Gartner: Hype Cycle for Business Continuity Management, IT Disaster Recovery Management, and Storage Technologies
by David Russell
September 8 and July 13, 2010
Below is an excerpt from two reports, where UltraBac Software is listed as a vendor.
Definition: Bare-metal restore (BMR) products provide a way to recover (or redeploy) the system, applications and data to a PC or server that is "bare metal" — i.e., it has no previously installed or corrupted software and/or operating system. These products deploy a sector-by-sector, disk-imaging approach to making a copy of the contents of a hard disk. Most let you boot a repaired computer from a CD-ROM or external USB drive and restore your disk drive from CD-ROM, DVD, a second disk drive connected to the computer, a disk on the network or, in some cases, tape. Products provide backup and restoration of servers, networked workstations or PCs at the level of discrete files or the entire disk volume. The ability to restore to hardware that is not the same as the original system is now a requirement. In addition, some vendors enable users to restore different operating systems to the same hardware (for example, a Linux system image to "Wintel" hardware).
Although solutions are available for many operating systems (including Linux, Unix and Windows), the Windows platform is the predominant use case for BMR solutions.
Position and Adoption Speed Justification: BMR products have long been used to redeploy or repair PCs, and most organizations have a product for that purpose. Previously, server BMR has been less widely used, because older Microsoft DOS-based solutions required the server to be taken offline, and required a reboot to do the backup. Today's Windows- and Linux-based products have removed that requirement, raising interest and increasing usability, because the process is less invasive. Many solutions enable incremental images to be taken after an initial base backup, decreasing the time required to back up the system. BMR is particularly needed in organizations with large deployments of Windows servers, where security or other patch deployments may require quick deployment and a fast recovery of a system or files if problems arise.
User Advice: Although backup vendors have continued to improve the system recovery features of their traditional backup solutions, and service solutions have added system recovery capabilities, stand-alone solutions should be considered if ease of use and advanced features are a consideration. Choosing solutions that offer dissimilar hardware restoration is important, because PC and server hardware configurations change frequently, and the ability to restore to different equipment can be valuable in a disaster recovery scenario. For smaller single servers or individual desktops and laptops, these tools can serve as backup products for file and application data, as well as provide protection for the operating system.
Business Impact: The need for rapid system recovery is more important than ever, because an entire business model can hinge on a company's servers functioning properly. In the event of a hardware failure, a traditional recovery can take many hours or several days, especially if the new systems are not identical to the ones that went down. BMR dramatically reduces recovery times for servers and can get PCs up and running rapidly.
Benefit Rating: High
Sample Vendor: UltraBac Software