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Glossary of major Delphix concepts

This glossary is your guide to exploring Delphix terms and definitions.




Delphix Virtualization

The Delphix product to deliver data on-demand to application developers and testers.

Continuous Compliance

The Delphix product to identify sensitive data and replace it with realistic but fictitious data.

Functional product components 



Delphix Management

The user interface for Engine Administrators to configure the product

Delphix Self-Service

The user interface designed specifically for project teams, application developers and testers.

Delphix virtualization engine terms

Delphix virtualization concepts



Blocks or data blocks

Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) databases are based on files containing data blocks on disk. These are then backed up and restored with traditional database tools or virtualized with Delphix.


A generic term for data in Delphix Virtualization. This can refer to sources or copies of data across any file/database.

Data source

The set of data, typically a database, that you would like to create copies of. Data sources serve as the base from which you will create virtual copies. The source may be a database, a cluster of databases, or a file system. 

Not to be confused with a dSource, which is a virtualized, compressed duplicate of this database. (See below.)


A database that the Delphix Virtualization Engine uses to create and update virtual copies of your database. As a virtualized representation of your source data, it cannot be managed, manipulated, or examined by database tools. Because dSources are simply sourced data, you must provision a VDB in order to distribute/clone/test the data being pulled in. VDBs can also later be refreshed from the same or other points in time synced from the dSource.

Delphix Connector

A service that runs on a Windows host and enables the communication between the Delphix Virtualization Engine and the Windows Target Environment where it is installed.


The server and software required to run a data set. For example, a Linux system running Postgres. This may either be an individual instance, or a cluster like Oracle RAC.

Environments can either be a source (where data comes from), staging (where data are prepared/masked) or target (where data are delivered and used by developers and testers).


Mechanisms by which Delphix can run scripts or call external processes during common Delphix operations. For example, running a particular script during every VDB provision. 


A standalone program that validates that environments are configured correctly before the Delphix Virtualization Engine uses them for syncing from data sources or provisioning VDBs.

HostChecker should run before adding any Environment to your Delphix Virtualization Engine. It is available to download from the HostChecker subfolder at


Replication enables creating a copy of specific data sets on a second Delphix Virtualization Engine. This is used both for disaster recovery purposes as well as scale-out. Replication is configured on a source engine and the data are moved to a secondary engine. The source engine then sends incremental updates manually or according to a schedule. 


Snapshots represent the state of a dataset at a specific moment in time. Snapshots are created from policies or are generated by manual creation. Snapshots allow you to choose a point in time from which to provision, refresh, or rollback.

If you have LogSync enabled, you can provision refresh or rollback from a point in time between the snapshots endpoints.

Note: Point in time provisioning is also dependent on log retention.


The standard process for importing data from a source into the Delphix Virtualization Engine. An initial SnapSync is performed to create a dSource on the Delphix Virtualization Engine. Incremental SnapSyncs are performed to provide additional points in time to the dSource on the Delphix Virtualization Engine.


This feature enables the ingestion and retention of more granular (log-based) source change data. This more granular change data allows for VDB point-in-time provision, refresh, or rollback.

Validated Sync

The process that runs on a staging database within a Staging Environment executes database cleanup and preparation. This is recommended and results in faster and more predictable provisions and refreshes, and which executes either before a snapshot is taken (SQL Server) or after a snapshot is taken (Oracle).


The collection of snapshots for a particular data set. Virtual databases can be provisioned from any snapshots in a Timeflow.

Unstructured files

Data stored in a filesystem that is not part of a database Unstructured files can consist of anything from a simple directory to the root of a complex application like Oracle E-Business Suite. Like with other data types, you can configure a dSource to sync periodically with a set of unstructured files external to the Delphix Virtualization Engine. 

Virtual Database (VDB)

A database provisioned from either a dSource or another VDB which is a full read/write copy of the source data. A VDB is created and managed by the Delphix Virtualization Engine.

Virtual dataset

A comprehensive term that includes VDBs and virtualized files.


Shorthand for “Virtual-to-Physical Provisioning”. This refers to the process of moving a dataset from Delphix back to a full-size database. This can be used in DR purposes or as part of a final performance test, matching the production systems.

TDE definitions  

The following terms are used by Delphix and are summarized here for clarity. 



