Question: Does database encryption affect performance?

Answer

Yes, database encryption can indeed affect performance. Encrypting and decrypting data requires computational resources, which can lead to increased latency and decreased throughput, especially if you have a high volume of transactions or large amounts of data.

There are two types of database encryption: at-rest and in-transit.

  1. At-rest encryption is the process of encrypting data when it's stored on disk. This type of encryption can reduce I/O performance because every read/write operation requires encryption or decryption. However, this performance impact is usually minimal (can be in the range of 5-10%) due to advances in hardware-based encryption technologies like AES-NI (Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions).
-- An example of enabling at-rest encryption in MySQL ALTER INSTANCE ROTATE INNODB MASTER KEY;
  1. In-transit encryption involves encrypting data as it moves over the network. It can affect network performance due to the additional overhead of encrypting and decrypting data packets. SSL/TLS are commonly used protocols for in-transit encryption.

Here's an example of how to set up in-transit encryption in PostgreSQL using SSL:

# Server setup in postgresql.conf ssl = on ssl_cert_file = '/path/to/server.crt' ssl_key_file = '/path/to/server.key' # Client setup export PGSSLMODE=require psql "host=myserver dbname=mydb"

The degree of performance impact largely depends on the specific database system, hardware capabilities, the encryption algorithms used, and the size and characteristics of the workload. Therefore, it's important to conduct performance testing in your environment to understand the implications of encryption on your database operations.

Was this content helpful?

White Paper

Free System Design on AWS E-Book

Download this early release of O'Reilly's latest cloud infrastructure e-book: System Design on AWS.

Free System Design on AWS E-Book

Start building today

Dragonfly is fully compatible with the Redis ecosystem and requires no code changes to implement.