The Advantages of LUN Arrays – And How To Perform LUN Erasure When the Time Comes
Data storage is absolutely crucial to the functioning of many businesses that operate in the technology sector and, indeed, those in many other industries too.
Volumes of business-critical data produced by companies are growing exponentially. Nowadays, it’s absolutely vital that your business has adequate storage for the safekeeping and analysis of crucial and potentially profitable data.
And although cloud storage has recently become very attractive, there’s still some data that you just can’t afford to have out there online.
Let’s take a look at one highly efficient method of local data storage – the LUN array.
Essentially, a LUN array consists a series of disk drives connected together by cable. More often than not, they’re housed in the same physical container. LUN arrays form part or all of a storage area network (SAN).
LUN stands for ‘Logical Unit Number’, and it’s the method by which drives are ordered. However, since a LUN array is made up of logical units, each unit is not necessarily a single, complete disk. The LUN array divides the total space in the array into logical units according to user configuration – therefore, the logical unit may in fact comprise a portion of one disk, or a top-heavy fraction of disks.
Advantages of LUN Arrays
It might not be obvious why dividing physical disks up in to logical units would be particularly useful, but there are a couple of main benefits:
Write Performance. LUN Arrays are quick! Data blocks are written to the cache as soon as they arrive, before they’re written to physical storage. You can write and access data more quickly than you would be able to in a storage system that was JBOD (“Just a bunch of disks”).
Reliability. LUN arrays have persistent data caching and are designed to withstand power outages. In fact, LUN arrays have occasionally been referred to as “the disks that cannot break”.
Management. Because of their virtual nature, storage space can be assigned remotely to different users without having to physically flip the SAN switches. Administrators can assign and reassign logical units of storage with ease.
Dealing With Your Data Once It’s Past Its Shelf Life, and Wiping Your LUN Array
Like it or not, in any business, data has a lifespan. There comes a time when you’ll need to get rid of your data – be that to make space for more relevant information, or to cleanse your storage setup for security purposes.
In most businesses, deleting data simply isn’t enough. You’ll need to wipe the disk entirely. This is especially true if your array has passed its use-by date, or is being moved to another part of the business where employees have different security privileges.
We’ve come up with a solution: KillDisk. We created this tool specifically for the purpose of wiping large volumes of data, and we built it to do so quickly and very thoroughly.
Real Deletion – Once it’s Gone, It’s Really Gone
At first glance, it seems like deleting data from your LUN array should be a non-issue. After all, why not just format all the hard drives? Well, it turns out that if you want to really wipe your data once and for all, formatting just doesn’t cut it.
Data can easily be recovered from formatted hard drives. Why? Because formatting actually only deletes the directory structure, leaving all the data on your disk. In fact, anyone with an out-of-the-box undelete tool can recover the data in a couple of clicks.
What you really need is your disk wiped. This is where KillDisk comes in. Unlike other tools, when you need your data gone, KillDisk actually deletes it forever. It uses a process known as ‘zeroing’, which involves setting every ‘bit’ on the hard disk to zero. It permanently wipes everything on your LUN array, so you needn’t worry about who might access it in future – there is literally no information left in storage.
Of course, massive arrays of terabytes of data take a significant amount of time to completely wipe. We know how much unnecessary down-time hurts your business when you depend on technology, which is why KillDisk was built from the start with efficiency in mind.
Although durations will naturally vary, you could expect KillDisk to completely wipe a 45 terabyte LUN array in under 2.5 days – significantly faster than any other tool we’re aware of.
LUN erasure shouldn’t be a chore in itself – the quicker you can cleanse your storage network and start using it for its new purpose, the better. KillDisk makes that possible.
Effective and Efficient LUN Erasure
When it’s time to wipe your LUN array, you want the peace of mind in knowing that your data really is gone forever, and you want the erasure done as rapidly as possible.
We believe KillDisk is the tool for the job here – if you’d like to find out for yourself, please download our free trial. We think you’ll be glad you did.
Active@ KillDisk Review
Active@ KillDisk is another example of excellent software from LSoft Technologies Inc.
If you have not read my review on their Active@ File Recovery, LSoft is a Canada-based company that specialises in data security and utility software and releases quality, useful software that is very handy to have. Active@ KillDisk is specifically designed to do exactly the opposite of its' Active@File Recovery counterpart: to permanently delete data from a storage device, making it impossible to recover.
Even before downloading this software, what I liked about this product is that LSoft tells you exactly what it does and how it does it.
From a curious user's point of view, I was fascinated by the information that LSoft provides surrounding their product and why I would want to use it.
Terms like "disk wiping" and "erasing" a disk were described to me and I got to feel like I knew exactly what I was getting with their product when they went over the disk wiping processes and algorithms. I won't go over that here, but you can see exactly what I mean on www.killdisk.com.
Much like Active@ File Recovery, KillDisk has a very simple user interface. It boots up, finds whatever memory or storage devices it can and displays them in a very "Windows Explorer"-esque fashion.
It even lets you browse through the different folders on your hard drive to make sure that you don't annihilate anything important by mistake.
You navigate through the list of storage devices, pick which ones you want to clean, then finally hit the button. Once you confirm that you want the data from whatever storage device you pick gone, consider it as good as new. No amount of file recovery software can help you from that point on.
Not even Active@ File Recovery. You will get an option to choose how you would like to erase your data beforehand, with an extensive list of different data erase methods, including a simple 1 pass method, or other methods that meet different, international, standards.
