Cleversafe is an interesting new open source storage project. Unlike data storage mechanisms today that work by making multiple copies of data the Cleversafe software takes an approach based on dispersing data in encrypted slices.

The Project uses information dispersal algorithms IDAs to separate data into 11 unrecognizable DataSlices and distribute them, via secure Internet connections, to 11 storage locations throughout the world, creating a storage grid. With dispersed storage, transmission and storage of data is inherently private and secure. No single entire copy of the data is in one location, and only 6 out of the 11 nodes need to be available in order to perfectly retrieve the data.

The idea of information dispersal is not new: Adi Shamir (of RSA) first wrote something about information dispersal in a 1979 paper ‘How to Share a Secret (pdf).’

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