Artifact directory

Directory on the target system (not on Delphix storage) which stores keys needed to support Delphix workflows on TDE-enabled vPDBs. It is located under the toolkit directory.

Auxiliary container database (CDB)

Provisioning an Oracle vPDB requires running recovery to bring the snapshotted datafiles into a consistent state. This needs to be done in the context of a container database, which is created on the target system. After the recovery is complete, the vPDB is unplugged and plugged into the target container, and the auxiliary container is deleted.

Exported keyfile

File located on the target Oracle host which contains keys that have been exported from the Keystore. It is encrypted with a secret that is specified when it is exported. The exported keyfile itself cannot be used as a Keystore, but its contents can be imported into a new Keystore.

Key rotation

Process for changing the master encryption key in the keystore via ADMINISTER KEY MANAGEMENT SET KEY. This does not remove the original key, rather it adds a new key to the wallet and future data will be encrypted with the new key.


File found on the Oracle host which stores the keys used to encrypt and decrypt the internal table keys in a database. Every keystore has a password that is set when it is first created and must be supplied for operations on it.

Parent Keystore

Keystore with the keys used to encrypt the dSource PDB files.

Target Keystore

Keystore for the target CDB into which the TDE-encrypted vPDB is plugged.

Dataset operations

The terms below describe actions you can perform on a Delphix Virtualization Engine. 




The process of establishing a relationship between a data source and the Delphix Virtualization Engine. After linking a data source, the Delphix Virtualization Engine can import data periodically and manage it as it evolves over time. In the user interface, this accomplished via "Add dSource."


Masking replaces sensitive data with fictitious data in non-prod environments (such as VDBs). It provides realistic data with which to work while reducing security risks. For more details about masking, see Masking Terms below.

Migrating a VDB

Moving a VDB to a new Target Environment.


Create a new VDB from a dSource or VDB.


Refreshing a VDB will re-provision it from the dSource. As with the normal provisioning process, you can choose to refresh the VDB from a Snapshot or a specific point in time. Refreshing a VDB will delete any changes that have been made to the VDB prior to the refresh operation; you are essentially resetting it to the state you select during the refresh process.


Rewinding a VDB rolls it back to a previous point in its Timeflow. The VDB will no longer contain changes that occurred after the rewind point. 

Staging Push

Allow users to control the staging database restore and the state of the restored staging database.


Remove all evidence of a specific VDB from a target environment. This action deletes the database and network pathway(s) on the target host. But it leaves the current VDB filesystem and snapshot(s) intact in Delphix Virtualization Engine so that VDB can later be enabled on a chosen target environment.


Establish the network pathway for the VDB between Delphix Virtualization Engine and the appropriate target environment, then start the specific VDB database.


Leave network pathway (e.g., NFS or iSCSI) in place on the target environment for VDB, but stop the specific VDB database on the target environment.


Start a specific VDB database on the target environment. This will result in no action for the network pathway and is assumed to be in place already. 


Remove all evidence of specific VDB from the target environment and the Delphix Virtualization Engine. This operation is intentionally destructive.

Delphix virtualization users and privileges  


User Privileges

Group Privileges


Access statistics on the dSource, VDB, or Snapshot such as usage, history, and space consumption

Access statistics on all dSources, VDBs, or Snapshots in the group such as usage, history, and space consumption


  • Access statistics on the dSource, VDB, or Snapshot such as usage, history, and space consumption

  • Provision VDBs from owned dSources and VDBs

  • Access statistics on all dSources, VDBs, or Snapshots in the group such as usage, history, and space consumption

  • Provision VDBs from all dSources and VDBs in the group


  • Provision VDBs from owned dSources and VDBs

  • Perform Virtual to Physical (V2P) from owned dSources

  • Access the same statistics as a Reader

  • Refresh or Rollback VDBs

  • Take Snapshots of dSources and VDBs

  • Provision VDBs from all dSources and VDBs in the group

  • Refresh or Rollback all VDBs in the group

  • Snapshot all dSources and VDBs in the group

  • Perform Virtual to Physical (V2P) from owned dSources

  • Apply custom policies to dSources and VDBs

  • Create template policies for the group

  • Assign Owner privileges for dSources and VDBs

  • Access the same statistics as a Provisioner, Data Operator, or Reader

Data operator

  • Access statistics on the dSource, VDB, or snapshot such as usage, history, and space consumption

  • Refresh or rollback VDBs

  • Access statistics on all dSources, VDBs, or snapshots in the group such as usage, history, and space consumption

  • Refresh or rollback all VDBs in the group


Manage all data objects: dSources, virtual databases (VDBs), users, groups, and related policies and resources." The `admin` user manages the Delphix Virtualization Engine using either the browser-based Delphix Management application or the Command Line Interface (CLI).

