Accidental Deletion of Virtual Machines Results in 15TB Lost

Feb 21, 2020

An accidental deletion at a large wireless provider causes a massive loss of email databases.

The wireless carrier stored all of their Microsoft® Exchange databases spread across 24 separate 2 TB LUNs on an EMC® VNX 5400 using VMware® virtual machines. It was also set up, so each database had a mirror copy on a different LUN. All the virtual machines were accidentally deleted, resulting in the loss of email for the entire company.

The client originally contacted VMware for support

When VMware’s support team realized the extent of the data loss, they immediately contacted Ontrack for assistance. An Ontrack® Data Recovery™ Engineer assessed the situation and determined that a remote data recovery would be the fastest and most cost-effective option for the customer. The engineer fully explained the process and the client agreed and connected the LUNs to Ontrack’s proprietary Remote Data Recovery system for 24 hour emergency service. Ontrack assembled a team of three data recovery engineers and two developers in order to provide the fastest possible recovery.

The Resolution

The Ontrack developers quickly created the tools needed to improve the success of the recovery. After only a few hours, the first virtual machine was rebuilt allowing for the extraction of the Exchange databases to be returned to the customer. The team continued to rebuild all of the critical virtual machines until the client’s email was back in production. At the end of the project, a total of 15TB of data was recovered with minimal downtime for the client.