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SOURCE: Data Recovery Services
Custom designed software successfully recovers critical patient data after large healthcare provider accidentally overwrites backup tape.
Dallas, TX (PRWEB) January 27, 2013
Data Recovery Services, a subdivision of the ACE Data Group, LLC, announced today they have developed proprietary software that allows their tape engineers to successfully recover data from LTO or comparable tape technologies that has been accidentally overwritten. This custom designed software permitted a major healthcare provider to avert disaster and recover critical patient data from a backup tape they thought was unusable. Data Recovery Services is one of the only firms in the United States with the engineering expertise to extract data from tape media while maintaining the correct directory structure and file names from beyond tape End of Data (EOD) markers.
It is standard practice in the industry to run full system backups on a weekly basis and do daily incremental backups. Many companies still rely on LTO or similar tape technology to do these backups due to their low cost and high capacities. However, if the system administrator is mounting the tapes manually every day, it dramatically increases the chances of accidentally loading the wrong tape in the drive and writing over previously valid backup data. This is exactly what happened to a major healthcare provider in Dallas when they overwrote their 83.4GB full system backup with a 181MB incremental. If they had caught their mistake immediately they could have simply created another full back tape and avoided a potential disaster.
Unfortunately the mistake was not discovered until they had a failure of one of their business critical RAID 5 systems. After attempting to rectify the RAID 5 issue it was determined they needed to do a full system restore. However, they soon realized that their “full backup” tape did not contain the 83.4GB full backup, but a 181MB incremental. Now they had an unusable broken RAID array and no valid full backup to restore from. This particular production system contained current patient data including MRI and X-Ray scans. Until this patient data could be restored none of those patients could receive proper treatment.
The challenge was that backup software writes a marker to the tape known as an End of File (EOF), End of Data (EOD), or End of Media (EOM) markers. When the tape drive reads this marker it will not go past it, so there is no way to access any data beyond this marker via normal conventions. To overcome this issue, Data Recovery Services used proprietary software to take control over the drive’s data block positioning on the tape. DRS was able to extract a raw data stream from beyond each EOD marker and successfully wrote this raw data to another LTO-3 tape.
However, the recovery was far from complete. This raw data stream had no header information and could not be cataloged or restored using the backup software that wrote it. The stream had to be further processed in order to acquire the actual folders and files originally written to the tape. The tape engineering experts at DRS developed a custom solution to find and use each stream to obtain parent folder names, file names, etc., and converted the raw data back into its correct order and file structure.
“This is why Fortune 500 companies trust us with their critical media recovery needs.” according to Data Recovery Services General Manager Don Wells. “We have the best engineers in the industry and they develop tailored solutions for the challenging issues no one else can solve.” Of the original 83.4GB full backup, Data Recovery Services was able to extract 81.6GB of usable data. The healthcare provider accomplished a successful restore of the RAID 5 system and patient data was once again available to doctors.
Tape technology, like LTO, will continue to be used by companies of all sizes for backup and archiving purposes. When those tapes are overwritten or become corrupt for ANY reason you need to trust them to the tape data recovery experts at Data Recovery Services. They continue to the lead the industry in building innovative hardware and software that recovers data from any media. If they can’t get your data back, no one can.
About Data Recovery Services
Data Recovery Services, a subdivision of ACE Data Group LLC, is a leading provider of data recovery and computer forensic services to customers all over the world. Since 1981, Data Recovery Services has worked with every type of media including HDD, SSD, RAID, SAN, NAS, flash drives, and tapes.
For additional information visit their website at: http://www.datarecovery.net or call at 877-304-7189.
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