Servers, when operating as expected, run and perform the tasks they are configured to do. It is only when they fail that things change. When a catastrophic event occurs, rendering the server inoperable, immediate steps are needed to restore the server to its previous operating condition. The process typically entails reformatting the machine, reinstalling the operating system, recovering data through backups, and reinstalling software applications.
AppAssure 5 provides the ability to perform a bare metal restore (BMR), whether the hardware is similar or dissimilar, which encompasses creating a boot CD image, burning the image to disk, booting up the target server from disk, connecting to the recovery console instance, mapping volumes, initiating the recovery, and then monitoring the process. Once the bare metal restore is complete, you can continue with the task of loading the operating system on the restored server and then the software applications, followed by your unique settings and configuration.
Other conditions in which you can choose to perform a bare metal restore include hardware upgrade or server replacement.
Prerequisites for Performing a Bare Metal Restore
Before you can begin the process of performing a bare metal restore, you must ensure that the following conditions and criteria exist:
- Backups of the server and the functioning AppAssure 5 Core
- Hardware to restore (new or old, similar or dissimilar)
- Blank CD and CD burning software
- VNC viewer (optional)
- Windows 7 PE (32-bit) Compatible storage drivers and network adapter drivers for the target machine
- Storage Controller, RAID, AHCI, and chipset drivers for the target operating system
The storage controller drivers are only needed if the restore being performed is to dissimilar hardware.
Roadmap for Performing a Bare Metal Restore
The steps you will need to follow to perform a bare metal restore are:
Step 1: Create a boot CD.
Step 2: Burn the image to disk.
Step 3: Boot the target server from the boot CD.
Step 4: Connect to the recovery disk.
Step 5: Map the volumes.
Step 6: Initiate the recovery.
Step 7: Monitor the progress.
Creating a Bootable CD ISO Image
To perform a BMR, you must create a bootable CD/ISO image in the AppAssure 5 Core Console, which contains the AppAssure Universal Recovery Console interface.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international body of representatives from various national organizations who determine and set file system standards. The ISO 9660 is a file system standard that is used for optical disk media for the exchange of data and is supports various operating systems, for example, Windows. An ISO image is the archive file or disk image which contains data for every sector of the disk as well as the disk file system.
The AppAssure Universal Recovery Console is an environment that is used to restore the system drive or the entire server directly from the AppAssure 5 Core. The ISO image that you create is tailored to the machine being restored, which contains the correct network and mass storage drivers.
To create a bootable CD ISO image
- From the AppAssure 5 Core Console where the server you need to restore is located, select the core and then the Tools tab.
- Select Boot CDs.
- Select Actions, and then Create Boot ISO. The Boot CD Builder Options dialog box displays. It contains 3 panes: Output, Options, and Drivers.
Naming the Boot CD Builder and Setting the Path
Complete the following step to name the boot CD file and set the path.
To name the boot CD and set the path
- In the Boot CD Builder Options dialog box, enter the ISO path where the boot image will be stored on the core server.
If the share that you are want to store the image is low on disk space, you can set the path as needed. For example, D:. The file extension must be .iso.
The file extension must be .iso.
Complete the following steps to create the connections.
To create connections
- Navigate to the Options pane. In the Connection area, enter the IP address or DHCP network settings for the recovery console.
Optionally, if you leave the text boxes set to 0.0.0.0 for all connections, the recovery console will obtain the network settings from DHCP.
- In the Options pane, enter the VNC options, if needed in the Ultra VNC area.
The VNC settings let you manage the recovery console remotely while it is in use.
This step is optional. If you need remote access to the recovery console, you will need to use and configure the Ultra VNC. You will not be able to log in using Microsoft Terminal Services while using the boot CD.
Injecting Drivers in a Boot CD
Driver injection is used to facilitate the operability between the recovery console, network adapter, and storage on the target server.
You will need to inject Windows 7 PE 32-bit compatible drivers in the boot CD.
Complete the following steps to inject drivers in a boot CD.
To inject drivers in a boot CD
- Download the drivers from the manufacturer’s Web site for the server and unpack them.
- Compress the folder that contains the drivers using a file compressing utility, for example, Win Zip.
- Click Browse to locate the compressed file, and then click Upload. The injected drivers will be highlighted in the Drivers pane.
Creating a Boot CD
Complete the following step to create the boot CD.
