The role of a server is to provide services to other computers connected to the network. These services range from network file systems, printers, authentication, internet access and websites to name a few. It is therefore essential for any server to be reliable to avoid causing a disruption, which could have a serious impact upon the ability of users to work effectively.
A server is expected to run continuously for long periods of time without the need to reboot. If a server fails to reboot, following operating system updates, power failure, hardware upgrades or another reason, the consequences for network users relying on its services can be severe. It is important to understand that how data recovery forms an important part of any disaster recovery plan, as this may ensure business continuity.
Commercially available servers, especially those at enterprise level tend to be built using well known and reputable components, in order to achieve the necessary levels of reliability expected. Many also incorporate redundancy, such as a secondary power supply and RAID array storage technology. They often also come with on-site maintenance agreements giving peace of mind when a problem occurs. If a problem occurs the maintenance agreement may only cover ensuring that the server is returned to a working state, without taking the important data into account.
In contrast, many built in-house may use cheaper components and lack any levels of redundancy, which could later put important data at a much higher risk than commercially available servers. If you should go this route, it is important understand that you have the soul responsibility for maintaining the server. In both case however, it is important to have a backup plan and disaster recovery plan in place.
Server Data Recovery
If a failure does occur, requiring changes to hard disk drives, controller boards or system administrator changes to the configuration, caution must be used. This is especially important if the server contains a RAID array, as the incorrect procedure could render your volumes inaccessible and in extreme cases damage important data structures.
If you are at all unsure about what you’re doing or the procedures being employed by a service engineer, it is important to stop before irreversible damage is done. Your actions at this stage will determine whether your data can be recovered. It is easy to panic and make attempts to recover the data which could ultimately make the situation worse, costing even more time and money.
When a server failure occurs, especially those containing RAID arrays, the best course of action is contact a data recovery company, who can advise you on how to proceed without risking your valuable data. With business continuity imperative, no risks should be taken, so contacting server data recovery specialists such a DiskEng should be the first choice.