Clearing data from the appliance

IBM® Netezza® systems provide tools that you can use to remove or clear the data from its storage media.

Clearing data from an appliance is usually a rare operation. You would typically clear data in cases when you are repurposing an appliance to another team for their reporting needs, or when an appliance has reached an end-of-life point or you are returning it such as after upgrading to a newer or larger appliance. Depending on the sensitivity of the data stored on the appliance and its next destination, there are four options for removing data from the system:

  • DROP-INIT reinitializes a system to a factory default level. For models such as the N3001 series of appliances, this process resets cryptographic keys on the SED drives to cryptographically erase the storage media. For other models, a clear method might be recommended to ensure that existing data is no longer accessible.
  • CLEAR uses techniques and scripts to sanitize the data stored on disks to protect against simple, non-invasive data recovery operations. IBM offers several tools such as Storage Data Clear and DiskErase that can be used to clear data from storage media. Clearing operations can take up to 12 hours per clearing pass, and IBM Support can assist you with these options and planning the time required to perform the storage clearing operations.
  • PURGE applies physical or logical techniques that render target data recovery infeasible using state of the art laboratory techniques, such as Degaussing the disks. Be sure to discuss this option with IBM Support or your Sales contact because a disk must be purchased if the purge method renders the disk useless.
  • DESTROY renders target data recovery infeasible using state of the art laboratory techniques and results in the subsequent inability to use the media for storage of data. Shredding a disk absolutely ensures that data cannot be recovered, but this option requires customers to purchase the disk.

If you are planning an on-site test of a IBM Netezza appliance or if you are planning for repurposing or running an end-of-life cleanup of your appliance, contact IBM Support or your Sales representative for more information about data clear options that would work best for your environment.