FAQ: What Is Bare Metal Recovery?

What is Bare Metal Recovery (BMR)? 

Bare Metal Recovery (BMR), also called Bare Metal Restore,  is about taking a failed physical server and restoring it to the state it was in prior to failing on a new physical machine that has no software installed on it.


Bare Metal Restore Process and Challenges

Bare Metal Recovery differs from simply restoring backup data – in the BMR scenario, the new server has no software at all, not even an operating system (thus the name “bare metal”). A recovery solution with Bare Metal Restore capabilities tries to restore the failed server’s operating system, applications, files and data attributes to the new one.

Bare Metal Recovery can involve some roadblocks to work around. If the new hardware is not identical to the old one – including BIOS, manufacturer and other attributes – the restore will likely run into difficulties. Because of this, Bare Metal Recovery can be challenging and time-intensive.


Virtualization and BMR Alternatives

As virtualization adoption continues to grow, Bare Metal Recovery is becoming less common. A VM can be restored back into the virtual environment with few of the complications of trying to restore a physical server to non-identical hardware.

Virtualization is also introducing alternatives to Bare Metal Restore. One bare metal alternative is  physical-to-virtual boot, in which the image of a physical server is booted as a virtual machine within a platform such as VMware or Hyper-V. This can bring about a similar result to BMR, with fewer potential pitfalls.

Learn how Zetta handles Bare Metal Recovery scenarios >