To back up and restore encryption settings definitions, you can either:

  • Export one or more encryption settings definitions using the encryption-settings export command. This command also generates a passphrase-protected file containing the encryption settings definitions in a portable format. This is the recommended approach.
  • Back up and restore the entire encryption settings database using the backup and restore tools.

The encryption-settings export command is recommended for the following reasons:

  • With the backup command, the resulting backup only contains the encryption-settings-db file. The backup does not automatically contain any metadata files needed by the configured cipher stream provider to access the encryption settings database. The output generated by the backup command indicates which additional files are needed to enable that access.

    These metadata files must be present before restoring the encryption settings database.

  • With the backup command, the resulting backup depends on the cipher stream provider enabled when the encryption settings database was last written. This means that the cipher stream provider must already be configured and active in the server configuration before restoring the encryption settings database.
  • Because the backup generated by the backup command depends on the existing configuration of the cipher stream provider, that cipher stream provider might not be useable if the system configuration changes. For example, if the Amazon Key Management Service cipher stream provider was used at the time the backup was generated with an encryption key that is no longer available, then it's not possible to restore the backup.

The encryption settings definitions must be exported or backed up regularly, especially after creating a new definition, importing one or more definitions, or changing the preferred encryption settings definition.

If an encryption settings definition is lost, then any data encrypted with that definition becomes inaccessible. In some cases, a lost definition renders the server inoperable.