What Is Bare Metal Restore?
By Tobias Geisler Mesevage
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?
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.
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.
In the event of catastrophic failure, that image is then transported, installed and restored on a new system.
The system seamlessly integrates on the bare metal system, reinstalling the operating system and software applications, and if possible, restoring data and settings to the 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.