RAID 10 Data Recovery

Even with a heavily-redundant nested RAID, your server can still crash. Whenever your server crashes, you’re in for a bad time, but Murphy’s Law always seems to be fully in effect, and it’s likely to happen at the worst possible moment. Fortunately, if a RAID 10 server crash catches you off-guard, and puts your organization in jeopardy, we can save you a lot of trouble. Gillware Data Recovery offers expert RAID 1o data recovery services.

What Is RAID 10?

RAID 0 and RAID 1 make up, on their own, the simplest RAID levels. RAID 0 breaks up all of the data written to its disks into stripes. These stripes are usually 32 to 64 kilobytes in size. Any file larger than the stripe size gets broken up into pieces. RAID 0 creates a single volume as large as the combined capacity of all of the hard drives in the array. However, there is no fault tolerance whatsoever. If one hard drive goes down, the entire RAID array goes down with it.

RAID 1 usually only uses two hard drives. The RAID controller takes any changes made to one hard drive and copies them over to the other, making the contents of both hard drives exact duplicates of each other. If one hard drive fails, the other immediately takes its place. RAID 1 provides fault tolerance, but offers no increased capacity.

RAID 10, also known as RAID 1+0, combines RAID 0 and RAID 1 to offer the features of both configurations. Data is not only striped between multiple hard drives, but mirrored to an equal number of hard drives. This results in a nested RAID arraywith both increased capacity and fault tolerance, like RAID 5 or RAID 6.

RAID 10 seems like a huge improvement over RAID 5 and RAID 6. No matter the size of the array, you can, in theory, lose up to half your hard drives without having to deal with a RAID-10 crash. It seems quite unlikely you would ever need RAID 10 data recovery services. But RAID 10 isn’t quite that reliable in practice.

RAID 10 vs RAID 6

Take, for example, a simple, hypothetical four-drive RAID array combining RAID 0’s striping with RAID 1’s mirroring. Despite having four hard drives, you only have two drives’ worth of usable capacity. But at least you have the peace of mind of knowing you can lose two hard drives and keep going, right?

Wrong. You could lose half of your hard drives and not even notice—as long as you only lose the right two drives. If you lose two drives that contain both a set of “original” data and its mirrored copy, it’s game over. In this hypothetical four-drive RAID 1+0 setup, there are six possible combinations of two drive failures in this array, two of which result in the RAID array failing. You have a 33% chance of two drive failures causing a RAID 10 crash.

Free RAID 10 Infographic

Use the code below to embed this infographic on your site:

<a href='https://www.gillware.com/data-recovery-services/raid/raid-10-data-recovery/'><img src='https://www.gillware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/RAID-10-infographic.jpg' alt='Gillware RAID Infographic' 540px border='0' /></a>
RAID-10 vs RAID-6 comparison
A comparison of a four-drive RAID-10 array and a four-drive RAID-6 array. If the right two drives fail in the RAID-10 array, you could lose all of your data. If any two drives in the RAID-6 array fail, your data will still be perfectly safe.

Contrast this with RAID 6. RAID 6 works very similarly to RAID 5, but has an extra layer of parity calculations. The extra parity takes up another disk’s worth of space, spread across the disks in the array.

So, what if you take the four drives in the hypothetical RAID array and configure them in a RAID 6 array instead? Your RAID controller has to do some extra parity computations every time you write data, resulting in a bit of a performance hit. However, keep in mind that computers are really good at doing math, and doing it really quickly. It was their original raison d’être, after all.

Due to the way both parity layers are spread across all four hard drives in the RAID 6, you could lose any two drives before you have to start worrying about a RAID-6 crash. Our CEO Brian Gill recommends RAID-6 over RAID-10 for this exact reason.

As you add drives to a RAID-10 array, the chance of two drives causing your array to fail decreases. However, RAID-6 still offers greater capacity and fault tolerance.
As you add drives to a RAID-10 array, the chance of two drives causing your array to fail decreases. However, RAID-6 still offers greater capacity and fault tolerance.

The RAID 10 Data Recovery Process

So, how do our data recovery technicians here at Gillware Data Recovery recover data from a failed RAID 10 array?

Free Evaluation of Your Failed RAID 10 Array

As is our policy, the first thing we offer you here at Gillware is a totally financially risk-free RAID 10 data recovery evaluation. If you live in the continental United States, we are even happy to offer you a prepaid UPS shipping label to get your crashed RAID 10 array to us at no cost to you.

It’s important to send all of the drives in the array, including any hot spares. The RAID enclosure, controller card, and other hardware components, however, are completely unnecessary. Our RAID data recovery experts use custom software to emulate the RAID controller.

Once your crashed RAID 10 array has been evaluated, we present you with a price quote for data recovery and our predictions for the case results. This is not a bill; we only need your promise that you are comfortable paying for our data recovery efforts in the event that we recover the data you need. We only continue on with the RAID 10 data recovery work if you approve our price quote.

Independent Analysis of the Hard Drives in Your Failed RAID 10 Array

Our data recovery experts assess the health of every hard drive in your crashed RAID 10 setup and make repairs to the drives’ electrical components, internal components, or firmware as needed, and use our proprietary data recovery software HOMBRE to create full forensic write-blocked images of all the drives in the array. These images are contained on our internal customer data drives, which are never allowed outside our facility and are zero-filled according to Department of Defense standards after your data recovery case has been completed.

Determining the Physical Geometry of Your Failed RAID 10 Array

RAID 1+0 and RAID 0+1 arrays are complex RAID arrays. Essentially, they are two RAID configurations stacked on top of each other. Using HOMBRE’s relational database and the metadata contained on each hard drive in the failed RAID array, our RAID 10 data recovery technicians can puzzle out the way the hard drives in your RAID 10 have been arranged. After determining the striping size, striping pattern, data offset, and the order of the drives in the array, our engineers begin to have a clear picture of the lost data in the array.

Reuniting You with Your Data

After rebuilding the failed RAID 10 array with our disk images, our engineers analyze the recovered data, with the help of HOMBRE. We make as certain as we can that there is as little file corruption as possible and that your most critical data is functional.

We only bill you for our data recovery efforts after we’ve successfully recovered your data. Upon payment, we extract your recovered data to a new, healthy hard drive with hardware-level encryption for your security and ship your data back to you.

Why Choose Gillware for RAID 10 Data Recovery?

Our RAID 10 data recovery staff are experts in their field. Our technicians have logged thousands of man-hours of data recovery experience and have dealt with just about every RAID setup under the sun. We’ve done things our competitors have told their customers were impossible. We’ve done things our competitors have said were possible at lower prices than those same competitors charge their customers.

We here at Gillware stand by our engineers’ skills and our financially risk-free RAID 10 data recovery services. If we can’t recover your critical data at a price that works for you or your organization, you don’t owe us a dime.

Get in touch with us for a free in-lab evaluation of your RAID 10 server:

Want to learn more? Check out some of these case studies for RAID 10 data recovery:
Iomega StorCenter IX4 Data Recovery Case Study: RAID-10 Failure
Dell PowerVault Recovery Case Study: Lost RAID Configuration
RAID-10 Recovery Case Study: Failed Virtual Disk