Bare Metal Restores Windows Servers

5 pts.
Tags:
Dell PowerEdge
PowerEdge servers
Syncsort
This is kind of long but I am hoping someone can offer advice.... Our shop has about 400 windows server images, about half VM guests, about half physical. They are a mix of Win2000 (decreasing but still there), Win2003, and Win2008 server. My concern is the physical servers. We used to use Tivoli Storage Manager which included a system state restore. We had problems with that. Now we use a product called SyncSort Backup Express. For BMR it also takes a system state backup of the C: drive & OS and writes a NetApp snapshot to a NetApp filer. During recovery the BMR utility is booted on the server, the menu comes up, and you point to the snapshot on the NetApp filer, and the system state and the C: drive are then restored and then you can boot the OS. But we have and continue to have many problems with SyncSort BEX. Long story short, we still do not have what I would call a highly reliable windows DR backup methodology that I can have confidence in. One of the biggest reasons we have Syncsort BEX problems is dissimilar hardware. We run pretty much Dell Poweredge servers, while our DR (disaster recovery) provider uses HP proliant. So when we try a DR test recovery we are recovering on quite different hardware. I.E. there are driver issues, firmware issues, etc. My research seems to indicate that when doing a BMR of a windows server, if you are not restoring to the exact same make and model (and even that may not be similar enough) machine, you are bound to have these kinds of troubles. Having said that, I am sure that many shops have this exact same problem with their Wintel DR environment. So, what I am wondering is - for a good old Windows physical (non-VM) server, that may be W2000, W2003, or W2008, how can you reliably back it up and restore it to dissimilar hardware without all these issues? Is it even possible? Some have mentioned having all physical servers boot off SAN. That's well and good...But if the C: drive and OS are on SAN, and they are being replicated to DR, then you try to boot dissimilar hardware off that replicated C: drive at the DR site, aren't you still in the same boat? I am interested in hearing anyone's recommendations on this...What are you doing to address this? What products, vendors, procedures, tips & techniques do you use? We just so far haven't seem to have gotten this right, and we are at risk if we can not restore windows serves in a disaster recovery. Thanks

Software/Hardware used:
Syncsort Backup Express Dell PowerEdge Servers

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  • Morice
    Have you try to call Syncsort support?
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