Azure Database for PostgreSQL Infrastructure double encryption

APPLIES TO: Azure Database for PostgreSQL - Single Server

Azure Database for PostgreSQL uses storage encryption of data at-rest for data using Microsoft's managed keys. Data, including backups, are encrypted on disk and this encryption is always on and can't be disabled. The encryption uses FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic module and an AES 256-bit cipher for the Azure storage encryption.

Infrastructure double encryption adds a second layer of encryption using service-managed keys. It uses FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic module, but with a different encryption algorithm. This provides an additional layer of protection for your data at rest. The key used in Infrastructure double encryption is also managed by the Azure Database for PostgreSQL service. Infrastructure double encryption is not enabled by default since the additional layer of encryption can have a performance impact.


This feature is only supported for "General Purpose" and "Memory Optimized" pricing tiers in Azure Database for PostgreSQL.

Infrastructure Layer encryption has the benefit of being implemented at the layer closest to the storage device or network wires. Azure Database for PostgreSQL implements the two layers of encryption using service-managed keys. Although still technically in the service layer, it is very close to hardware that stores the data at rest. You can still optionally enable data encryption at rest using customer managed key for the provisioned PostgreSQL server.

Implementation at the infrastructure layers also supports a diversity of keys. Infrastructure must be aware of different clusters of machine and networks. As such, different keys are used to minimize the blast radius of infrastructure attacks and a variety of hardware and network failures.


Using Infrastructure double encryption will have performance impact on the Azure Database for PostgreSQL server due to the additional encryption process.


Infrastructure double encryption for Azure Database for PostgreSQL provides the following benefits:

  1. Additional diversity of crypto implementation - The planned move to hardware-based encryption will further diversify the implementations by providing a hardware-based implementation in addition to the software-based implementation.
  2. Implementation errors - Two layers of encryption at infrastructure layer protects against any errors in caching or memory management in higher layers that exposes plaintext data. Additionally, the two layers also ensures against errors in the implementation of the encryption in general.

The combination of these provides strong protection against common threats and weaknesses used to attack cryptography.

Supported scenarios with infrastructure double encryption

The encryption capabilities that are provided by Azure Database for PostgreSQL can be used together. Below is a summary of the various scenarios that you can use:

## Default encryption Infrastructure double encryption Data encryption using Customer-managed keys
1 Yes No No
2 Yes Yes No
3 Yes No Yes
4 Yes Yes Yes


  • Scenario 2 and 4 will have performance impact on the Azure Database for PostgreSQL server due to the additional layer of infrastructure encryption.
  • Configuring Infrastructure double encryption for Azure Database for PostgreSQL is only allowed during server create. Once the server is provisioned, you cannot change the storage encryption. However, you can still enable Data encryption using customer-managed keys for the server created with/without infrastructure double encryption.


For Azure Database for PostgreSQL, the support for infrastructure double encryption using service-managed key has the following limitations:

  • Support for this functionality is limited to General Purpose and Memory Optimized pricing tiers.

  • This feature is only supported in regions and servers, which support storage up to 16 TB. For the list of Azure regions supporting storage up to 16 TB, refer to the storage documentation.


    • All new PostgreSQL servers created in the regions listed above also support data encryption with customer manager keys. In this case, servers created through point-in-time restore (PITR) or read replicas do not qualify as "new".
    • To validate if your provisioned server supports up to 16 TB, you can go to the pricing tier blade in the portal and see if the storage slider can be moved up to 16 TB. If you can only move the slider up to 4 TB, your server may not support encryption with customer managed keys; however, the data is encrypted using service-managed keys at all times. Please reach out to if you have any questions.

Next steps

Learn how to set up Infrastructure double encryption for Azure database for PostgreSQL.