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Thread: data recovery in case of unavoidable loss

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    Default data recovery in case of unavoidable loss

    A group of people talking about data recovery earlier caught my interest. It made me realize that my company's data aren't really safe in case of accidents. How do I protect my data and recover it in case of unavoidable loss? Are there companies that specializes in these kind of things?


    Any tips, advice, suggestions? Thank you.

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    Default Re: data recovery in case of unavoidable loss

    Unfortunately your question is extremely broad and impractical to pretend to provide a solution without understanding your business needs.

    All hard drives will eventually fail, even the newer SSD drives will fail at some point in the future. You need to plan for the disk drive failure and how you will address that eventual certainty. Most people chose to store data on disks in a RAID array configuration, which provides redundancy for your data by storing the data and/or parity on multiple disks, so that a failure of one or more disks can be tolerated w/o losing your data. Start here and read about the different RAID types and the pros/cons of each.

    To be clear, RAID is commonly used to ensure data remains available when a disk fails, but it is *not* to be relied upon as a method of "backing up" your data. There are plenty of ways to lose your data that don't involve a disk failure, so you need a good data backup strategy in addition to your RAID solution. RAID protects you from disk failure, period.

    Typically, medium to large businesses have dedicated storage arrays connected to servers via fiber and those dedicated storage arrays provide the ability to configure your disks into RAID arrays and allow hot-swap replacement of failed disk drives. If your company is small, it's reasonable to start with a Linux software RAID solution or perhaps even RAID hardware controllers installed in your servers, but the dedicated storage arrays typically perform better and can more easily accommodate your future storage needs.

    Ask yourself these questions:

    How much data can my business afford to lose?

    If you backup your data once a day and need to recover your data, can you tolerate potentially losing 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds worth of data in the worst case scenario? If the answer is no, then you need a backup strategy that either backs up your data more frequently or perhaps even a strategy where your data is backed up locally and perhaps off-site as well. Tape backups used to be the primary method people used to perform backup/recovery of enterprise data, but it's more common nowadays to use disk solutions for backups.

    Do you need to maintain off-site backups?

    Having your data backed up locally doesn't do any good if you lose your data *and* backups due to natural disasters or fire, etc. Again, big storage vendors like EMC and IBM have backup solutions designed for this purpose and there are plenty of open source / cloud solutions on the market today.

    Do you need to share data within your organization?

    Specialized filer servers for Network Attached Storage (NAS) have pretty neat capabilities for instantaneous local backup (snapshots) and data de-duplication which can save a ton of space if you're always backing up the same data. The big vendors all have NAS appliances which provide lots of functionality out of the box, but it will cost you. You can roll your own using Linux and Logical Volume Manager (LVM), but will require that your company has the technical staff (or contract out) to ensure that your storage and backup solutions are robust and will meet your business needs.

    Lastly, does your company have or need a Disaster Recovery (DR) plan?

    Your DR plan needs to account for more than just data backup / recovery. If you lost all of your IT equipment, including network devices, network circuits, servers, disk arrays, etc. How long would it take you to bring up your critical business applications at an alternative location?

    This info is just the tip of the iceberg, people have made (and lost) careers and businesses over poor or lack of viable data availability, data recovery, and business recovery processes. I hope this at least helps get you started in developing these strategies to ensure your business is protected.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by jefftee; 19th November 2015 at 05:12.
    I write the best type of code possible, code that I want to write, not code that someone tells me to write!

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