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How can one recover data from a distributed SAN system?

The necessity to store and efficiently process terabytes of mission-critical information prompts businesses and organizations to create in-house networks referred to as SANs. Such complex systems incorporate a number of storage devices into a huge pool of shared resources which can be smoothly accessed by different servers as though it was a single local drive. As a rule, SANs utilize multiple disks that are logically merged with the help of the RAID technology. Various RAID setups allow making the SAN speedy and highly robust, yet, none of them is able to make it totally foolproof. Controller failures, faulty configurations, power surges, software crashes and human errors may result in a variety of data loss situations, from deletion or inaccessibility of certain LUNs to the corruption of the whole storage pool.

The size and complexity of SANs often makes them non-transportable, thus, it may be quite problematic to ship such a system to a data recovery center. Fortunately, if all of the member disks are intact or the number of failed ones doesn’t exceed the system’s fault tolerance capabilities, the missing data can usually be restored on-site without physical intervention. However, the system must be immediately switched to the read-only mode to avoid permanent destruction of data through its overwriting. Also, the metadata and the journal of the SAN (usually 1-10% of the whole amount of the file system) should be copied to an external location.

The process of data recovery is typically performed in several stages, which, depending on the peculiarities of the case, may include the recreation of the RAID configuration, virtual translation of address space, reconstruction of the lost file system and copying of its content to a safe place.

Have your data recovered from SAN of any complexity

SysDev Laboratories offers UFS Explorer Professional Recovery as an in-depth software solution that allows working with RAID of standard, nested and custom RAID layouts employed in SANs. Also, the program includes partial support for particular SAN systems, such as Dell EqualLogic, HP LeftHand, HP EVA, SANsymphony, etc.

Yet, in view of the fact that most SANs today are proprietary solutions constructed with vendor-specific equipment, platforms, virtualization software and configurations, data recovery from them may require an individual approach as well as deployment of custom tools and techniques.

The combination of technical expertise and extensive software development experience lets SysDev Laboratories deliver qualified remote services on professional data recovery from distributed SAN systems. For estimation of the chances for successful data extraction you will need to inform us about the type of the file system applied on the problem SAN and send us the image of its metadata. This metadata is used for analyzing the peculiarities of data distribution and file names within the SAN system and does not contain any corporate or personal information.

Last update: January 23, 2020

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