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Bare metal recovery survey results

Bare Metal Restore & Modern IT: The Survey Results

by Laura Knight

A few weeks back, we asked you to tell us about your experiences with bare metal restore (BMR) – who used it, how well it worked, what happened when it didn’t go as planned. We heard from over 200 IT professionals about the good, the bad, and the “at least I got a good story out of it.”

We’ve compiled our findings into a neat infographic. Note that this was an informal poll, not a rigorous study; more “let’s get a beer and talk about BMR” than labcoats and methodology models. The results are thus more anecdotal than scientific – and, we think, still pretty interesting in their own right.

Bare Metal Restore: What You Told Us

We got a fairly diverse set of answers to our poll, but here’s the common themes:

More Like BM-Aren’t. Bare metal recovery is often included in talk about backups and disaster recovery, but it sounds like it’s actually not that common in the field. Only 34% of our respondents had used BMR at some point, and only 23% were using it still. A significant minority told us they didn’t even know what BMR was.

Of the people who HAD used it, many recounted stories from several years ago, and mentioned that since they’d virtualized it was no longer a concern. The takeaway seems to be that BMR is a gradually declining technology, and increasing virtualization is pushing it towards obsolescence.

Success is a Coin Toss. BMR has an anecdotal reputation for being wildly unreliable, but there don’t seem to be many numbers available on success or failure rates. According to our respondents, it’s about 1 in 2 either way. Of the people who had used BMR, 48% reported that they’d had problems trying to perform a bare metal recovery. In other words, you might as well flip a coin.

There’s Not Just One Problem. We asked what problems people had run into, and the answers came back pretty evenly split – 24% driver failure, 35% corrupt backup, 36% dissimilar hardware issues and 3% other things (the comments mentioned tape problems, etc). What’s interesting here is that the second-biggest cause isn’t specific to BMR – corrupt backups can strike any backup system. This really highlights the importance of regularly testing your backups regardless of your system and medium, so any problems can be corrected BEFORE you need them.

Coming Soon: Bare Metal Recovery Stories from the Field

In addition to the numbers, we also put out a call for “Epic BMR Stories,” for better or worse. Check back soon – we’ll be sharing those later this week.

Laura Knight
Laura Knight

As Content Marketing Manager, Laura writes, edits, designs and is always on the lookout for new ways to tell the Zetta story.