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vSAN 6 Case Study: Virtual Machine Gone Missing

A government entity experienced a grim situation when a synchronization error with vSAN 6 cluster drives caused the hosts to repeatedly crash.  The drives held 56 x 11TB of data.  After one host crashed, a Windows server Virtual Machine (VM) went missing.  When you lose confidential files and sensitive materials , it is easy to begin thinking the worst.  Data recovery specialists were able to find the lost data.  Here’s how:

The Problem

A 2TB volume that contained tagged image format (TIF) legal files disappeared from the drives.  As one can imagine, when pertinent files containing sensitive information disappear, the need to recover the missing data is time-sensitive and critical.

The Solution

Kroll Ontrack was enlisted to assist with the recovery and developed new tools to support the new Virsto data layout used in vSAN 6.  Through the creation and usage of new tools, Kroll Ontrack engineers were successful in finding the missing Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) pointers.  The engineers then followed the pointers to one of the drives that contained a copy of the VMDK in unallocated space and were then able to extract it for the customer.

Tips and Lessons Learned

When dealing with data loss, particularly sensitive data, it is wise to follow a procedure that will ensure a fast and accurate recovery.  A government entity that works with sensitive legal documents should seek the help of a trusted, professional data recovery service.  When data is missing, it can return with the help of the right expertise.  Greg Shields, a Microsoft MVP and IT consultant, explains that disk connections in virtual environments should be handled with caution.  Always be sure that every disk has proper exposure to any virtual host that may house orphaned VMs.

Learn more about the recovery process.  Engineers at Kroll Ontrack use proprietary tools and methods to perform recoveries on virtual machines.

 

Picture copyright: https://pixabay.com/en/virtual-reality-big-data-internet-1802469/ CC0 License

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