Backup & Recovery


This paper describes Veritas NetBackup Bare Metal Restore (BMR), an option to NetBackup 6.0 that eliminates the need for disparate bare metal recovery methodologies and greatly improves the speed and simplicity of system recovery by providing a common methodology utilizing the normal backup data within NetBackup. When we say a solution is capable of bare metal recovery, we mean that the hardware onto which the system is being recovered can be devoid of an operating system or initialized disks.

Veritas NetBackup is the industry’s leading enterprise data protection solution, providing customers with fast, reliable, backup and recovery strong enough for the data center. NetBackup can store client backup data on a large variety of tape and disk devices, and can protect that data by encryption, duplication, and off-site vaulting. NetBackup provides a variety of recovery capabilities for single files, groups of files, entire volumes, and specialized applications such as databases. And now, with the Bare Metal Restore option, NetBackup is able to easily recover the entire system from the normal backups.

With the Bare Metal Restore option, NetBackup 6.0 has become the first enterprise backup solution with a true integrated bare metal recovery option.

Bare Metal Restore avoids the common issues that other bare metal recovery solutions must face. In this paper, we will assess the common methods employed for bare metal system recovery and examine several key problems with these methods. We will then describe the Bare Metal Restore option to NetBackup and how it avoids these issues in a highly automated fashion.

The challenges of bare metal recovery

Why do we back up data? We back up data so that it can be recovered when we need it. Whether that is to fulfill requests for lost data, or for regulatory compliance, the data is backed up solely for the purpose of recovery.

When a server must be recovered from bare metal, the recovery process presents several challenges to the IT staff. Most IT staff would agree on the following major challenges to bare metal recovery:
  • System recovery takes too long
  • Non-integrated methods for system recovery are complex and require highly skilled staff
  • Recovery of Windows® systems to different hardware is very difficult
  • Recovery procedures and tools vary from platform to platform
  • System configurations and changes are often not tracked
The bottom line is that system recovery is very complex and is often unsuccessful.

The problem with non-integrated methods

Enterprise data protection solutions like NetBackup have traditionally been very good at backing up and securing data. NetBackup uses a variety of backup methods, application agents, and advanced techniques. It provides a remotely available central management console to administer backup schedules, view reports, and monitor daily activity. NetBackup can scale to protect thousands of systems throughout the enterprise. It can store the data in a large variety of tape and disk devices, and protect that data through data duplication and off-site vaulting. Enterprise data protection solutions like NetBackup were designed to recover one or more, or even all, of the files within a file system. But for bare metal recovery capabilities, this is not sufficient. To use the data in the enterprise data protection solution to recover the system, you need a minimum of two basic elements:
  1.  The containers, such as the file systems or volumes, must be present to hold the recovered data
  2. An operating system environment is required so that the recovery agent can function
With the Bare Metal Restore option, NetBackup easily fulfills these two basic needs. More than that, NetBackup has raised the bar for system recovery. It is a single solution that will automatically re-create the data containers and then populate those containers with the backup data. There is no special backup image other than the normal backup data. This integrated approach is so important for system recovery. Let’s examine why.

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