A note on SSD storage

Posted Posted by Martin Peacock in Infrastructure, PACS General     Comments No comments
Mar
21
2012

Some of the more progressive PACS sites have already started implementing SSD technology as part of their performance management initiatives.  In general this is (and certainly should remain for the foreseeable future) one part of a multi-tier architecture that has SSD as the very-short-term, ultra-quick cache with less expensive technologies providing cheaper, deeper, possibly replicated and even (a subject for another post), possibly deduplicated.

However, image data is very often (not always, though*) identifiable and should be treated with appropriate confidentiality.  When it comes to decommissioning a bundle of hardware, this is often achieved by forensically wiping clean each disk (taking a screwdriver to the interface pins comes a poor second :-) ).

As noted on the Sophos Naked Security blog, wiping SSDs is considerably more complicated than the same process for their cousins, spinning disks, and to maintain security, encryption should be engaged from day 1. Making the encryption keys unrecoverable is much simpler than doing the same for the whole disk.

Martin

* Of course, some PACS implementations do not store identifiable metadata with the pixel data itself – only within the accompanying database – for some modalities. That’s obviously part of another discussion on what precisely ‘vendor neutral’ is and how data migration can be facilitated in an equitable world.

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