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  Intelligent LOB Encryption with Securefile LOBs

Oracle 11g New Features Tips by Burleson Consulting
July 8, 2008

Oracle 11g SQL New Features Tips

Many applications need to store handle large amounts of unstructured data in the form of files such as images of checks, X-rays and other scanned documents such as invoices, article drafts or satellite images.  This is a big challenge in terms of performance and can be a severe security risk.

With Release 11g Oracle has extended the TDE functionality for LOBs. Oracle has completely re-invented the LOB datatype to improve performance and security. This new lob datatype data is always stored inside the database and on the other hand it comes with benefits such as file system like logging.

Performance tests have shown that query read access is up to 2 times faster and inserting can even be up to 5 times faster compared with conventional lobs, which are called basicfile lobs as of Oracle 11g. Securefile lobs even outperform Linux NFS/EXT3 files system at all file sizes. 

 % Securefiles are fully compatible with the traditional LOB interfaces such as             JDBC (Java thick and thin clients), ODBC, OCI, .NET.

% PL/SQL and applications can fully transparently take advantage of securefile            lobs.

It is possible to use operating system interfaces to access securefile lobs through the WebDAV servers of Oracle XML DB or Oracle Content DB. Data can be accessed using protocols such as WebDAV, HTTP, NFS and FTP.

The new securefile lob columns can be compressed and they support de-duplication, file system like logging and encryption.

In this chapter I will mainly discuss the security aspects of securefile lobs. I do not go into details with features like compression and de-duplication.

The following Oracle products use securefile lobs as underlying storage:

  • XML DB

  • Oracle Spatial

  • Oracle Multimedia

  • Content DB

% For encrypted securefile lobs you need the extra cost Advanced Security            Option.

The following encryption algorithms are supported for securefile lobs:

% Securefile lobs are fully capable of the following Oracle features:

  • Transactions and Read Consistency

  • Flashback

  • Backward Compatibility with LOB Interfaces

  • Readable Standby

  • Consistent Backup

  • Point in Time Recovery

  • Fine Grained Auditing

  • Label Security

  • XML indexing, XML Queries, XPath

  • Real Application Clusters (RAC)

  • Automatic Storage Management (ASM)

  • Partitioning

This is an excerpt from the new book Oracle 11g New Features: Expert Guide to the Important New Features by John Garmany, Steve Karam, Lutz Hartmann, V. J. Jain, Brian Carr.

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30% off.

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