September for many people means “back to work.” Usually during the months of July and August we get fewer data recovery requests. Fewer enquiries usually coincide with the school holidays. Simply people are away and using their computers less. Consequently there are fewer opportunities to lose data. As a result we take the time to refresh our web content and invest in new data recovery technology and training. Nevertheless, what we do see over the summer is a significant increase in the number of managed servers and RAID arrays in for recovery.
Summer time – an increased failure rate
There are two main reasons for the increased failure rate. Increased ambient temperature and failure of air conditioning units lead to disk failure (it’s hot in the summer!). Moreover, the most significant factor is there is one group of people that also go on holiday in the summer – IT system administrators. For many people they don’t realise just what these people do until they go away, and suddenly things start to go wrong without them.
In a 4 week period running from mid-July to mid-August we saw a surge of RAID arrays in for recovery. In a 10 day period we received 5 RAID/servers in. This varied from a massive 6 disk RAID-5 18TB volume in a DAS sevice, 2 Dell Power Edge servers which had been in a fire, and a number of smaller RAID-0 and RAID-1 storage devices. In this case all of these devices came from customers in from the North West of England (Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Liverpool), although for the 18TB it was originally stored in India and made the journey back to the UK for us to deal with.
In a future post we’ll highlight some of the typical failures in these servers and RAID arrays, and what CDR about them, and the results of each. For more detailed explanations of RAID and server recovery please visit CDR’s newly refreshed RAID and Server Data Recovery website.