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How to overcome small business data recovery challenges

Paul Mah | Sept. 20, 2013
Data recovery has mattered ever since businesses started relying on PCs in the workplace. Today's common storage options for small businesses all present some disaster recovery challenges. Here's what your organization should do to address them.

Still, Drobo devices have been on the market for some time, and at least one data recovery vendor has expressed confidence in recovering smaller Drobo volumes. "SHR is effectively RAID 5 [and SHR 2 is effectively RAID 6], with additional advanced switches in a convenient GUI," Synology's Weil says. "Anyone with a background in Linux and RAID volume tools can put and SHR array back together."

Windows Server 2012's ReFS New, Novel - And Slow

Despite recent interest in cloud storage, Windows Server still plays an important role in on-premises deployments for Windows-centric networks. One innovation introduced with Windows Server 2012 is the Resilient File System (ReFS), a proprietary next-generation file system designed by Microsoft for large-storage systems.

ReFS can auto-correct data corruption once it's detected. It will also automatically isolate the damaged portion of the storage drive should its attempt to auto-correct the problem fail.

On the flip side, ReFS is still new, and the lack of documentation can impede successful data recovery should the need ever arises. Moreover, ReFS uses a "copy-on-write" method to improve its resistance to certain hardware failures.

According to ReclaiMe's Pakhomova, an inadvertent side effect is that it can be difficult to identify which version of a data to use in the event of a failure. As a result, "Recovering data from a ReFS volume takes significantly more time and CPU power than from NTFS for the same amount of data," Pakhomova says. (ReclaiMe's ReFS Recovery tool is designed to recover data from a damaged ReFS storage volume.)

Portable Storage Devices: Follow Standard Operating Procedure
A typical business is also likely to encounter flash memory cards and portable storage devices. Both are prone to failure. In general, attempting data recovery on memory cards such as SD cards or compact flash card is no different from that of a standard HDD. Simply launch your data recovery software and copy the reconstructed data files to another storage device.

The same is true for portable storage devices, though data recovery is more challenging if you use an enclosure that performs automatic encryption. Indeed, while some data recovery vendors may be able to extricate and use the encryption key from the storage chassis, this is not guaranteed.

Ultimately, the standard advice on data recovery remains the same regardless of type of media: Never write any data to them until data recovery is completed, and - in the event of a mechanical failure in an HDD-based portable storage device - disconnect it as soon as possible, before sending it to a vendor.


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