Redgate New Provisioning Dashboard.

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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...

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