Shipper lost another backup tape? No worries in SQL Server 2008

Recently, I hosted a Web Seminar entitled "Microsoft SQL Server 2008: What to expect" which focused on the new features of the new Katmai release due out later this year. This is one of the perks of being a Global Knowledge Instructor and Course Director: being able to explore and present new functionality of upcoming versions and prepare for the new release using the Beta software (or as Microsoft likes to call it: the CTP - Community Technology Preview). In 2005 we developed training during the Yukon Beta so that clients could get a sneak preview of the software before it came out using the CTP version in hands-on labs. The by-product of this strategy was that Global Knowledge was able to run training on the day that the product was released, Nov 7th 2005 using the actual released product in the labs. That's what I call "just in time training"! We hope to follow the same strategy for the 2008 release. You can view this recorded Web seminar on the Global Knowledge web site.

One of the great new features of SQL Server 2008 is called Transparent Data Encryption.

Data encryption was introduced into the Database Engine in SQL Server 2005, so why is 2008 so much better? Yes, SQL Server 2005 allowed us for the first time to encrypt individual sensitive columns without the use of third-party products. However, the implementation required application code changes using special functions such as EncryptByKey and DecryptByKey to encrypt and decrypt columns explicitly. Now in SQL Server 2008, Transparent Data Encryption allows a DBA to encrypt an entire database without the need for any application code changes. In fact, all we need to do is set a database option called "Encryption Enabled" and SQL Server does the rest. All data pages within a database will be encrypted and decrypted whenever data is physically read from or written to disk. In this way, if the disk drive or subsequent backup falls into the wrong hands, the underlying physical data is always encrypted. Although the encryption and decryption operations are scheduled on background threads by SQL Server, it should be noted that, as with all encryption strategies, extra memory and CPU power should be provided to deal with the extra processing cycles that are always needed in a secure solution.

But now you won't have to update your resume every time a backup tape goes missing!



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