Q: We do use Netapp. The issue is if we use the snapshot for load testing, will it impact the performance because all read operations go to production volume?
A: Data virtualization by Delphix does not share with production. Instead, a key feature is the “dSource”, which is a copy of the source stored within the Delphix Engine appliance. Incrementally data is extracted from the source and replicated over to the Delphix Engine. Then, virtual copies (i.e. virtual databases and virtual files) are made from the dSource within the appliance only. So there is no impact of virtual data operations on the source.
Q: Does this mean that Delphix works only with Oracle?
A: Besides Oracle, Delphix virtualizes SQL Server, Sybase (SAP ASE), and PostgreSQL. We anticipate adding IBM DB2 soon. In addition to databases, Delphix also virtualizes files, directories, and file-systems on both UNIX/Linux and on Windows. Entire applications can be virtualized, including database, database-tier binaries and files, and application-tier binaries and files.
Q: How is Deplhix licensed? Per machine/CPU/Core or environment?
A: The Delphix Engine appliances are licensed by 8 CPU/core increments. Not by the number of source objects, or the number of virtualized databases and files created, but simply by the number of vCPUs allocated to the Delphix Engine appliance.
Q: I always encounter the problem of Privacy of data with our customer, there is always a step for encrypting private data--how this is this tackled?
A: The Delphix Engine comes with an additional license for integrated data masking, producing virtual databases and files with personally-identifiable information (PII) already masked. Additionally, customers can also apply their own data masking as a post-processing step to provisioning or refreshing virtual databases or files. The Delphix feature to automatically perform pre-processing or post-processing actions using custom scripting is called “hooks”, and many customers use this to ensure that PII data is masked and that other desired filtering or special operations are performed automatically with each VDB provision/refresh operation.
Q: Can we spin a Delphix on Azure
A: At present, a Delphix Engine can be deployed within a virtual machine within your data center on a VMware virtual machine, or it can reside within Amazon Web Services (AWS) in an Amazon machine image (AMI) in the Amazon cloud.
In the near future, Delphix will likely expand to more hypervisors (possibly including Oracle VirtualBox or KVM) and to additional cloud providers (possibly including Microsoft Azure).
Q: Any best practices you learned from Presbyterian, and healthcare in general?
A: The healthcare industry in particular is regulated by data privacy regulations such as HIPAA. It is absolutely imperative for any regulated industry to protect personally identifiable information (PII), and it is an excellent idea for non-regulated industries to do so as well. Just ask any company that has experienced a breach of data.
If you examine recent examples of data breaches, it is apparent that it is not the production systems which were penetrated, but rather the myriad supporting non-production systems where PII data had been replicated from production. Essentially, while companies have been focusing on protecting production systems, intruders and thieves have been focusing on the neglected non-production systems.
A key tenet of data security is to reduce the surface area of the threat. Masking PII data within non-production systems, and the threat is reduced dramatically. This allows organization to concentrate data at risk within well-protected production systems. Data virtualization with Delphix is ideally suited to accomplish this goal of reducing the surface area which can be attacked.