Data recovery methods and techniques with hardware tools and technologies play a vital role in enterprise server management. RAID levels in the server disk grouping vary from zero to five, with each value contributing to the safety and reliability of data transfer during recovery process. The importance of hardware tools can be felt in case of domain controllers within with active directory systems. Risk assessment, downtime tolerance, recovery stages and interdependencies between hardware tools and software applications used in the process are the basic parameters on which the success of data recovery is based. In this aspect the versatility of hardware apparatus plays a critical role in ensuring safe and timely recovery process.
Problems with FSMO
Flexible Single Master Operations (FSMO) has been one of the most widely used data recovery mechanisms with windows servers for a long time. This method involves complete correction of the failed hard drive before restoring the data from another backup device attached to the main server or backup server. This procedure runs into issues when faced with problems in disk mirroring techniques used in the backup procedures.
Corrupt data: – The probability of corrupt data backup increases when the main server disk is backed up onto a single mater mirror disk. Since many of the disk failure symptoms develop over a period of time before blowing into a disaster situation, the backup procedures may lead to problems like relative identifier restoration. This procedure has often led to damages in the active directory database in the primary hard disk after date restore. Schema master data restoration from the backup server often leads to abandoned active directory objects.
Inconsistency issues: – FSMO operations are considered to be safe and sound as long as the performance level in the primary master HDD is fine. Disk failure conditions can have negative impacts on the reliability of data stored in it and hence the process of backup can also suffer from inconsistencies. Partial or zero backup on certain days can seriously affect the consistency of data in the backup server. When the same data is restored onto the primary master after the HDD is repaired or replaced, the reliability of data will be negligible.
Multiple domain controllers
Using RAID-5 with a spare disk for recording user data and parity bits from other disks has been proved to be one of the effective ways of preserving the integrity of data in the primary domain controller disk drives. Since data is being written into multiple disks simultaneously, failure of a single disk may not affect the overall integrity of data, as it can be restored with the mirrored image in the spare disk.
Another practice is to use multiple domain controllers with same set of data storage whenever there is a write operation from the network workstation. This procedure has been found to be beneficial in cases of large scale organizations, but they can be highly expensive for small and medium scale companies.
Optimized hardware tools
For small and medium scale companies, optimized utilization of hardware tools seems to be the only alternate for safe data recovery at highly reduced costs. You can avail the consultancy services of our enterprise data recovery experts in dealing with hardware issues faced by your organization during disaster recovery. We are able to suggest optimized methods through which you will be able to sustain the process of data recovery from your network server disk drives with near zero risk factors.
Efficient recovery procedure
Database servers need immediate restoration of working conditions in case of primary master disk failure. In such cases the backup domain controller can be used for immediate switchover of operations from the primary controller. Once this procedure is complete, the technician will have ample time to diagnose and rectify the issues with the primary domain controller disk drives. Disk and PCB restoration happens with the help of hardware tools and OEM software applications.
Disk drive restoration could be done with the help of dedicated hardware tools. Initially the PCB is tested for any possible faults. The technician may find a faulty ROM, failed electronic components in the board or damaged chips on board. In such cases replacement of components is the most commonly recommended method to ensure complete restoration of hardware. However the need to find compatible board components may delay the process a bit. The technician needs to search for the exact brand and model of the component and use it in the donor drive. Once he is able to find the exact set of components, he will be able to go ahead with the task of replacement.
Donor board is an equivalent PCB that is compatible with the failed board and which is in working condition. The exchange tool is able to house both the boards simultaneously while the technician caries out the task of component and part replacement. When the problem is with the firmware he uses the UDMA compatible tool for fixing the firmware issues. This requires a dedicated firmware library for the precise drive type which can restore corrupt firmware functions.
In the next stage, the technician scans for problems with the disk drive components like read-write head issues, cylinder problems, failed platter and other mechanical complications. Hardware workbench provides the complete set of utilities required to set right all these issues without causing any harm to the data stored in the disk drive. This stage of operations is said to consume most part of time in data recovery process. But once this is done precisely you can expect the disk drive to work for many years in the future without creating any sort of mechanical problems.
Once these basic procedures are complete, the technician is able to access the root sectors of failed drive. At this stage he will be able to use the data recovery tool for imaging the drive onto an empty secondary storage device. This process will be able to create a mirror image of the source disk without leaving out even a bit of data.