Has privileges over all objects and users.


Can perform typical system administration duties such as: modifying NTP, SNMP, SMTP settings; managing storage; downloading support logs for the Delphix Virtualization Engine, and performing upgrades and patches. The sysadmin user launches the initial Delphix Setup configuration application and has access to the Command Line Interface (CLI).

Has privileges for storage, upgrades, network, etc.

Types of notification




Completion of some action in the Delphix Virtualization Engine. Examples include user-initiated tasks such as snapshots or VDB provisioning, policy-based tasks, and background monitoring and maintenance tasks.


Caused by a single event on a Delphix Virtualization Engine. Also known as a System Event, and viewable through the System Event Viewer. Examples include warnings on source/target environment settings, recoverable errors, or incorrect connection settings.

Alert Levels: Informational, Warning, Critical


A persistent event on a Delphix Virtualization Engine that remains until the issue is resolved. The fault may be marked resolved automatically or require that it be resolved manually. Selecting to Ignore a fault will also ignore future faults of that exact type against the same object.

System faults describe states and configurations that may negatively impact the functionality of the Delphix Virtualization Engine and which can only be resolved through active user intervention.

Examples: Delphix Virtualization Engine storage failure, communication failures between the Delphix Virtualization Engine and a source or target environment/host

Fault Levels: Warning, Critical

Delphix self-service terms




Has full access to all report data and can configure and administer Delphix Self-Service. Additionally, can use the Delphix Virtualization Engine to:

  • add/delete reports

  • add/delete users

  • change tunable settings

  • add/delete tags

  • create and assign data templates and containers


A logical reference to a point in time on a branch. You can use it as a point from which to fork new branches. It can also be the target of policies – for example, you can arrange to keep this bookmark for two years.

Bookmarks are a way to mark and name a particular moment of data on a timeline. You can restore the active branch's timeline to the moment of data marked with a bookmark. You can also share bookmarks with other Delphix Self-Service users, which allows them to restore their own active branches to the moment of data in your container. The data represented by a bookmark is protected and will not be deleted until the bookmark is deleted.


Branches are task-specific groupings you can create within a data container. A branch is used to track a logical task and contains a timeline of the historical data for that task. As you work within your data container, you can create more branches overtime to run or complete separate tasks.

Branches represent a logical sequence of activity, separate from the underlying data lineage. This is the main concept introduced in the core engine and forms the basis of many higher-level primitives. Branches:

  • Can have only one timeline active at any time

  • Can be user-visible (e.g. exported to a user target) or implementation (e.g. just a staging source to run a series of transformations)

Branch group/target group

A collection of multiple Branches that are treated as a single entity. The system can determine compatibility automatically, or a template can be used to create more complex orchestration.

Branch timeline

A dynamic point-in-time interface for user actions within the Branch. Common activities include re-setting Data Sources to run a test, refreshing the Data Container with the most current source data, and bookmarking data to share or track interesting moments of time along the branch timeline.

Data container

Consists of one or more Data Sources, such as databases, application binaries, or other application data. Allows users to:

  • Undo any changes to their application data in seconds or minutes

  • Have immediate access to any version of their data over the course of their project

  • Share their data with other people on their team, without needing to relinquish control of their own container

  • Refresh their data from production data without waiting for an overworked DBA

Data template

Created by the Engine Administrator, data templates consist of the data sources users need in order to manage their data playground and their testing and/or development environments. Data templates serve as the parent for a set of data containers that the administrator assigns to Delphix Self-Service users. Additionally, data templates enforce the boundaries for how data is shared. Data can only be shared directly with other users whose containers were created from the same parent data template.

Data User

Delphix Self-Service data users have access to production data provided in a data container. The data container provides these users with a playground in which to work with data using the Self-Service Toolbar.

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