It works. I really don't think I need to say more. The process takes a bit of time (and I'm sure the more complex the disk erasing method you pick, the longer it takes), but it does what it is advertised to do and does it fairly well.
Overall, provided that you need this software, I would definitely recommend Active@ KillDisk. Possible times when this software may be useful for an everyday user that come to mind include donating old hard drives and cleaning it up before giving away, throwing out hard drives with important data and trying to make a hard drive like new. Honestly though, I think this software would be much more useful in the corporate world, where data security is actually an issue.
Is Your Data Really Gone? (…And Why Formatting Doesn't Work!)
Erasing the data on your hard disk drive is actually harder than it sounds.
A manual hard drive format doesn't in fact completely wipe your data. Even after formatting a drive multiple times, your data can still be recovered by someone who knows what they're doing.
If you have sensitive information that you need deleted, then the software that comes with your computer simply isn't enough to do the job.
To understand why it's actually quite difficult to erase data, it helps to know a little bit about how the information on your hard drive is structured.
Data is organized into different sectors, and is written to the hard disk in binary format. Each "bit" – the smallest unit of data on the disk – can either be in a "1" or "0" state. What makes this data readable, however, is the directory structure – and you can think of this as an address book, listing the location and type of all the different data on the disk.
Here's the thing: formatting only deletes the directory structure.
It leaves all of your sensitive data on the disk, which means that anyone who gets hold of your hard drive can easily utilize common undelete or unformat software to restore your data and have access to it.
Scary stuff, right?
So if formatting doesn't work, can you ever really get rid of your data once and for all?
The Solution: Don't Just Delete, But Wipe
Luckily, the answer is yes. We've developed Active@ KillDisk, which is a premium software that removes all data from your disk drive, once and for all. Once Kill Disk is run, all data is destroyed permanently, and is completely unrecoverable.
This is known as "zero-ing" the hard drive, because it sets all bits to zero. There's no trace of your data left once Kill Disk is finished – and you can safely forget about what happens to your disk drive once KillDisk has done its job.
Now, we'd be lying if we said KillDisk was the only piece of software that does this. It's not. But we developed it for a reason – quite simply, we weren't happy with anything else on the market.
Wiping a hard drive should be simple, with no learning curve. We designed KillDisk to be easy to use, saving you time and effort – there's no fiddling with different commands, and you can securely wipe your hard disk with just a few clicks.
Open source projects such as DBAN are certainly respectable disk wipers, and for technically-minded people who enjoy spending chunks of their time with complex software, they're a great choice. However, we think most people just want to get their data destroyed quickly – and with a guarantee that the data has actually been removed.
So that's how we built KillDisk.
And unlike some other complex wiping programs, we wanted KillDisk to be affordable to home and small business users. Wiping should be a straightforward process, and that's why we offer a no-frills free version if you just want to get it done as quickly as possible.
The professional version offers all sorts of extra features, including support for the seventeen most recognized security standards, data verification, and customizable certificates of disk wipe/erasure.
Data deletion should be exactly that – permanent removal of information, with no trace left behind. Active@ KillDisk makes sure that it is.
How to Erase Hard Disk Data with Active@ KillDisk?
If you want to learn how to erase hard drive data thoroughly, then Active@ KillDisk is precisely the tool you need to get the job done. This software will permanently and securely wipe any sensitive data on a hard drive.
Computers have become an important and everyday feature of most people's lives. We use them for communication, work, entertainment and a whole lot more. Many people share sensitive information over the Internet or store personal data on their computers for a wide variety of reasons.
In fact, the average personal computer contains a lot of data that the owner probably wouldn't want anyone else to set eyes on, such as Internet banking details, passwords and other personal or financial information.
Because of this, it is essential to securely erase the contents of a drive before it ends up in someone else's hands such as if, for example, you are planning to sell or donate the computer. If you want to know how to erase hard disk data properly, then Active@ KillDisk has the solution.
When people either sell or donate their computer or hard drive, they often assume that simply formatting it or using the recovery CD which came with the machine is enough to permanently delete any personal data stored on it. Unfortunately, however this is not the case.
Data which is deleted simply by formatting and repartitioning the disk or emptying the Recycle Bin is simply not enough by itself. All this does is mark the space previously occupied by the data as free space. Indeed, other data can then overwrite it but until this eventually happens, the data is still recoverable using data recovery software. Fortunately, Active@ KillDisk can overcome this potential major security issue by showing you how to erase hard disk data properly.
Active@ KillDisk supports any type of hard drive regardless of which operating system it is running. In fact, it does not rely on the operating system installed at all, since it runs off its own bootable disk and is OS-independent entirely. It is a small but powerful utility which is easy to use thanks to its well-explained and intuitive features. No special knowledge or experience is required to use the software to its fullest, so there is no need for amateurs to worry either.
When you run hard disk eraser Active@ KillDisk, all data on the hard drive is permanently, completely deleted so that it is completely unrecoverable, regardless of which method anyone tries to use to recover the deleted data.
Active@ KillDisk securely overwrites the entire hard disk with zeros making data completely disappear. The process can take some time, especially on larger hard disks, but it takes advantage of the power of your available hardware to get the job done as quickly as possible without compromising on security. The software meets seventeen different IT security standards used in many countries all over the world so you can be sure of its effectiveness. Running the program is straightforward and all instructions are provided.
When you boot up from the CD you burn containing the software, it will present you with a table of all partitions and hard disks on your computer, including hidden ones. The software will then walk you through the rest of the process. Learn more at www.killdisk.com.