Recovering from disaster can be hard if you have not prepared for it. It can be harder if you have not factored in flexibilities into your disaster recovery plan. While you can expect to recover your data to your existing database servers, you cannot ignore the possibility of natural disasters or even man-made disasters that may destroy your entire data center. Remember, no one dreamt of the twin tower blasts till it actually happened and its entire computing environments were destroyed!

So, if you have not asked yourself these questions as part of your disaster recovery planning, you need to do so now!

  1. What if, your entire data center is destroyed due to bombing, flooding or fire?
  2. What if you have to relocate your data center?
  3. What if, you are not able to set up servers that have the same or similar computing environment as your original server?

Many online backup service providers and cloud computing services have thought through this and have answers for you. You can do a bare metal restore via the Internet to same, similar or entirely new computing environments, at an entirely new location, using simple web browser based interfaces! All you need to do is sign up for an online backup service and ensure that you regularly and systematically backup your data to the online server and configure the accompanying applications with the necessary access rights and permissions.

Same, similar and new are three distinct categories for bare metal restoration of data. Some online backup service providers only permit bare metal restores to the same environment. Others are flexible and may permit your to restore your data to similar environments. A few may provision for data restoration to entirely new environments. The technology that is used for each kind of restoration is different. The kind of backup you perform to ensure “bare metal” recovery under each category will be different!

Typically, bare metal restore oriented backups use disk imaging applications that store copies or images of the entire contents of the hard disk to the networked or external storage. If the installation has to be on the same or similar hardware, only the data may be backed up for restoration. If the backup has to restore the entire system, backup disk images will include the operating system and the applications. The restoration process will reinstall the operating system, applications and your data in one go on to the new hardware configuration.