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Bare Metal Recovery Options for Linux

December 06, 2016

I recently wrote about backups, though I didn't get into the bare metal recovery options for Linux.

I wrote about this topic in 2005, and here I am, 11 years later, still wondering where is my integrated bare metal recovery mechanism for Linux? The answer is still going to include Storix, though there's another utility that may also work for you. It's called Relax-and-Recover:

 Set up and forget nature

designed to be easy to setup

designed to require no maintenance (e.g. cron integration, nagios monitoring)

Two-step recovery, with optional guided menus

disaster recovery process targeted at operational teams

migration process offers flexibility and control

Bare metal recovery on dissimilar hardware

support for physical-to-virtual (P2V), virtual-to-physical (V2P)

support for physical-to-physical (P2P) and virtual-to-virtual (V2V)

various virtualization technologies supported (KVM, Xen, VMware)


Relax-and-Recover is a no-cost product, available through a General Public License (although the developers are happy to take donations or sponsorships, and they do offer support contracts).

Check out the quick start guide and these usage scenarios:

Relax-and-Recover will not automatically add itself to the Grub bootloader. It copies itself to your /boot folder.

To enable this, add

    GRUB_RESCUE=1

to your local configuration.

The entry in the bootloader is password protected. The default password is REAR. Change it in your own local.conf

    GRUB_RESCUE_PASSWORD="SECRET"

The most straightforward way to store your DR images is using a central NFS server. The configuration below will store both a backup and the rescue CD in a directory on the share.

     OUTPUT=ISO
  BACKUP=NETFS
  BACKUP_URL="nfs://192.168.122.1/nfs/rear/"


Backup integration
Relax-and-Recover integrates with various backup solutions. Your backup software takes care of backing up all system files, Relax-and-Recover recreates the filesystems and starts the file restore.

Currently Bacula, Bareos, SEP Sesam, HP DataProtector, CommVault Galaxy, Symantec NetBackup, EMC NetWorker (Legato) and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager are supported.

The following /etc/rear/local.conf uses a USB stick for the rescue system and Bacula for backups. Multiple systems can use the USB stick since the size of the rescue system is probably less than 40M. It relies on your Bacula infrastructure to restore all files.

     BACKUP=BACULA
  OUTPUT=USB
  OUTPUT_URL="usb:///dev/disk/by-label/REAR-000"

I haven't tried this tool yet, but it looks interesting. Apparently there are even ppc64le images and pcc46 images.

How do you go about a bare metal recovery of your Linux partitions?

Posted December 06, 2016 | Permalink

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