Database Storage

Anchore stores all metadata in a structured format in a PostgreSQL database to support API operations and searches.

Examples of data persisted in the database:

  • Image metadata (distro, version, layer counts, …)
  • Image digests to tag mapping ( is hash sha256:abcd at time t)
  • Image analysis content indexed for policy evaluation (files, packages, ..)
  • Feed data
    • vulnerability info
    • package info from upstream (gem/npm)
  • Accounts, users…

If the object store is not explicitly set to an external provider, then that data is also persisted in the database but can be migrated

Reducing Database Storage Usage

Beyond enabling a non-DB object store there are some configuration options to reduce database storage and IO used by Anchore.

Configuration of Indexed DB Storage for Package DB File Entries

There is a configuration option for the policy engine service to disable the usage of the database for storing indexed package database entries from each analyzed image. This data represents the files in each distro package and their metadata (digests and permissions) from each scanned image in the image_package_db_entries table. That table is only used by the policy engine to deliver the policy trigger [‘packages.verify’], but if you do not use that trigger then the use of the storage can be disabled thereby reducing database load and resource usage. The data can be quite large, often in the thousands of rows per analyzed image, so for some customers that do not use this data for policy, disabling the loading of this data can reduce database consumption significantly.

Disabling Indexed DB Storage for Package DB File Entries

In each policy engine’s config.yaml file, change:

enable_package_db_load: true


enable_package_db_load: false

Note that disabling the table usage will also disable support for the packages.verify trigger and any policies that have the trigger in a rule will be considered invalid and return errors on evaluation. Any new policies that attempt to use the trigger will be rejected on upload as invalid if the trigger is included.

Once this configuration is set, you may delete data in that db table to reclaim some database storage capacity. If you’re interested in this option please contact support for guidance on this process.

Enabling Indexed DB Storage for Package DB File Entries

If you find that you do need the trigger, you can change the configuration to use the table then support will be restored. However, any images analyzed while the setting was ‘false’ will need to be re-analyzed in order to populate their data in that table correctly.

Last modified June 11, 2024