A belief common among even a number of experienced IT professionals is that having a backup keeps their safe and guarantees fast restoration of the data. Even with a well prepared disaster recovery plan there are problems which can occur causing restoration of a backup to either fail or be too slow for the desired purpose.
For small amounts of data restoring files from the backup media or cloud service provider will be faster than data recovery in almost every case. However when the required data has been created or modified since the last backup, there will be a need for data recovery services. For large quantities of data, often the case with RAID arrays, restoring data from a cloud service provider may take longer than sending the disks for data recovery.
Restoring files from tape appears to be a simple process of selecting which are to be restored in the backup software, and then inserting the tapes as indicated into the drive when requested. Restoring data which has been backed up to a cloud service provider is much the same. A good disaster recovery plan should highlight any problems which could delay the restoration of files.
When restoring files from tape the restoration speed of the data is dependent a number of factors, such as the media type and drive used or network bandwidth if the backup is performed via a backup server. It is common practice with a disaster recovery plan for tapes to be stored off-site, but the time taken to retrieve the backup tapes is not always factored as part of the recovery plan.
Cloud storage may not be appropriate for backing up large quantities of data. The use of cloud service providers as a method of backing up data is becoming ever more popular, even though the internet service provider bandwidth could lead to speed issues when attempting to restore your data. If the restoration speed is too slow it may have a serious impact on the running of your business if critical data is not restored when it is require.
Following the failure of a RAID array system it is often forgotten how long a replacement system will take to be built for restoring the data onto. Delays could include purchasing and building the RAID array, or the installation of the operating system, all factors which should be taken into account when determining the overall restoration timescale.
Emergency RAID Data Recovery
When disaster strikes causing the failure of a RAID array all options available need to be assessed, taking into account the timescale for each solution. The larger the quantity data which needs to be recovered, the more likely it is that emergency RAID data recovery can recover and return your important faster than restoring from backup. For data backed up using a cloud service provider where internet bandwidth is particularly important, the difference may be considerable.
For data backed up to tape, this may also be the case even if no problems are encountered during the restore process. The overall timescale taken to restore the data is extremely important. If it is decided to restore from back up, the failed RAID array should be prepared just in case data recovery is required, to avoid any delays, which should include acquiring quotations. If you decide to have your RAID sent for data recovery a new RAID should be installed ready for the recovered data.