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Database Recovery: Why Experience and Specialization Matter

Databases are critical network infrastructure that can bring your business to its knees when it corrupts. Experience matters when recovery speed is of the upmost importance.


Databases are the building blocks for many businesses' information storage systems. The basic function of a database is to store and quickly call up information, and whether a company runs an online shopping website or an insurance sales call center, databases are an essential part of daily business.

When databases become corrupt or unreadable, you need a professional data recovery provider with extensive experience. Here's a look at a few of the unique challenges of database repair and recovery.

Common Types of Database Management Systems - To successfully recover databases, an engineer needs significant experience with the exact database implementation. While there are similarities between many databases formats, engineers cannot assume that experience with one variant will transfer to another. Basic SQL experience is not sufficient, for instance, when recovering a complex PostgreSQL or DB2 system.

Some of the most common SQL implementations include Microsoft SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, IBM DB2 and Mimer SQL. Other common database management systems include FileMaker Pro, Adabas D and Microsoft Access. This is by no means an exhaustive list--there are quite a few DBMS products on the market, and each has advantages and disadvantages for specific applications. Certain DBMS products are designed for particular industries and are not usually found outside of those industries.

This means that data recovery companies need to employ engineering teams that understand how to use all of these systems, as otherwise, treating logical database issues individually could take a tremendous amount of time. Engineers should know the file extensions associated with each database system. When working with many systems, engineers also need to develop and use their own recovery utilities in order to restore damaged databases to an accessible state.

Recognizing and Addressing Database Error Messages - Another one of the challenges of database recovery is collecting and analyzing error messages. Error messages help engineers to determine the cause and location of file damage, which can be essential information when developing a plan for a recovery.

For example, a file corruption error or dropped tables could mean different things depending on the database management system, but engineers will need to decide how to treat the issue and know how to accurately perform consistency in order to return a reliable copy of the database. Once again, experience and specialization is absolutely the key.

Dealing with Physical Media Issues - In many cases, database recovery involves physically repairing the drives in a damaged RAID system. System administrators sometimes miss the signs of a physical failure and assume that a database error is solely related to file corruption.

When physical media errors cause database loss, you need a recovery company with certified clean rooms. Otherwise, recovery attempts could damage individual hard drives, preventing a clean recovery. We use Class 10 clean rooms and always make full clones of drives before starting our recoveries. This allows for completely safe recovery procedures that pose absolutely no risk to our clients' media.

We've specialized in database file repair and recovery for over a decade, and our engineering teams have extensive experience with every database management system including SQL systems. In our experience, most damaged databases are repairable or recoverable, and we carefully evaluate every case before starting work to decide on an appropriate, safe and secure recovery plan. To discuss database recovery for a specific system, contact us at 1-800-388-1266.

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