Within the business realm, the term ‘Big Data' has caught the attention of everyone, particularly of data scientists who are trying to cope with the complexity and criticality of this data. Everyday, new kinds of electronic data are being generated and these data volumes have become disproportionately large over a span of few years. Traditional data management tools cannot keep these massive amounts of information. As a consequence, all your mission-critical data now resides on data center hard drives, servers, and backup systems. However, the security of this data still pinches millions of organizations worldwide.
Given that data protection highly depends on the reliability of storage systems, we need to employ a technology that can guarantee system reliability. Besides disk failures, a number of contingencies may take place untimely and unexplained, bringing notable damage to your data stored in these systems and contributing to data loss.
DATA LOSS in Figures
93% organizations went out of business within one year when their data center was hit by a disaster. The businesses without a disaster recovery plan immediately filed for bankruptcy.
94% of businesses who faced catastrophic data loss came to a grinding halt. 435 of these businesses never started again.
77% of organizations who never cared for testing their tape backups met backup failures.
25% of home users keeping their data on PCs experience data loss every year.
Prime Contributors to DATA LOSS
Hardware Failure is the age-old culprit that has been long known to cause data loss. If you do not back up your systems and data, you are surely to suffer from data loss either early or in the foreseeable future. High failure rates are associated with all kinds of storage media and not being able to detect these failures in advance can cost you your vital data assets.
Software Corruption is one type of logical failure that can lead to outright destruction of data. This could manifest itself through a chain of errors (you call them BsoDs in Windows). A leading cause of software corruption is software defects or errors in systems. One reason why this is critical is that corruption may remain undetected for a long time.
Human errors are commonplace and can increase your odds of data loss many folds. Keeping in mind that humans have a tendency to ignore policies and to less care about following procedures, this can be considered the most obvious reason for data loss. There are a range of human errors that count here, i.e. disgraceful rebooting of machines, accidental deletion of files or data, etc.
Computer viruses can not only damage data, but can reach your boot sector and make your operating system malfunction. This is primarily seen on those systems that do not have a firewall or anti-virus software. These malicious programs are certainly the most serious threat to your data and even your reputation in business world.
DATA RECOVERY: A Need of the Hour
There is no shortcut to regain access to lost data. However, there are channels through which you can guide your way to a successful recovery of this data. In order to diminish the impact of such incidents on business, a specialized group of companies have entered the data recovery domain to evolve processes, tools, and techniques required for retrieving data on virtually any platform and from any type of storage media. Data recovery is important to get your business back on track, reduce downtime due to data loss, and improve productivity.
TECHNOLOGY Behind the Scenes
The foremost goal of organizations is to design a data recovery solution that meets all of their business needs, deals with data complexities, and works in a variety of computing environments. Various factors come into play when designing a data recovery solution, such as growth in structured data, storage architectures, cost of data management, and the like.
The concept of data recovery came to light with the realization that data loss is only a figment or misunderstanding. Files lost due to accidental data deletion or storage media formatting remain in memory or comparative areas until deleted permanently by the operating system. With the help of their continuous innovation, companies developed proprietary tools and techniques to recover data deemed as lost.
In order to perform data retrieval in cases of logical failures, programmers used their knowledge and expertise to evolve data recovery algorithms that could efficiently scan a storage device and undelete files that have been recently erased, deleted, or emptied from the recycle bin. This technology is based on years of research.
For dealing with physical failures of storage media, several data recovery companies are investing heavily to build specialized labs for performing recovery in a highly sterilized, anti-static environment.
DATA RECOVERY SOFTWARE: Under the Hood
The software solutions that embed data recovery algorithms to recover lost or corrupt data are known as data recovery software. The credibility of such software is determined by examining the files as well as file categories it is built to support. Given the varied complexities of data loss scenarios, it becomes mandatory to design robust software solutions that can deal with all kinds of data loss.
Data as a core asset may be present in multiple forms, such as emails, databases, documents, multimedia, and more. Data recovery software are designed with an aim to recover specific data types. These solutions may range from email recovery and database recovery to hard disk drive recovery. These software may also be put into various categories based on the platform or storage media on which recovery is performed.
The essence of data recovery is to salvage data with its original format intact. A good recovery tool will exhibit this characteristic by ensuring no modifications are made to the original files being recovered. Further, the degree of scalability offered by the tool adds to its usability. The software should allow a user customize the process of recovery on his own terms and meet his specific requirements.
First Steps After Facing DATA LOSS
The course of action followed immediately after facing data loss determines your chances of recovering data successfully. If you abide by the following set of rules, there is a good chance that your data will be recovered absolutely intact.
If you are suffering from hard drive failure and your failed disk is the boot drive of your system, you should not try to reboot your system from this drive. If you attempt to do so, the process may wind up damaging your data.
In case the problem of data loss has surfaced due to physical failure, you should not attempt to run a recovery tool on the failed hard drive. In case of physical failures, hard drives and other data storage media should be sent to professional data recovery companies.
If the problem correlates with file system corruption or any other type of software corruption, you should use a recovery software to retrieve your lost data. However, the recovered files should be saved on an external drive to prevent overwriting of data. If possible, you should attach the drive to your computer through an external USB enclosure to minimize disk utilization at startup.
If your drive has developed bad sectors, it is recommended to avoid using a recovery software. This action would result in damaging the sectors further and reducing the probability of data recovery.
You should never attempt opening the case of your drive by yourself, as this requires a highly sterilized Clean Room environment. If something goes awry, you may end up damaging the magnetic layer of your disk.