How to Implement Transparent Data Encryption (TDE)?

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What is Transparent Data Encryption (TDE)?

Transparent Data Encryption is designed to protect data by encrypting the physical files of the database, rather than the data itself. Its main purpose is to prevent unauthorized access to the data by restoring the files to another server.  With Transparent Data Encryption in place, this requires the original encryption certificate and master key.  It was introduced in the Enterprise edition of SQL Server 2008.

How to use the transparent data encryption (TDE) -  Step by Step Video

Key Point

  1. Since the physical data files and not the data itself are encrypted, the primary keys and indexes on the data are unaffected, and so optimal query execution can be maintained.
  2. TDE Protects data without any changes at application level; Implementation of TDE does not require any schema modifications.
  3. There is very minimal performance cost for enabling TDE. Microsoft estimates the performance degradation for TDE to be 3-5%, while cell-level encryption is estimated to be 20-28%.
  4. Once TDE is enabled, pages are encrypted on write
  5. CPU performance impact is minor [3-5%]
  6. Secure key, which is required for backups
  7. Transaction log is also encrypted, once TDE is enabled
  8. Tempdb is encrypted when your first user database is encrypted.
  9. Do not use Compression and encryption together. As SQL Server can’t compress encrypted data
  10. Instant File Initialization is disabled
  11. Filestream data is not encrypted
  12. Consider impact on 3rd party tools/application/software’s like scan etc.
  13. Encrypted databases backups are also encrypted
  14. Encryption key must be available to restore backups (certificate + private key).


  1. The subscribing database must also have TDE implemented incase publisher is encrypted using TDE.
  2. Filestream files remain unencrypted, incase TDE is enabled on database

For More information,

Understanding Transparent Data Encryption (TDE)

Another Article on TDE

Extensible Key Management (EKM) – SQL Server 2008

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EOF - How to Implement Transparent Data Encryption (TDE)?, SQL Server 2012 , 2008 R2 , 2008 , 2005 , 2000
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  1. Nice Video on TDE.
    Siva from ihub

  2. very informative. thanks a ton.

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