-only, a.k.a write protected
- User assigned password to remove write protection
- No password is required to read from the drive, acts as normal WORM device
- Graphical User Interface (GUI) to set password and remove write protection
- Command line utility for custom integration to remove write protection
- No back door password or feature from Nexcopy to unlock the drive
- Available in USB 2.0 and 3.0 technology and ranging from 2GB through 128GB capacities
Stan McCrosky, head of Sales, comments, “System Control manufacturers for waterworks, electrical utility and petroleum companies need a solution like this. The ability to load software or firmware to a hardware based USB read-only device gives system control companies an incredible amount of security for in-field deployment via USB. More importantly, the command line utility gives the manufacturers a secure way to unlock the drive and update the content remotely without the worry of the drive remaining read/write. It’s simply impossible for the drive to remain writable.” McCrosky concludes.
The Lock License USB flash drive is simple to implement. Steps include:
- Connect USB to a Windows computer
- Open either GUI or command line utility to remove write protection
- Assign a password to be used when removing the write protection
- Data load the drive as needed
- Eject drive from computer once copy process is complete
- At this point the USB is write protected at the hardware controller level
- The Lock License drive can be read (used) by any device on any platform
- Password not required to read data from the drive
- Password is only used when removing write protection to make the USB read/write
Nexcopy Lock License media is available in USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 technology and range it capacity from 2GB through 128GB. Nexcopy offers six body styles for the Lock License media with a wide range of body colors available for each stye, all available for custom branding. The six body styles include Oxford; a capless swivel style drive. Newport; a classic rectangular shape with cap. Lexington; a classic rectangular style with rounded edges and cap. Augusta; a shorter style drive with large lanyard loop. Huntington and Geneva which uses an aluminum body for more durability and also better suited for laser etch branding.
The Oxford style swivel drive is the in stock media Nexcopy carries for same day printing and shipping. Nexcopy inventories USB 2.0 media of 2GB and 4GB capacity and in stock USB 3.0 media of 8GB, 16GB, 32Gb, 64GB and 128GB capacities. The in stock Oxford media is a black body with white swivel clip with full color printing via the Nexcopy Logo-EZ USB flash drive printer.
The Lock License utility is available for download off the Nexcopy support page. The utility requires a Nexcopy licensed USB flash drive. The Lock License USB write protection is not a universal solution for any thumb drive, a Nexcopy drive is required in order to take advantage of the increased security the technology offers.
You have a document, video or audio file with sensitive information on it and you need to send a copy to a third party. What options should you consider?
Three options come to mind: email, Dropbox or flash drive.
Sending an email is basically the same thing as sending a postcard. While there are efforts one can use to change this, email remains pretty wide open. This is true and scary; anyone who wants to read your email (not just the NSA) can read your email.
Most times you can send sensitive documents through email and nothing will happen. However; you are playing Russian roulette (almost literally, given the recent theft of 1.2 billion email account credentials by a Russian gang) with the security of that transmission. Remember, the topic of this post is about sharing sensitive data with a third party.
The next logical step would encrypting the email (or files) attached in the email. Encryption is a good option and certainly more secure than sending the email without encryption. You could run into a file size limitation though. Most videos will be larger than a 20MB, which is (generally) the maximum file size one could attached in an email. Encryption is a good next step, but there is a bigger issue at hand than file size. More about that in a few.
Dropbox is next on our list of most obvious options to share sensitive data with a third party. Dropbox is a great option when you have larger files. With Dropbox you could upload those big audio or video files and provide a download link for your recipient. Dropbox doesn’t encrypt your data by default so there is some exposure there. A quick and relatively safe method to encrypt your files using Windows would be compressing the video into a zip file and assigning it a password. Encrypting the data will provide that extra layer of security. As with an encrypted email, the encrypted Dropbox alternative also has a major flaw.
Ask yourself, “Do you trust the recipient?”
Today, more than ever, people are working from the home office. Working in a comfortable environment is nice and can be very productive. However; sometimes the home office doesn’t have the same computer equipment or gear to do the jobs needed. With many organizations who are practicing social distancing, or building a work community of remote offices, one will find certain items are still needed.
