SolarWinds Max Backup Bare Metal Recovery Step by Step
If your new to Max Backup or just haven’t been in a situation where you have had to do a bare metal recovery then its time to have a go. In this lab I’m going to try and recover one of our physical servers running on HP hardware to a Virtual Machine on a Hyper-V host. Not really what its meant for but it works and is a good way to experiment and learn the process.
Why would we want to do this?
Maybe you manage your clients backups and you want to run test restores for several clients from one server. If this is the case then you can use the bootable CD to boot up a VM and easily start the recovery process.
If you are recovering to new physical hardware or creating a VM then using the bootable ISO is a quick and easy choice.
Lets jump right in!
Step 1: Download the latest Bare metal recovery ISO from here to your Hyper-V server:
Step 2: Now open up the Hyper-V management console and create a new virtual machine then press Next.
Step 3: Give it a name and specify a storage location with enough free disk space and press Next.
Step 4: Specify Generation 1 or 2 depending on the operating system of the system you will be restoring. If in doubt select Generation 1 since it is the most compatible then press Next.
Step 5: Give it enough memory so that it matches the original configuration of the system you are restoring. Here the server was running 4GB but you can assign more if its available. Press Next to continue.
Step 6: Specify a network connection which doesn’t have to be connected to the internet but I highly recommend you connect it to a switch especially if the system hosts Active Directory. Press Next.
Step 7: Create a new virtual hard disk to restore the system onto. The disk must be equal to or greater than the original system. If the original system had multiple partitions over several disks the recovery software will recreate those partitions on the single disk. Press Next to continue.
Step 8: Select the install media by selecting ‘Image file’ and browse for the downloaded ISO file and press Next.
Step 9: Finally click Finish to create the Virtual Machine.
Step 10: The system should prompt you to press any key to boot from CD so press any key and after a minute or two the network configuration window will appear. If you have DHCP configured on the network you can press 2 to show the current IP settings. You don’t need to worry too much about these settings because they are only used during the recovery process but you do need to ensure they allow internet access. You can press 3 to configure the network connections and once you are happy press 0 to continue into the recovery console.
Step 11: If you see this screen then you are connected to the internet so press Next to continue.
Step 12: Enter the device name and password which is available from your Max Backup dashboard or cloud management console software. Right click the server in the dashboard and select ‘Modify Device’ which will list the device password. Press Next to continue.
Step 13: Now enter the Security code which is actually the encryption key so I hope you saved a copy of it somewhere safe! Enter the encryption key and press Next.
Step 14: If you entered all of the details correctly you will see the recovery console. Click on Restore from the top menu.
Step 15: Ensure everything is selected in the ‘Data to recover’ section and select both check boxes. If you are recovering the server as a test then the first checkbox will ensure the server doesn’t start backing up to the cloud when the schedule kicks in. If you are performing an actual recovery of the server then untick this option to ensure backups continue as normal.
Once you are happy press Restore.
Step 16: Grab a coffee, sit back and let the magic happen!
Step 17: Once the restore completes reboot and if all goes well your server will boot up normally! You may have to restart a couple of times for the Virtual Machine drivers to install. During our test restores we perform a full server test to ensure everything works as expected.
Apologies for all of the screen shots but now you have seen just how easy it is to recover a physical server or PC to a virtual machine using the Bare metal recovery ISO. Ideal if you regularly test different client backups on a single server or even if you just want to practice for when you really have to use the CD to recover to a new physical server.
If you want to recover a device automatically every day then take a look at my previous post where we used the Recovery Console to perform an automatic virtual recovery, ideal for creating an offsite hot standby in a disaster recovery location such as Azure or even to a second office or datacentre.