To create a boot CD
- Once you have injected the drivers, from the Create Boot CD screen, click Create Boot CD. The ISO image will be created.
Viewing the ISO Image Creation Process
Complete the following step to create the boot CD.
To view the ISO image creation progress
- Select the Events tab, and then under Tasks, you can monitor the progress for building the ISO image.
You can also view the progress of the creation of the ISO image in the Monitor Active Task dialog box.
When the creation of the ISO image is complete, it will appear on the Boot CDs page.
Accessing the ISO Image
Complete the following step to access the ISO image.
To access the ISO image
- To access the ISO image, navigate to the output path you specified or you can click the link to download the image to a location from which you can then load it on the new system, for example, network drive.
Loading a Boot CD
When you have created the boot CD image, you will need to boot the target server with the newly created boot CD.
If you created the boot CD using DHCP, you will need to capture the IP address and password.
To load a boot CD
- Navigate to the new server, load the boot CD, and then start the machine.
- Specify to Boot from CD-ROM, which loads Windows 7 and starts the AppAssure Universal Recovery Console interface.
The IP address for this machine will display automatically.
The IP Address and authentication password will display in the Console tab.
You will notice in the Authentication pane of the Console tab in the Universal Recovery Console, there is an authentication password. Write down or capture the authentication password as well as the IP address in the Network Adapters Settings pane. You will need this information later during the data recovery process to log back in to the console.
3. Optionally, click Change to modify the IP address.
If you specified an IP address in Boot CD Builder, it will be used by the Universal Recovery Console and will display in the Network Adapter settings screen.
Launching a Restore from the AppAssure 5 Core
Complete the steps in this procedure to launch a restore from the AppAssure 5 Core.
To launch a restore from the AppAssure 5 Core
- Navigate back to the core server and open the AppAssure 5 Core Console.
- On the Machines tab, select the machine from which you want to restore data.
- On the Actions menu for the machine, select Recovery Points to view a list of all recovery points for that machine.
- Select the recovery point that you will restore from, and then select Rollback.
- In the Rollback dialog box, under Choose Destination, select Recovery Console Interface.
In the Host and Password text boxes, enter IP address and the authentication password for the new server to which you will restore data.
The Host and Password values are IP address and password are the credentials you recorded in the previous task. For more information, see Loading the Boot CD.
- Click Load Volumes to load the target volumes to the new machine
Complete the steps in this procedure to map volumes.
To map volumes
- In the Volume Mapping pane, specify which volumes to load and how to map them to the disks on the new machine. This can be done for you automatically or you can manually assign them.
a. Select automatic mapping of volumes, or
For automatic disk alignment, the disk will be cleaned and re-partitioned and all data will be deleted. The alignment is performed in the order the volumes are listed and the volumes are allocated to the disks appropriately according to size, and so on. A disk can be used by multiple volumes. If you manually map the drives, note that you cannot use the same disk twice.
b. Select the manual mapping of volumes.
For manual mapping, you must have the new machine correctly formatted already. Before you start the restore, you would need to ensure that the new machine has the appropriate size and quantity of volumes to store the restored server volumes. If you have multiple volumes in the rollback, you will need to create new partitions or volumes manually on the new machine. In the Universal Recovery Console interface, you can click the Command Prompt button, which launches the Windows command prompt, to create appropriate disk partitions. A partition is a low-level definition of a volume. A new system volume is usually created as a partition, so it can be made bootable. Partitions can also be designated as system-reserved for compatibility with newer Windows 2008 and Windows 7 installations.
2. In the Disk Mapping dialog box that displays once you have configured volume mapping, click Begin Rollback to launch the rollback.
Viewing the Recovery Progress
Once you initiate the rollback process, you will automatically return the Recovery Points tab until the recovery event commences, and then to the Events tab, where you can view the status of recovery. The Events tab will display the task, status, as well as the start and end times.
Rebooting a New Server
Complete the steps in the following procedure to reboot the new server.
To reboot a new server
- Navigate back to the new server and, in the AppAssure Universal Recovery Console interface, select Reboot.
- Specify to start Windows normally
Log in to the machine. The system should be restored to its state prior to the bare metal restore.
Repairing Boot Problems
If you encounter problems when booting from a new restore, you can select the Repair Boot Problems option in the Driver Injection window in the AppAssure Universal Recovery Console to automatically fix the boot parameters.
To provide feedback about this documentation, please go to http://www.appassure.com/appassure-5-support.