A new application means digging to save corrupted SnapOS storage environments has become a lot easier, says a Toronto-based data recovery firm.

“”It took us a while to find the Rosetta Stone,”” said Bill Margeson, president of CBL Data Recovery Technologies Inc. “”It’s quite a breakthrough. It

changes the process (of data recovery) from days to hours.””

The company says the in-house tool called Snapback, developed through CBL’s Beijing and Singapore labs, will increase recovery rates and cut down on recovery times for crashed multi-disk systems running in a Snap environment.

The Unix operating system and its proprietary file system is used by network attached and storage area network hardware from Snap Appliance Inc.

One of the earliest uses of Snapback came this month when a half of a British healthcare institution’s 80G storage four-drive RAID array failed. Because the second drive was beyond recovery the first drive had to be rebuilt to recover data.

By hooking into the drive remotely and running the tool from here the system was back up in two days.

“”If this were just a RAID array recover this could be pretty standard for us. The problem is it was held for ransom by this proprietary Unix file system employed by Snap.””

Most network storage manufacturers offer an “”adequate”” set of tools for such emergencies, he said. However, in many cases these aren’t enough.

Getting the data off a damaged disk and onto another environment for transfer enhances the customer’s ability to get back in business, he said. In fact he likened Snapback to a translator.

It goes with another recently-announced tool called OmniRAID, which CBL uses to put arrays back together, Margeson said.

It isn’t clear how many Canadian companies have Snap-based systems. Margeson estimates CBL sees 500 Snap-based recovery projects a year in Canada and the U.S.

However, a spokesman for NexInnovations Inc., a Mississauga, Ont. solution provider and one of CBL’s largest customer referral partners, doesn’t believe any of its clients run the OS.

CBL recovers data from a wide variety of devices, including desktop and laptop hard disks, servers and high-end storage devices such as tape and optical jukeboxes.

Margeson said recovery charges using the new tool will run from $1,500 to $15,000 depending on the time technicians spend on recovery.

He estimated that 40 per cent of the company’s business comes through resellers using it to uphold maintenance agreements.

Recently the company has been putting more attention to expanding into the U.S., with offices in San Diego and Armonk, N.Y. he said.

In addition to Asia and Britain, CBL also has offices and laboratories in Australia, Germany, Barbados and Brazil.

CBL is also the data recovery service provider for those who sign up for Toshiba’s extended warranty maintenance program.

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