Let us look at a simple way to make USB copies at the home office. For example, let us think about an IT manager who needs to roll out restore installation packages, or a software developer who is required to deploy software updates to a group of remote users. This IT manager or software developer needs a quick, easy and inexpensive piece of equipment to do the job.
The mini-sized USB flash drive duplicator by Nexcopy is a great solution for this exact problem. The unit pictured below is 6″ long and 4″ wide. So it will fit into any briefcase (if those are used anymore) and light as a book.
The USB duplicator allocates one socket for the master device and four sockets for the target devices. The duplicator is a binary copier and will copy any file format or file system connected to it. The duplicator is powered through a USB cable and is ideal for any sized USB flash drive.
With a duplicator like this, making copies at the home office is very quick and very easy. The duplicator works with a single push of a single button. The mini duplicator may be configured to perform a binary copy or a binary copy and compare. The copy and compare function gives the user piece of mind that each copy is exactly the same as the master. So the USB flash drives can be delivered with the utmost confidence each copy is working and an exact digital copy of the master.
Flipping through the features of the duplicator, we have some other bullet points worth mentioning:
- Asynchronous copy mode, all the time
- Binary copier will copy any format; FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, HFS, Ext2,3,4, Proprietary
- Binary CRC verification algorithm
- Quick Erase and Full Erase for disk sanitization
- Four language modes in LCD menu
- USB speed benchmark utility
- Firmware upgradeable
So how much will this mini USB duplicator benefit a home office employee? The easiest way to determine this is asking ourselves how much time the duplicator will save. This mini system, called the Nexcopy USB104SA will copy one GB of data to each device in about one minute. That is ultra-fast. So if the IT manager or software engineer had to data load a 12 GB data set, it would take about twelve minutes to make four copies. There is now way Windows could copy data that fast to four sticks. When using the copy and compare mode it takes a bit longer… about 1.5 minutes per GB. So still incredibly quick.
There are a couple of features listed above one may not be familiar with, so let’s review. The quick erase or full erase is a scrub method to remove all data from the USB flash drive. This is a nice feature to guarantee data is removed from the USB with no chance of the data being recovered. Formatting a drive doesn’t remove data, but erase will. The quick erase will scrub certain portions of the drive so some data could remain, but most likely corrupted and unable to recover. The full erase function will randomly write binary zero and one data to the entire memory of the flash drive. By doing this random write sequence, it would be impossible for even the most sophisticated forensics recover software to restore data from the device.
The four language modes include English, Spanish, Portuguese and Simplified Chinese.
The USB benchmark speed is a great tool to figure out the quality of media one is using. This is particularly important when dealing with promotional quality media, as promo memory is very instable. The easiest way to determine the quality of memory is looking at the write speed. With the benchmark utility one can test the read and write speed of a drive. The USB duplicator will write about 20MBs of random data to determine the average read and write speed. If the USB memory has a write speed of 4MB/second or lower, it’s not good quality. If the write speed is above 8MB/second for USB 2.0 media and above 20MB/second write speed for USB 3.0 media, it is of better quality memory.
The CRC verification method is Cyclical Redundancy Check verification method and is most reliable for NAND memory. Probably best to search for CRC verification for a complete understanding of this protocol.
The USB duplicator made by Nexcopy is a backward compatible product and will copy to USB 1.0, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 flash drives. The duplicator will write to the device as fast as it will allow. The best write times will result from the operator using USB 3.0 media.
The USB104SA has a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of $399 USD.
The Compact Flash Association introduced a new standard recently.Â The standard was release because CF media continues to get press from high performing SD cards where most camera manufacturers are favoring.Â I suspect the SD format is more inviting because of the smaller form factor.Â Well this is where the XQD spec address’ that issue.
Key features of the XQD format include: a 38.5mm by 29.9mm by 3.8mm optimized size format, greater durability, scalable high performance interface, based on PCI Express 2.5Gbps today and 5Gbps in the future (instead of PCMCIA used by SD cards), and actual write speed targets of 125MB/sec and higher.
â€œThe XQD format will enable further evolution of hardware and imaging applications, and widen the memory card options available to CompactFlash users such as professional photographers,â€
said Shigeto Kanda CFA chairman and Canon executive.
Licensing for CFA members will start in early 2012, and no camera makers have announced plans to use the format yet.