Bare Metal Restoration… Is It For You?

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In today’s world of being ‘always on’, continuous and uninterrupted access to data is critical. But as you know, things do go wrong, from time to time. While having data safely stored is important, what may be more important is the speed at which a restore to full operations takes place.

The length of time it takes for a company to get back up and running often directly correlates to money lost. If you don’t want to be that person who has to tell the CEO or CIO that staff can’t access data to conduct business then you need to ensure that you have Bare Metal restore included in your Backup & Restore platform.

Bare metal restoring takes backups to the next level to allow complete restoration in minutes rather than hours or days. The core technologies are aligned to the taking an image of the machine (a bare metal)… and it’s keeping a copy of the entire image of the machine. So beyond the data backup that is included in this image, it also holds the systems and configuration for everything to work. With Bare Metal restore, you literally have a one step restore, where you get back the application, the data, and also the system configuration.

Compare this approach to the standard file-based backup where you first need to recreate the environment and then replace the data. Recreating that environment may involve installing the operating system, installing the various applications, configuring those applications, and then put in back the data. And if the hardware was damaged, you may even need to replace the computer. Because BareMetal takes a snapshot of the entire system, including the configuration, it collapses that lengthy process down into one step.

Leveraging Virtualisation

We now live in the world where there is a significant amount of virtualisation. By a purpose built appliance or in instances where there is additional processing power and memory on the backup device, the possibility actually exists that we can actually ‘stand up’ a virtual machine, where we boot the image of the backup of that computer and have it up and running on the backup device. This would give an organisation a time-to-recovery in a matter of minutes vs a half a day or more with a traditional backup scenario.

This moves us away from traditional file backup, and into the space of business continuity, where you are able to restore so quickly that sometimes maybe even users are not aware that the system was down. 

Who is Bare Metal Ideally Suited?

Bare metal restoring will work on any machine, but it is specifically designed for critical systems such as corporate domain controllers or persons that use an application that is core to the organisation - eg. Payroll, HR, CRM. It is also beneficial to the individuals who can’t absorb an interruption in workflow such as the CEO, CIO, information managers, and creators of original materials. These employees often have personal files that aren’t related to final deliverables, but are crucial to them remembering certain processes, procedures, and possibilities.

For a complete picture of the risks and resilience of your business systems, a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is essential. It can be used to highlight those areas which would be most adversely affected when the system is down. “A BIA can serve as a starting point for a disaster recovery strategy and examine recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs), and resources and materials needed for business continuance.” Source

Jamaican IT consultant, Info Exchange, incorporates bare metal restore with its DATAVault Backup and Recovery services. For more information on Bare Metal restore and other backup and recovery solutions please, contact us online, email, or call (876)931-9552.

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