Business systems are usually made up of databases. There are databases for customers, for accounting and for product design. One of the more common database systems is Microsoft's SQL server. This robust and dynamic system provides a solution to a company's business system.
The data that is inside a business database is valuable and so is the database itself-it can take weeks or months to set one up completely. When a SQL database cannot access the data, your client's solution is Ontrack Data Recovery Services. Using specialized tools that we have designed for SQL recoveries plus our Remote Data Recovery™ service, you have a strong data recovery solution. But what is SQL server and what can go wrong?
What is SQL? How is used?
Microsoft® SQL server is a business enterprise software package that manages data through a client/server relational database. There are four fundamental aspects to a SQL (Structured Query Language) server.
The Database File refers to the physical file that contains the data the SQL server manages. This file is more than just a container for data. SQL files, or .MDF files, are highly organized and complex. The file is designed like this so that SQL server can handle multiple data transactions at once.
The Relational Database Concept is the method employed to organize the data; this is separate from the internal organization of the file itself. Relational Database Concept systems use mathematical set theory to organize the data in the most effective way. Data organization is critical to maintaining the speed of the database server.
The Client/Server System refers to the part of SQL server that communicates with the operating system. This part of the system needs to manage the server's resources, connections and managing multiple databases at the same time.
The Database Management System interacts and works will all the above items. Not only does this manage the internal structure of the .MDF file, DBMS also controls the Relational Database side of things and organizes the data. The DBMS of SQL server is the heart of the system.
Data loss situations-What can happen?
Data loss situations can occur at a number of different levels. The first level of data loss starts with the storage device. This can be a single hard disk or a SAN or RAID storage array. If loss is at this level, Ontrack's goal is get the storage device operational so that the data can be copied off. Ontrack's clean room engineers work at an electronic and mechanical level to get the device operational. If the storage device is a SAN or RAID array, the goal is to get that storage device operational and the data copied off. SAN and RAID arrays add a challenging level to the complexity of the job. Ontrack has excelled in specific techniques to handle these storage devices.
The second level of data loss can start at a file system level. The file system is a unique method of storing and organizing system and user files. The operating system controls the file system. If the information about where data files are on the volume are damaged or lost, then adjustments or repairs need to be completed at a file system level. Once the file system is repaired then the file's data stream can be accessed correctly. Most operating systems have a utility that will automatically fix the file system. These utilities work to make the volume accessible. However, this can permanently damage the data stream of the file.
The third level of data loss can occur within the file itself. As previously mentioned, .MDF files are quite complex. The internal structure can be corrupted to the point where the DBMS will not make the database available. This is where Ontrack excels in providing a total data recovery solution.
Ontrack's solution to data disasters
Ontrack has the solution to corrupted or damaged SQL database files and we can use our Remote Data Recovery technology to get the data back as fast as possible. Ontrack's internal SQL recovery toolset was designed to retrieve the data contained within the .MDF file.
The process of a SQL recovery begins with finding the database file requested. If the database file is inaccessible due to problems with the storage device, then we work to get that data extracted. If the file is missing, deleted or truncated due to problems with the file system, then we work to adjust or repair the file system to correctly point to the data stream of the file. And finally if the file system has no pointers at all to the file, then we search the entire drive looking for SQL data.
The next stage is to work on the database file itself. This is where the SQL toolset comes. These tools analyze the complex internal structures of the .MDF file and provide reports as to what tables are recoverable. The reports also list the number of data rows that will come back.
Once the evaluation is complete and authorization is given to recover the data, our SQL toolset will copy the data into another SQL server database. After this phase is complete, we can backup or archive the recovered data.
Remote Data Recovery is the fastest solution for SQL recoveries. The Remote Data Recovery process will copy the recovered data into a SQL server that is setup on you or your client's site. They only need SQL server running. For best results we recommend that the storage device we are working on be connected to a SQL server, because all of the data transactions will be occurring on a single machine.
|Supported Version of SQL|
|Microsoft SQL 6.5||Typically one, or more, large DAT files. We extract the table information from the bad database and create new tables in a new database. Ontrack has full support for this version, including tables and deleted row information.|
|Microsoft SQL 7.0||Same as SQL 6.5, database file names are typically MDF|
|Microsoft SQL 2000||Same as SQL 7.0|
|Microsoft SQL 2005||Same as SQL 7.0|
|Dropped Table||Table in an SQL database that has been deleted.|
|Dropped Database||SQL database that has been deleted.|
|Deleted Row||Row information in an SQL table that has been deleted.|
|Corrupt File||A database file that cannot be opened by the database engine. Either directly from the customer, after the file has been restored from a Tape Recovery, or after the file has been copied out after a Drive Recovery.|
|Deleted File||A database that has been dropped by the database engine. This is a deleted file recovery first. If the file is not present after a deleted recovery then it is a Lost Page recovery.|
|Dropped Objects||Deleted tables in SQL are supported. Deleted rows in SQL are supported.|