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Xsan Data Recovery

June 24, 2014

The Xsan file system is intended for enterprise Storage Area Networks (SANs), and while it is heavily utilized, data recovery requires an extensive understanding of its layout and architecture. has successfully provided services for 64-bit Xsan RAID arrays since the file system was released, and we specialize in Xserve and Promise VTrak data recovery.

In most circumstances, our engineers can focus data recovery efforts on a failed RAID array, allowing for seamless re-integration when the data is restored. A case study is included below. For more information or to get a quote for Xsan data recovery, call 1.800.237.4200 today and ask to speak with a RAID expert.

Case Study: Xsan RAID Failure During Firmware Upgrade

In July of 2008, received a call from a company with six Xserve RAID boxes (12 separate RAIDs altogether including a mirror for metadata). The company utilized this SAN for large graphic files, and it was under heavy use.

For performance reasons, the company’s technicians upgraded the firmware on all of the Xserve RAIDs. While the upgrade did not negatively affect data on most of the arrays, the final Xserve RAID encountered a serious error. The disk configuration was lost, and all of the RAID members registered as hot spares.

Any sort of reconfiguration of the RAID would result in a complete initialization of the data, which would render all of the graphic files permanently inaccessible. Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t have been worse – the company’s backups had recently failed, and they were unable to restore the data on their own.’s lead SAN and RAID engineer spoke directly with the technicians at the company in order to create a plan that would minimize downtime. By sending a team of engineers to the company’s headquarters, was able to clone every drive in the SAN (40 drives total) within a day.

After completing this process,’s RAID team was able to analyze the cloned media from the failed Xserve RAID array. We utilized our firmware repair equipment to create a fix, then created a replacement set of Xserve RAID modules to replace the modules in the failed RAID array. The Xsan software recognized the “new” array, and the SAN was online.

The entire process took less than 48 hours and saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. We kept the costs of our services below $50,000, including the costs of our onsite engineering team, and we remained in contact with the client to verify that the data was fully intact.

Data Recovery for Xsan Software Systems

Xsan is an extremely useful RAID_4software technology that allows multiple users to access a large amount of striped data across multiple Xserve RAID boxes or Promise VTrak E-Class RAID Subsystems. However, while it has numerous advantages from a technical standpoint, it is by no means perfect.

Data recovery issues occur when one of the subsystems fails, causing the entire SAN to go down (there is no redundancy built into the Xsan software, although redundant configurations are certainly possible).’s team of experienced RAID & Apple data recovery engineers will ensure optimal recovery results at a cost that fits your budget.

If your SAN requires data recovery or if a volume is inaccessible, we strongly advise seeking immediate assistance. can provide a fast quote along with detailed advice from the world’s leading Xsan data recovery experts. Call us today at 1.800.237.4200 to speak with a RAID specialist.