Understanding the concept
Bare metal recovery(BMR) is a restore option which has introduced in windows server backup 2008 servers. When you are using this restoration method, the backed up data is available in a form which allows one to restore a server from "bare metal", i.e. without any requirements as to previously installed software or operating system. When you create a full server backup it will automatically includes the components for bare metal recovery(Including system state and all the local disks) . If its a custom backup make sure that when you select the bare metal recovery option, you will have to select system state and all your disk drives as well. BMR typically only protects the operating system drive by default, this means if your server has multiple disks you will need to protect the data on those drives as well. It is also similar to System State in that it contains the components needed to get the operating system. The key difference between imaging a server or having the System State backed up on a server is that BMR can restore like an image but to dissimilar hardware. This means you can take the BMR and restore it on an entirely different hardware platform from the platform the server was originally running on.
Advantages of using bare metal recovery are,
- The backups can be restored to entirely new hardware.
- It is faster that the manual backup process.
- BMR is prone to lesser errors as human intervention in the backup process is minimized.
- It saves a lot of administrative efforts during a disaster as all the settings/ configuration remains intact and the trouble of re-installing individual software , operating systems manually can be avoided.
Let us consider the scenario that I need to perform bare metal recovery of my second server(server-2)and the backup is saved on another server(serer-1).
Performing bare metal recovery
1. Make sure that your backup is capable of performing bare metal recovery. Add item this in custom backup or full backup.
You can perform the bare metal recovery only if you have the backup with any of the below option.
OR on Full backup
Now let us see how to perform the bare metal recovery of the server,
2. Insert the operating system installation media into the server CD drive and boot from CD. You will have to select the language that you would like to continue, Select the desired and click Next.
3. Select the option Repair your computer and now we will have the windows for bare metal recovery.
4. Here you have multiple option to select the backup source . ie, If you have the backup on the same hard disk which is inserted now it will automatically detect and list it . If the backup is in a tape drive you must install the driver and click Load drivers to install the same, but make sure that you have the driver copied and attached to server with any of the optical media(CD/HDD/USB). Once the tape driver's driver is installed, on next step it will automatically list the available backups. In my case I have my backup saved on another server so it will generate a warning message(step 5). Now click on Next to continue,
5. If you do not have the backups saved on your server's local disk or on a tape drive you will have the warning message as shown below, click cancel in the re-image your computer window.
6. Since we have the backup located in another server you can point out that at coming steps. Click Next to continue,
7. Click on Advanced button and select the first option Search for a system image on the network.
8. Click YES on re-image your computer window and network share name that the server's backup exists, Click OK .
9. Type the user name and password to connect with the server and it will automatically detect the backup available on specified server(Make sure that the backup folder is shared on that server). Select the most recent backup and it will enable the button to click Next.
10. Select the date and time of the backup that you want to restore and click Next to continue.
11. When you perform bare metal recovery it will format and repartition the entire HDD connected. This will help to all disks on this computer to match the layout of the system image. You can still exclude any of the HDDs if required. It is recommended to format and repartition all the hard disks if you are doing bare metal recovery on entirely new hardware or hard disk. By clicking Advance, you will see a window that allows you to control whether you want restart upon completion also allows you to perform a hard disk scan to check and possibly repair errors. Assuming this as default and click Next after your selection,
10. Click on Finish and Yes on re-image your computer window to start the bare metal recovery process
11. You will have the below windows when the restoration process continues.
12. Once the restoration is completed it will reboot the server and you can logon as usual.