March 07, 2021

What Is Bare Metal Restore?

By David Weiss

A smart business has a number of tools in its disaster recovery plan, including the ability to implement bare metal restore.

Usually considered a tool for emergencies, bare metal restore comes into play when your network has experienced a catastrophic failure. It doesn’t matter if it was a natural disaster or a hacker, network failure often results in the complete shutdown of your company’s ability to do business.

When the extent of damage is unclear, or when the disaster has completely destroyed your network beyond repair, that is the time to start considering bare metal restore.

In this article, we explain what a bare metal restore is, how it works, when to use one and the advantages of using a bare metal restore in disaster recovery.

What Is Bare Metal Restore?

Bare metal restore is a data recovery and restoration process that restores a failed server or computer to a new machine. It is a multi-step process wherein a backup recovery point is used for the complete re-imaging of a protected server to a new hardware device. Bare metal restore is also known as bare metal recovery or BMR. The process involves reinstalling the operating system, applications as well as restoring a users data and settings.

No one likes to think about the catastrophic failure of their entire network, but should it happen, oftentimes, the only solution is bare metal restore.

In a bare metal restore, an identical computer image/instance is recreated on a bare metal computer, from the ground up. They are typically used in environments when exact replicas of computer systems are required following a disaster.

Make Bare Metal Restores move faster with Datto SIRIS

Specialized software is used to copy the image of a source computer, which is then held by backup software. The image includes the operating system, applications and data to rebuild or restore the system.

Alarms go off for managed service providers (MSPs) when a server fails or becomes corrupted. An array of options present themselves in this business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) scenario. MSPs must make the right choice to ensure minimal downtime for their client while keeping their data protected. 

Bare metal restore can be the right course of action if certain conditions are met. Once an MSP determines that a full server recovery to new hardware is needed, then a bare metal restore should be initiated.

Before you take that step, however, be aware that there may be simpler options available other than a bare metal restore, which can require considerable time and effort to complete. 

Here are some other recovery options:

File restore — also known as a volume-level restore, use this if all that’s needed is to recover deleted/corrupted files or folders.

Rapid rollback — best for an undo of widespread file changes, for example due to ransomware.

Image export — when fully restoring a virtual server.

What should you do when it comes to BMR?

If bare metal restore emerges as the best recovery method after going through this checklist, MSPs must move quickly to minimize downtime for their clients. With Datto BCDR solutions, it’s a straightforward process to protect your clients’ servers and execute a complete bare metal restore.

Datto SIRIS is a reliable, all-in-one BCDR solution built for MSPs that prevents data loss and minimizes client downtime. Depend on Datto SIRIS to ensure fast data recovery and business continuity, so your clients are totally covered no matter what the scenario. It’s optimal for bare metal restores, as well as the file restores, rapid rollbacks, and image exports listed above.

SIRIS provides MSPs with flexible deployment options. You can deploy SIRIS as a plug-and-play, hardened physical appliance, as software that’s been installed on a dedicated virtual machine, or on your own server hardware as an image.

In the event of catastrophic failure, that image is then transported, installed and restored on a new system.

Complete restoration of the OS, applications and data can help a business avoid prolonged downtime, which can result in loss of productivity, revenue and oftentimes, reputation.

Bare metal restore can be helpful in the following scenarios:

  • After a ransomware attack
  • Hard drive failure or system crash
  • Lost or stolen laptop
  • Server hardware refresh
  • Transition from physical to virtual servers
  • Software upgrade disaster
  • Virus corrupts the operating system

Benefits Of Bare Metal Restore

Implementing a bare metal restore during disaster recovery has several benefits, including the speed with which it can restore your system and the ease with which it does so.

Bare metal restore makes disaster recovery very fast because you avoid a lengthy operating system and application installation, configuration process, and driver rollout. If you already have a system image, then you can reinstall and restore your system in minutes vs. hours.

Bare metal restore also allows you to restore your data to a machine in a “bare metal” state, which means you restore your system on a machine without pre-installed software or OS. And because there is less reliance on human interaction, there is less room for error.

In addition to the speed of restoration, bare metal restore is also very easy – rather than having to rebuild your system one application at a time, bare metal restore gives you the entire operating system, all applications, and data in one process.

For those concerned about completely wiping any trace of a virus or ransomware, bare metal restore also ensures a safe and clean recovery. Wiping your system clean and recovering a clean image eliminates any possibility of leaving behind any locked or encrypted files.

Benefits of Datto SIRIS for bare metal restore

When bare metal restore emerges as the best option, you want to be prepared. Datto SIRIS is a reliable, all-in-one BCDR solution that’s ready for a complete bare metal restore.

  • Always ready for recovery
  • Flexible deployment options — available as a plug-and-play hardened appliance, virtual appliance, or software
  • ESXi and Hyper-V support
  • VMDK and VHDX export
  • ESXi upload
  • Complete system image backup
  • Reverse Round-Trip
  • Backup to the secure Datto Cloud
  • Ransomware detection
  • 24x7x365, direct-to-tech service and support

How to get started with Datto SIRIS

If you have a client whose infrastructure includes servers, you must be ready for bare metal restore. Datto SIRIS is the BCDR solution for MSPs who want to minimize client downtime in a disaster.

Get in touch with Datto today: See how you can build your business with the cloud-first data protection solutions of Datto BCDR.

Request a demo of Datto SIRIS

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