Windows Bare Metal Recovery Enterprise Bacula Plugin Quick Guide

This Quick Guide presents techniques and strategies for restoring a complete physical, virtual or even cloud machines using the Windows Bare Metal Recovery Enterprise Bacula Plugin.

Bare Metal Recovery (BMR), is the term used to describe the restoration of a complete operating system to new hardware without actually going through the operating system’s installation procedure. The restore data comes directly from Bacula server to an exclusive bootable live operating system.

The main goal is to get from a new, empty machine (bare metal) to a fully functional operating system including all applications and data as quickly as possible (lower RTO).

As any backup procedure, is highly recommendable to test the procedures for different Windows distributions, hardware or restore environments.

BMR Planning

The real BMR challenge is to set up the disk subsystem of the new machine in a way that closely resembles the original disk layout where data was backed up from and to ensure the recovered operating system can be booted.

If the new hardware is of a different type than the machine the installed software was backed up from originally, with such different architecture or drivers, BMR may not be possible. It is necessary to ensure that the BMR hardware being restored to is compatible with the source system.

It is important to understand that software written for 32-bit x86-CPUs can be run on 64-bit x86-CPUs, but not vice versa, and that software written to run on one CPU family, like Sparc or x86, will not run on any other CPU family.

Installation

A regular Enterprise Bacula Client installation is necessary for BMR, as in any Bacula regular backups (e.g. bacula-enterprise-win64-10.0.2.exe).

The Windows BMR plugin should be already be loaded on all recent Enterprise Bacula Client versions, by default.

Configuration

FileSet

The Windows BMR protected machine must have a backup of all operating system critical partitions in order to achieve a successful restore.

As displayed in Figure 1, create a manual FileSet that with the WinBMR Plugin Option (e.g.) using bweb. It will automatically backup all Windows volumes and critical information, except volumes that can be excluded at discretion (e.g. E: and F:, if they only contain undesired application data).

Windows Bare Metal Recovery Enterprise Bacula Plugin Quick Guide 1

Figure 1. Windows BMR FileSet Plugin Option Example

Backup Job

Create a new backup job such as in bweb, using the created FileSet and the desired Windows backup client. Apply changes.

Run a test backup Job.

Restore Configuration

The Bacula Live BMR bootable systems require a special Client and Console resource configurations, in order to establish a connection to the Director during the restore, when used for the first time.

Create a new Client configuration with a null address, also using bweb. E.g.:

Client {
  Name = rescue-fd
  Address = 0.0.0.0
  Password = x
  Catalog = MyCatalog
}

Create a new Console configuration, with the same Password used for the Client. The rescue-fd is the default, so it is nice to keep it. E.g.

Console {
  Name = rescue-fd
  Password = x
  CommandACL = *all*
  ClientACL = *all*
  CatalogACL = *all*
  JobACL = *all*
  StorageACL = *all*
  ScheduleACL = *all*
  PoolACL = *all*
  FileSetACL = *all*
  WhereACL = *all*
  UserIdACL = *all*
  DirectoryACL = *all*
}

Apply the configuration changes.

Burn the winbmr-rescue-3.X.iso if necessary, available at your customer repository (winbmr folder). You can use any CD/DVD/USB Stick burner program.

Restore

As seen in Figure 2, boot from the Bacula BMR Live system, choose the Language, Keyboard Layout and find the Bacula Recovery initial screen. It is also possible to adjust network options such as static IP, under the File > Tools > Network Tab.

Windows Bare Metal Recovery Enterprise Bacula Plugin Quick Guide 2

Figure 2. Initial Bacula Windows BMR Option screen, after Language and Layout definitions

As viewed in Figure 3, use your Director name, address, and the rescue Client/Console password created earlier in this quick guide, in order verify the restore options.

Windows Bare Metal Recovery Enterprise Bacula Plugin Quick Guide 3

Figure 3. Windows BMR Restore Connection Setup

Once the connection is OK, you will be able to select the backup Client and Job in order to start a restore. It is possible to see all log messages from the BMR console.

For more information about how to change original disk partitioning during the restore process, read the referenced whitepaper.

Reference

Bare Metal Recovery for Windows – Bacula Enterprise Edition. http://baculasystems.com

 

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