RAID data recovery: just how reliable are RAIDs?

RAID data recovery is a term that is regularly entered into search engines. Vitally, this serves to disprove the widespread and damaging myth that RAIDs are a sure-fire way of keeping vital data safe and are an unassailable means of preserving digital files. RAIDs can and do fail and, whilst they offer a degree of protection that will at times allow an IT professional to retrieve lost data without the need to enlist additional support following a failure, there are certain to be times that the assistance of RAID data recovery experts will be needed.

The majority of RAID setups offer additional protection against data loss, the only exception being RAID 0 which offers improved read/write speeds, only. Other arrays reduce the risk of data loss by either containing at least two drives that store the same information (i.e. a clone drive) or a parity drive which, in the event of data loss, can be used to rebuild and recreate what’s been lost. Now, we know you’re probably thinking that this would be perfectly sufficient but, sadly, RAIDs’ ability to continue to operate following one drive having failed is often behind arrays failing in their entirety.

When a single drive fails, a RAID can continue to perform the same functions as usual but with limited functionality. Once a single drive has failed, however, the likelihood of another failing increases significantly and, as RAIDs are rarely checked and the symptoms of a single drive having failed can be difficult to spot, when one drive fails, the entire array often follows.

With RAIDs often deployed in servers, they consistently store data that is vital to businesses’ everyday operations and, should they fail, this can be highly detrimental and rebuilding and/or recovering the files that were once stored on it is likely to be a time-consuming process whether undertaken in-house or by RAID recovery specialists such as Fields Data Recovery. As the latter are usually able to recover data more rapidly, however, it’s generally the preferred option for businesses desperate to get their data back.

How much does RAID recovery cost?

Sadly, this is one of those questions that simply can’t be answered until the reason for failure has been determined and the best means of recovering the data has been decided.

With businesses operating on precise budgets, we appreciate that this is less than ideal – it’s one of the reasons why we offer a free RAID data recovery diagnostic to all potential clients.