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System Recovery—Breaking through the Dissimilar Hardware Restore Challenge

desired recovery point and destination and select the option to restore to dissimilar hardware. The recovery proceeds to restore the entire system to the selected destination. Near the end of the recovery, the Restore Anyware process automatically updates the storage controller, HAL, kernel, and other critical drivers for the newly restored system. This process adds about 30 seconds to the recovery. If these drivers or components are not already on the CD, users will be prompted to supply them. The driver can then be placed in the same location as the recovery point, because the SRD already has access to this location, or they can be placed on a USB device which, when inserted, will be automatically detected by the Windows-based environment in which the recovery process is running. Accordingly, users can simply browse to the drivers and install them as they would in a native Windows driver installation.

After recovery, the newly restored system boots up on the new hardware. Restore Anyware initiates Windows Plug and Play to run during this first boot. Plug and Play takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Once it is completed, users can log in with either domain or local credentials and check the Device Manager for any non-critical components that Plug and Play did not detect.

Restore Anyware and recovery to virtual computer environments In today's data centers, server and storage consolidation go hand in hand. Not only is central storage necessary for clustering and backup purposes, but centralized and consolidated servers are reducing the hardware complexity of clustered systems as well. The only way to consolidate servers in a realistic way is through virtual server technology. Virtual server technology - such as VMware, for example - is a software layer that enables several virtual servers to be positioned on a single physical server so that they can all share the same physical resources without affecting one another. Up to 64 virtual servers per physical server can be accommodated, reducing hardware costs for hot standby servers and controlling the total number of servers required. Instead of having multiple servers at a remote site, a single (albeit larger and faster) server can be deployed with multiple "virtual" hot standby servers running inside it (see table 1).

With Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery, users can convert seamlessly to virtual environments (and back again) using VMware ESX, ESXi or vSphere, VMware Server, VMware Workstation, Microsoft Virtual Server, and Microsoft Hyper-V 1.0 or Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 for greater flexibility in managing their recovery environment. Support for Citrix XenServer 5.x is also now available in Backup Exec System Recovery. Additionally, IT administrators can set a schedule for having physical recovery points (backups) converted to virtual systems, enabling immediate recovery.

Virtual conversion also provides a new world of flexibility in performing pre-flight testing of patches, application installations, configuration changes, and driver updates in the virtual environment before applying changes to production systems.

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