Bare metal restore seems a very good option and is often touted as one of the “desirable” features of a cloud service. Of course, the feature is desirable, but it is really not so simple and easy as it seems. Bare metal restores can be challenging.

Bare metal restores rely on snapshots and imaging technologies. These images can be large and if the server information is constantly undergoing changes, the images will have to be repeatedly renewed to synchronize with the current image. Image files can be bulky and storing them on your backup server can be space consuming and expensive.

Unlike regular restores, bare metal restores are done on blank disks or entirely new hardware. There are a number of tools that may be required to effect the restoration.

First, you may need the operating system to be available for the restoration process to kick off or for you to see the backup disk. If the operating system disk is not available, you may need to boot up the backup from another media—usually mini Windows or mini-Linux.

Second, if you are restoring to a different hardware (SATA drive to Fiber Channel drive or the new motherboard has a new set of drivers), the problems may be different. If your cloud backup service provider is marketing bare metal restore as one of the features, check whether they have automated the process of restore to a new hardware or similar hardware!

Restoring itself is not a simple process. If you have backed up the operating system, it does not automatically follow that you can restore it. The process should be tested and any little extra demanded for restoration functionality (such as “manager” software) should not be grudged. This will help even those who have never done a restoration operation before.

The challenges of bare metal restores can be handled with a little thought and some technology. Backup planning must run in tandem with recovery planning. It can all begin with some amount of standardization of hardware/software at the enterprise level. This can also help reduce restoration problems that are very common when dealing with nonstandard hardware/software and configurations. Taking the image route can also be helpful as restores include both the OS and the data. Hypervisor restores on same/ similar hardware/software with VMware is simple because the Hypervisor is the same wherever it is used.

Securstore, powered by Asigra, provides bare metal restores to a similar or dissimilar hardware. Contact us to discuss your data backup needs and test-drive our bare metal restore service for no obligation, free 30 day trial.