Delphix Data Virtualisation Enabled Data Masking

Delphix can help with self-funded, simplified masking and the ability to easily leverage lower cost cloud resources using masked data.

How Do You Solve A Problem Like… Masking?

Well, as in the film, for you youngsters “The Sound of Music”, we could burst into song but most customers are more inclined to burst into tears.

Providing secure data for non-production use is an expensive exercise whether you synthesize or mask (obfuscate) data. Encryption is much easier but not really an option for non-production use since it is reversible.

In addition, GDPR has raised the priority of securing non-production data with more binding legal requirements and stiffer penalties for non-compliance.

Delphix can help with self-funded, simplified masking and the ability to easily leverage lower cost cloud resources using masked data. In this article, I outline how Delphix Data Virtualisation not only streamlines data masking but can also help fund it as well.

Challenge 1: I need a database copy to mask

The first challenge for a data masking exercise is you need a copy of the data to mask. If your database is multi-terabyte where are you going to place that copy? It has to be in the production zone because until it is masked it contains sensitive data.  If you have space for a full copy but you need to refresh that copy you will likely need to overwrite the previous copy and deny access to existing users for the duration of the copy and mask process.

Solution 1: Virtual Data Provisioning and Versioning

Delphix Data Virtualisation allows you to create a full read write copy of an entire database with minimal storage, almost zero overhead for the initial copy. Better still Delphix Data Virtualisation allows you to create a new version without impacting previous versions allowing continuous production of new masked versions and uninterrupted access to previous versions.

Challenge 2:  I need to refresh several environments with the latest copy

With physical copies you need to copy the entire newly masked database to each environment and as with the original provisioning you will likely need to overwrite the previous copy and deny access to existing uses for the duration of the copy process.


Masking Pipeline 2

Secure Data Generation Pipeline and Consumption

Solution 2: Virtual Data Child Copies, Refresh, Branching and Versioning

Once you have masked your virtual data copy you can then create as many virtual child copies as required, all now sharing the set of blocks that were modified as a result of the data masking process, typically between 10-15% of data blocks.

Delphix Data Virtualisation allows you to refresh an environment on demand. Even after refreshing your database with the latest masked copy, the previous versions are still accessible and you can switch between versions on demand.

Challenge 3: I need to provision several masked databases at a consistent point in time

The first challenge is you need a masking solution that masks consistently across databases even from different vendors. You also require to be able to provision the initial set of databases for masking to a consistent point in time.

Solution 3: Virtual Data Point in Time Provisioning and Data Pods

Delphix Data Virtualisation allows you to provision multiple databases from the same or different vendors to the same point in time. These virtual copies can be grouped into Data Pods which are assigned to projects or individuals. All self-service operations on the Data Pods including, start, stop, rewind, refresh, bookmark, share and switch version automatically apply to all the components in the Data Pod.



Challenge 4:  I need to get my masked data onto a Cloud

One of the commercial benefits of data masking is that it enables customers to leverage lower cost cloud resources using secured data. Unfortunately, it is not always that easy to upload data to the cloud and keep the cloud copy updated with refreshed versions. Often this requires setting up some form of replication or backup and restore process for each database.

Solution 4: Delphix Replication

Delphix Replication allows you to replicate only masked database copies between Delphix Engines, which can either be on premise or on cloud. The replication process is completely automated and new database versions only require compressed blocks to be sent to keep the target engine in sync.

Challenge 5:  Cost of non-production copies and data masking

Data Masking adds additional license, processing and operating cost.

Solution 5: Delphix Data Virtualisation

Delphix Data Virtualisation will typically reduce your non-production storage footprint by 70-90%. In addition, Delphix turnkey, end to end automation reduces operational costs and accelerates development and test cycles. This combination of savings will typically fund your Delphix Virtualisation and Data Masking investments in 6-9 months.

To Summarize

Data Masking is a great example of how Delphix Data Virtualisation can streamline and accelerate the flow of data for use in non-production whether on premise or on cloud. In this article, we have not even looked at the benefits of Delphix Data Masking

Any customer performing Data Masking using any Data Masking solution will benefit from Delphix Data Virtualisation.