Rubrik Full Bare Metal Recovery

Recently I wrote a post on Rubrik’s latest major release, 5.0 Andes. That’s 5 major releases since the very beginning in January, 2014 and shipping the first Brik in November of the same year.  Much like the appliances themselves, that is just an incredible speed to get up and operational to send onsite to a customer! You can check out the full timeline here.

 

I do however want to dig a little bit deeper into some of the items that were released as part of the 5.0 announcement. There were a number of things I had already mentioned, but for this post I want to go further into the Windows Bare Metal Recovery.

So why do we want to deal with physical servers, isn’t everything virtualized? Well, no. Not everyone’s environments are virtualized as there are many reasons why an enterprise may need to continue to run physical machines for licensing or hardware requirements,  and it is imperative that they are backed up accordingly and even more-so easily recoverable in the event of a failure.

Rubrik have now met this need with their full Windows Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) feature as part of the Rubrik 5.0 Andes release, backing up at block level while ensuring even the MBR/GPT partitions are secured. BMR isn’t new to Rubrik, but in the past it started only protecting file sets and files, in 4.2 it was able to protect volume partitions, however, now in 5.0 Rubrik offer FULL BMR by introducing the Volume Filter Driver (VFD) which can be installed optionally to work with the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and is used for Change Block Tracking (CBT) to decrease backup times.

On first run, the Rubrik Backup Service (RBS) will capture a Crash-Consistent Volume-based snapshot and backed up onto the Brik and is stored as Virtual Hard Disk v2 (VHDX) which makes it easily available for P2v. Once captured, then incremental snapshots are taken with the VFD checking and creating a bitmap of changed blocks to ensure faster backup windows.

The ease of backup is incredibly simple, and recovering from a disaster is just as good. You will need to use the Rubrik WinPE Tool to assist in making you WinPE boot image, but once created, you can then boot your target system into the PE. This environment will allow you to log in and mount the samba share and kick off the restore PowerShell script. BMR also support Live Mount which will allow you to mount your required volume snapshot that you want to restore from. As the first part, the script will obtain and prepare you disk layouts prior to copying down your boot partitions and data. Once the restore is completed, reboot and then you can login and confirm that all the volumes are intact and all data is there and accessible. If you are migrating to a different physical tin, then sensible target hardware needs to be considered, however there is no requirement to match the original source hardware.

One last feature of the 5.0 release is the ability to migrate from a physical machine. There are 3 options for migration;

  • P2V: Migrate from physical to virtual, either VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V
  • P2P: Migrate from physical to similar or dissimilar physical hardware
  • P2V: Migrate from Physical to the cloud, whether it is Microsoft Azure or AWS

It really is just that easy to do and those who are still bound by physical servers can breathe again knowing that Rubrik can take care of their Full BMR needs, as well as being able to meet the Enterprises’ requirements of off-site long term storage by pushing to the cloud.

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