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10 Million Files Recovered from Failed Dell EMC SAN

10 Million Files Recovered from Failed Dell EMC SAN

First Quantum Minerals has evolved over the last few decades from a small tailings reprocessor in Zambia to one of the world’s largest producers of copper ore. It employs more than 20,000 people globally, and its mining operations extend across four continents.

It’s most recent mining operation lies about 75 miles west of Panama City. The Cobre Panama production complex includes two open pits, a processing plant, two power stations, and a port. The complex produces about 300,000 tons of copper each year, as well as lesser amounts of gold, silver, and molybdenum.

Data Center Goes Offline

A series of extended power outages recently struck Cobre Panama’s data center and temporarily shut down operations. The 12-disk RAID array configured within a Dell VNXe3150 storage area network (SAN) suffered multiple drive failures from the outage, which prevented a successful rebuild once power was restored.

The continuity of Cobre Panama’s operations relied on uninterrupted access to its SAN. Given the gravity of the situation, Dell customer support recommended the services of a professional data recovery provider. First Quantum Minerals’ ICT Manager, Mario Romera, contacted Secure Data Recovery (SDR) to open an emergency data recovery case.

Complex SAN Data Recovery

SDR data recovery engineers took possession of the SAN’s 12 Seagate Constellation 2 TB SAS hard drives, which were part of a RAID 5 configuration running VMware. They conducted a thorough cleanroom diagnostic and identified several read errors within the corrupt array that caused severe logical damage.

The drives held four out of nine LUNs that made up the overall file system of the VMware store. This complex system consisted of 52 low-level RAID arrays assembled in four multi-terabyte volumes. SDR engineers had to assemble each array separately in order to reconstruct the volumes that contained the lost data.

The four LUNs were extracted as binary replica files to be used during data store reassembly. SDR data recovery specialists then remotely cloned the remaining five LUNs and manually reconstructed the VMFS volume. They subsequently discovered severe logical damage to the VMware volume that would require manual repairs and deduplication.

Customized Solution for SAN Data Loss

This secondary logical damage presented a new set of challenges. No native tools existed to accomplish the required data recovery processes. First Quantum Minerals contacted a reputable global data recovery competitor and requested further analysis of the failed volume. Their report determined that any additional data recovery would be impossible.

SDR’s research and development team then proposed the creation of a custom set of tools to resolve the complex file system damage. Using a mix of industry standard and newly developed proprietary tools, SDR engineers successfully recovered the entire data set, some 10 million files in 27 TB of data, which was successfully reintroduced into First Quantum Minerals’ network.

SDR’s data recovery experts have decades of combined experience, specialize in complex RAID data recovery services, and possess the most industry specific certifications of any data recovery provider. Our data recovery options include 24/7 emergency and on-site data recovery operations for situations that require extreme urgency and confidentiality.

The SDR team maintains a documented 96% successful recovery rate, and our U.S.-based customer service representatives are available day and night to assist you. We also have more than 250 partner locations across North America, so professional data recovery services are never out of reach regardless of your location.

Call us at 800-388-1266 to set up a free consultation or to open a data recovery case. Every customer gets a free diagnostic, a no-obligation cost and turnaround estimate, and our “no data, no recovery fee” guarantee. If we can’t restore your data, you pay nothing.

Download this customer success story as a PDF.

Article by

After more than a decade in Southeast Asia as a reporter and editor for magazines, newspapers, and online media organizations, Philip Bader now serves as a freelance content writer for Secure Data Recovery Services. He writes blogs and web content about data storage technology, trends in enterprise data recovery, and emerging data storage technology.

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