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RAID Recovery Services
Why Use a RAID Recovery Service?
There are several ways to ensure you don't lose data that's vital to your business. One of the most common procedures is backing up your data to separate drives regularly. Another is redundancy. RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) systems have multiple applications, the most common being enhanced performance and redundancy.
RAID devices are made up of multiple hard disks, and depending on what type of setup you have, data is copied to multiple disks to ensure that if one of those disks fails, the data will live on in a sister disk.
However, accidents happen. Multiple hard drives fail over time. Natural disasters unexpectedly wipe away hundreds of gigabytes or terabytes of data from your business's network. RAID systems can only do so much to safeguard data, and they, too, are subject to sweeping failures.
Professional data recovery services can be contracted to evaluate the damage to your RAID drives and recover salvageable files. These services operate on your devices in cleanroom environments to mitigate any further damage to the disk and retrieve data from even the most damaged disks.
Our Verdict & Recommendations
Our top pick for the best RAID Recovery Services is a close call, but we selected Secure Data Recovery as our Gold Award winner. It's the only company on our list to have a certified ISO 4 Class 10 cleanroom, meaning its cleanroom contains 10 times less particulates than companies that have ISO Class 5-certified cleanrooms. This, combined with outstanding customer service options and consistency, earned it our top prize.
SalvageData Recovery impressed us with its exceptional customer service – representatives quickly answered our questions and provided consistent answers. Its certified cleanroom and auditing credentials demonstrate this service is not only transparent but is efficient and serious about securing its clients' data. It earned the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
Gillware Data Recovery earned our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award thanks to its quick turnaround time and certifiable security and privacy protocols, but it missed ranking higher because it uses modular workbenches instead of fully certified cleanrooms.
What We Tested, What We Found
Whether you're experiencing a complete RAID array failure or a partition disk has stopped working, here's how to find a quality RAID recovery service.
Customer Service Consistency
When dealing with a service you are entrusting your data with, you want to interact with credible, trustworthy representatives; employees who give concise, straightforward answers, not ones who sidestep questions and repeatedly try to upsell services.
We anonymously contacted each of the services on our lineup multiple times through all of their support channels (phone, email, etc.) and asked the same questions to check for contradictions, straightforwardness and response time. We then awarded each company a score, ranging from 0 to 100%. If different representatives gave us conflicting information, such as expected turnaround times or features, we lowered their score.
The best companies provided consistent answers and responded in a timely manner.
It's also imperative when choosing a RAID recovery service to get accurate, direct information. One issue we experienced with some services is that some representatives avoided our questions. Rather than giving us a straight answer or admitting that they didn't know, they would transfer us to somebody else.
Also, many of our email inquiries would go unanswered, which shows a lack of professionalism. When your business hangs in the balance because of lost or missing data, stalling or not responding to customers' inquiries is not acceptable.
Confirming Practices & Procedures
Because disk platters are highly sensitive, the top RAID recovery services use highly trained technicians that perform their highly specialized work in cleanroom environments free from particulates. Look for services that are certified by credible, third-party organizations.
It's one thing to claim your service is up to standard and another to have the certification. We specifically looked for two types of credentials. The first credential was ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification, which determines the maximum amount of particulates in a cleanroom. Most services claim they meet these standards, so on our matrix, we also listed the date of the company's last public certification. The more up to date the certification, the better.
The second credential is SSAE 16 Service Organization Controls, which is a standard for auditing, security and data privacy. We only credited companies that publicly displayed their SSAE credentials. There are different levels of certification; however, there is debate over which one is better, so we gave full credit to companies that had any level of certification. This certification is important to clients that deal with financials or other private data. It's also indicative of the controls the service has in place for data security.
What to Consider in a RAID Recovery Service
Here are three areas to pay close attention to when selecting a RAID recover service.
Types of Data Loss They Can Resolve
Data loss comes in many forms. The easiest scenarios to resolve are usually accidental causes, such as deletion of files, reformatted drives and partition deletion. These situations can usually be resolved with data recovery software and don't normally require a professional service.
More advanced issues, such as mechanical failures, data corruption or physical damage from fire or water, may seem hopeless. But services can recover disks by examining the physical platters of the hard drive, fixing mechanical errors and pulling raw data from the device onto new media.
It's important to identify what data recovery issues you can resolve yourself, as going to a service will be much more expensive.
Questions to Ask
Some top-ranked services have a "No Data, No Cost Guarantee," meaning you only pay for data that has been successfully recovered. Some companies charge you a flat evaluation fee whether they are able to retrieve data or not.
If speed is of utmost importance to you, some companies provide priority service that will speed the process, or they offer an emergency service that begins work on your drive the same day as the loss and delivers results within 24 hours. These expedited services will cost you much more than the standard rate.
Since data loss can occur at any time, you should also know which companies operate a 24/7 emergency service.
We've listed the standard turnaround times on our matrix for each of the services we evaluated. Each are typical ranges, so depending on how many drives your RAID system is composed of, your own recovery time will likely take longer.
Estimates aren't usually based on the amount of data recovered but the complexity of the job. RAID systems are composed of multiple drives with data fragments spread across multiple disks, so expect to pay more than the typical hard drive recovery job.