How Professionals Recover Data from RAID Systems
RAID is the term used for systems that employ multiple hard disk drives to form what the host computer sees as a single storage volume. RAID was initially introduced when larger capacity drives were particularly expensive and used a controller with an array of multiple cheaper, smaller capacity drives to form a large volume. This gave rise to the acronym RAID, standing for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives.
RAID system failures can stem from a range of differing causes. Hardware failures of individual drives would normally be within the scope of the system to handle, but multiple drive failures or failures of the controller can often lead to a system ‘crash’. Even the loss of a single drive, if not responded to correctly by experienced personnel, can lead to a ‘catastrophic’ failure of the entire system. This illustrates that despite the concept of RAID having great strategic benefits for storage performance and data security, these will only be achieved where the system is understood, implemented and managed correctly.
Where a RAID system has failed for whatever reason, our the recovery procedure follows an established process:
*On-s Site or Remote Consultation and Technical Support – The first step is to gather information about the system and its configuration, the nature and cause of the failure, and the steps necessary to limit further data loss and initiate the recovery process. Prompt and effective support at this stage can make the recovery process easier and quicker and may even be sufficient to reinstate the system without the need for further intervention.
* In-lab Diagnosis – The components of the system will be diagnosed for individual failure, and the data may be transposed to a recovery server for analysis to protect the source. The next key stage is to ascertain the original configuration. This involves analysis to obtain such information as RAID Type, Disk Order, any Hot Spare Disks, Stripe Size, Parity Type, and Rotation. Correct identification of these parameters is vital to recover data and may require the use of the latest applications and algorithms.
*Raid RAID Reconstruction and Commission – With the parameters established, the system can be returned to its original configuration and tested to confirm the integrity of the resulting data.
*Data Retrieval and Repair- – The data can now be recovered and checked with the client to confirm that a full recovery has been achieved. Arrangements at this stage will be made with the client to return the data in their preferred manner, either by recreating the original RAID system or in any other form that suits their individual requirements.
*On-Site site Data and System Restoration – To complete the total RAID recovery service, the system can be reinstalled on-site by our technicians. As well as testing the system to confirm full restoration, clients can be advised as to the correct system management processes and procedures to prevent any further instances of data loss.