I've long been a big proponent of self-encrypting drives as the best way to encrypt data-at-rest on PCs and storage systems.
This belief became a lot more real in January when the Trusted Computing Group published three storage encryption standards for laptops, enterprise storage, and software interoperability. Fujitsu, Hitachi, Seagate, and Toshiba support these standards and are already shipping self-encrypting drives.
In February, IBM joined the fray, further validating the self-encrypting drive standard. IBM announced that its massive DS8000 storage system will now offer self-encrypting drives to protect the confidentiality and integrity of data-at-rest. LSI, another leading storage system vendor, is also on board.
I have to believe that Fujitsu and Hitachi will soon follow this trend. Both companies currently offer encrypting storage systems that use a cryptographic processor resident in their storage controllers. Since both companies supply self-encrypting drives, it is likely that they will replace encrypting controllers with self-encrypting drives in future product revisions.
It seems to me that the dominoes are falling at an accelerating pace and that within two to three years, every device that ships with a hard drive or solid-state disk will offer self-encrypting drives. Chief information security officers, purchasing managers, management software vendors, and government agencies should plan for this inevitability.