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RAID Systems – What you should know about RAID

One of the worst situations you can be in is having a RAID device go down—RAID arrays, or Random Arrays of Inexpensive Disks, typically contain the most important information a business has, including backups, databases, and email histories, since they’re able to hold a vast amount of data and have lower failure rates than a standard drive. RAID arrays are often designed to stay running when a normal drive won’t; they’re often used to avoid data loss, but they’re not infallible. When you need to get data recovery from a RAID, there are a few things you can understand.

First of all, it’s going to be fairly expensive. RAID arrays operate by striping data across multiple disks, i.e. they write a bit of information to each disk in sequence until a file has been stored. Data recovery on a single drive is normally R3000-R5000, and RAID arrays are a lot more complex than a typical drive. Generally, the more complex the array, the larger the price, and arrays with more than five drives can easily get up over R20,000. Usually, a recovery can take some time too, so if you want to avoid being without your data for days, you’re going to pay for the premium. Data recovery providers have “priority” and “emergency” services that cost a lot, but get the job done quickly. The actual care going into these services shouldn’t be any different, you’re basically paying to get the data recovery specialists on the case right away as opposed to waiting in a queue.

Price is also going to change according to the level of RAID you have. The most common array is a RAID 5 or RAID 0, and any non-standard RAID setup is going to cost more per drive. Mirrored RAID arrays cost less than striped RAID arrays since they’re not as complex; they’re basically treated as normal drives except in rare occasions.

Do not try to reinitialize the array; this may overwrite data and make the recovery a lot more expensive. Also, if it’s a logical problem, don’t try to run any software directly from it, as the installation of this software could cause a big issue. If you hear noises from any of the drives, turn them off immediately and don’t turn them back on. This could cause massive physical damage to the platters, and drives the price up and the recoverability down.

When you’re pricing data recovery companies, look for loads of experience and make sure they’ve got a clean room. To avoid delays, see if the company you’re looking at is going to need the controller card for the RAID (most companies aren’t going to need the card, but it’s always a good idea to check). Make sure when you call you know some basic information such as the size of each drive, how much info was on the array in total, the controller card model and brand, the exact situation with the failure, and anything else you can think of.

RAID arrays are a really great instrument for businesses that need to store large amounts of data, though like any mechanical data storage system, they need to be backed up and the back ups need to be checked on a practically constant basis. They will eventually fail and you’ll be unable to fix it, just like anything else, and the expense is extremely high. The good news is that they’re usually very recoverable (rates are usually around 90% depending on the company you use), so although it’s going to set you back some money, you should be up and running again in no time.

Data Detect is Southern Africa’s leading RAID recovery company that has succesfully recovered data from RAID systems for many satisfied clients with references to back it up!

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2007 at 1:46 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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