Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Ontrack devises data disaster scale to help avert data loss

Multilevel disaster recovery plan provides different levels of response

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 6, 2004 – Although natural disasters have recently wreaked havoc on valuable data stored by businesses nationwide, it is everyday occurrences such as human error or software problems that most frequently cause data loss.  According to Ontrack Data Recovery, the largest, most experienced and technologically advanced provider of data recovery products and services, most organizations are unsure of what constitutes a “data disaster,” and do not know when, or how, to implement an appropriate crisis plan.  To help them minimize business disruptions, Ontrack has created a Data Disaster Scale that grades the severity of IT calamities and defines appropriate crisis management steps to support business continuity.

“Most people associate data disasters purely with fire, flood or other natural disasters causing physical damage to hard drives,” said Jim Reinert, senior director of Software and Services for Ontrack Data Recovery. “However, almost 90 percent of data loss occurs due to human error or mechanical failure. While natural disasters attract the highest media profile, such situations are rare, comprising only two percent of data loss.”

“The Ontrack Data Disaster Scale illustrates the different levels of data loss, all of which are reason enough to call a specialist or revert to a business continuity plan. Data loss does not have to be a disaster, but it will become one if staff does not immediately recognize the seriousness of the threat to business, and act quickly,” Reinert added.

The Ontrack Data Disaster Scale

1. File or email deletion: A file or email is accidentally deleted or lost due to a virus.
ACTION: Check alternative folders, trash and any back-up files. Alternatively, download self-recovery software from a data recovery company’s Web site at minimal cost.

2. Loss of data on one computer: A virus hits a PC or laptop and “wipes” the hard drive.
ACTION: Check back-up, if available, run data recovery software or call a data recovery company. Determine whether recovery process can be carried out remotely via an Internet connection, quickly and securely.

3. Physical damage to a PC or laptop: Computer is dropped, exposed to excess heat or water, or caught in a fire.
ACTION: Do not try to dry, cool or rebuild the computer, or recover data yourself. Call a data recovery company immediately, who will advise you about the best options.

4. Hard drive error: Computer reports that the hard drive is experiencing errors, and may be damaged or corrupted.
ACTION: Shut down computer immediately.  The longer a damaged hard drive is left running, the more data that can be irretrievably lost. Call an expert, who will advise on next steps.

5. Burnt-out hard drive or electrical circuit board: Part of the hard drive is damaged internally, due to age or power spike.
ACTION: Call a data recovery company that has a substantial circuit board database.

6. Physical damage or “head crash” inside the hard drive
ACTION: Contact a data recovery company immediately. Ensure it has an audited professional cleanroom, and that the company is recommended by the respective hard drive manufacturer.

7. External damage to the actual hard drive: Physical damage, as mentioned in No. 3, also damages the hard drive.
ACTION: Call a data recovery company that has audited professional cleanrooms immediately.

8. Server failure: Two disks within a RAID array “fall out” or are damaged consecutively, server goes down and all company information disappears.
ACTION: Do not run “CHKDSK” or “VRepair.” Check to see if back-up tapes exist and are current enough. If not, call the experts immediately for advice on recovery of most current data from the stricken RAID.

9. Server destroyed and backup fails: Natural disaster results in total destruction to server, and the restore of backed-up data fails or tapes are damaged.
ACTION: Call data recovery experts that have onsite recovery capabilities immediately. Determine what can be recovered from the damaged backup tapes.

Ontrack is able to recover lost or corrupted data from all operating systems and types of storage devices through its do-it-yourself, remote and in-lab capabilities, using its hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques.

About Ontrack Data Recovery Ontrack Data Recovery (www.ontrack.com) is the largest, most experienced and technologically advanced provider of data recovery products and services worldwide. Ontrack is able to recover lost or corrupted data from virtually all operating systems and types of storage devices through its do-it-yourself, remote and in-lab capabilities, using its hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques. Ontrack Data Recovery is a brand name of Kroll Ontrack Inc., the technology services subsidiary of Kroll Inc., the global risk consulting company.  Kroll is an operating unit of Marsh Inc., the risk and insurance services subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.