Cambridge UK, Wednesday 24 October 2018 – The leading Microsoft SQL Server tools vendor, Redgate, has introduced a new at-a-glance dashboard to its database provisioning solution, giving users an easy way to manage, organize and make available masked copies of databases.
Copies of production databases are commonly used in development to test changes against and ensure they are not breaking changes. Shifting left the testing in such a manner is one of the ways a DevOps approach can be applied to the database in order to speed up development and minimize deployment errors.
Redgate’s provisioning solution uses the tried and tested virtualization technology built into 64-bit Windows to create database copies, or clones, which are a fraction of the size of the original. While they work just like normal SQL Server databases and can be connected to and edited with any program, they typically take up only megabytes of space, even for databases of 64TB in size.
As importantly in an age when data breaches are prompting the introduction of stricter data privacy legislation, the provisioning solution also enables sensitive data in the clones to be masked at the time they are created.
Rather than simply randomizing the data, it uses pseudonymization and anonymization techniques to ensure the database is truly representative of the original and retains its referential integrity and distribution characteristics. The sanitized copies can then be used to speed up development, accurately test code, and fix issues faster. Their small size also encourages a dedicated development model where developers are free to have their own personal copy of the database to work with.
The increasing demand for and use of masked copies, however, can make managing multiple copies across disparate teams a complicated task. To address this, Redgate has developed a dashboard to make the searching, grouping, renaming and management of copies fast and easy.
The copies in use can now be grouped by location, the database version they were created from, and the instance they are on, and searched by name, creation date or size from the dashboard. Importantly, if a developer tests a change which breaks their copy of the database, it can be reset to its original state in seconds rather than having to be deleted and recreated.
The activity view additionally gives Database Administrators an instant picture of what has happened over the last seven days, who did it, and any errors that occurred. For errors that occurred previously, the log files can be retrieved in a couple of keystrokes.
To increase security and further demonstrate compliance with data protection legislation, Active Directory role-based access can also be used so that users without appropriate permission only have access to masked copies of the database.
As Rebecca Edwards, Redgate Product Marketing Manager, concludes: “At Redgate, we’re constantly talking to companies to discover what challenges they face in their desire to develop applications and databases faster while also keeping data safe. This latest addition to our database provisioning solution will help them comply with data protection legislation – and demonstrate compliance – while making their jobs easier.”