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What does bmr NOT include? (Or, What do I need to backup/restore to get a complete system restored and ready to use?) RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm confused on what BMR does and doesn't get.  As I understand it, it gets everything in system state, plus images of 'critical' volumes, but doesn't get any user data.  So, what does that mean?  

    For example, if I were to backup and restore a server with BMR, would I have a working OS?  Would all of my previously installed applications be included and functional?

    What else besides BMR do I need to back up if I want to be able to restore a blank server tomorrow to the exact state it is in at the time of backup?

    Wednesday, December 29, 2010 4:39 PM

Answers

  • Hi Gai-Jin,

     

    I just completed a BMR restore of a server. I had my users folder the user folders in it and the data in them. Based on my test it does get the user data. It is just like an image.

    Thursday, December 30, 2010 5:15 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Gai-Jin,

     

    BMR is equivalent to Windows Image Backup. It uses Windows Backup on the protected server and it essentially is taking an image of your server just like other imaging tools out there in the market. I have used it to restore servers and I got my OS back and all the applications that were on the server. When you setup BMR protection in DPM it automatically adds the System State as a part of it. Here is a link to more information on BMR: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff634208.aspx . By default BMR in DPM will only backup the C drive. You can modify BMR to add additional drives to the BMR backup. Robert Hedblom has a nice blog on how to do this. Here is the link to his blog post: http://robertanddpm.blogspot.com/2010/09/bmr-can-protect-more.html .

    Thursday, December 30, 2010 6:42 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the reply.  Your answer, at least as I understand it, seems to contradict what I've read elsewhere.  

    I do understand that BMR is using windows backup service to create an image backup.  When I think of an 'image' backup, I think of ghost.  It grabs the entire volume, regardless of content.  Os, program files, user data, even temp files, will be included in the image.  However, I've read in a few places that BMR doesn't include user data. 

    I'm not awake enough to dig much at 2:30am, but here's an example from the forums:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/dataprotectionmanager/thread/f57c818d-09b8-462f-a58b-3474c73e3d1c

     

    So, let's assume I'm working with a 2008 server with just a single volume, the C drive.  Is BMR going to grab every byte of the C drive in the backup, or is it some data excluded?  Is it redundant to backup both BMR AND the C drive as a volume?

     

    Thursday, December 30, 2010 8:31 AM
  • Hi Gai-jin,

    I will test this and let you know.

    Thursday, December 30, 2010 8:42 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello,

    Here are some walkthrough videos that I hope can help you should you run into problems.

    System State: http://www.microsoft.com/showcase/en/us/details/bb0b5339-445b-4298-8705-350f13227b93
    BMR: http://www.microsoft.com/showcase/en/us/details/bec0b1c6-d1fd-41f0-b4bc-df5791dfc68d


    Shane
    Thursday, December 30, 2010 2:56 PM
  • Hi Gai-Jin,

     

    I just completed a BMR restore of a server. I had my users folder the user folders in it and the data in them. Based on my test it does get the user data. It is just like an image.

    Thursday, December 30, 2010 5:15 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the video links Shane.
    Thursday, December 30, 2010 5:16 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks BucahTech.  I'm just starting a BMR restore myself to check this, but also just for the experience of having done it once before it's needed in a crisis.  

    I could swear I had read something official that user data wasn't included in BMR, but I can't seem to find it right now.  

    So, a couple of additional questions then -- in the case of a server with the C drive being the only local volume, a BMR restore should be ready to power up and go immediately back into production, as if the failure & restore had never happened, correct? 

    Of course if there were applications or files being backed up more frequently on this server than the BMR backup, I would probably want to go ahead and restore those backups once the BMR restore was done.

     

    Even though BMR does grab the full system volume, it still would be necessary to back up files on the C drive separately if there was any chance of needing a single file restored, since there's no way to grab just one file out of the BMR image, correct?

    And the by the same reasoning, backups for additional volumes would be better done as volume or share backups, rather than BMR.  

     

     

    Thursday, December 30, 2010 5:28 PM
  • Hi Gai-jin,

     

    That is a good idea. It is always a good idea to test your backups. Yes you should be able to restore a server using this BMR and put it right back into production. And to answer your other question you are correct there as well in regards to backing up other applications more frequently. The practice here should be the same as if you were using some imaging software to image your servers.

    Good luck to you.

    Thursday, December 30, 2010 5:33 PM
    Moderator
  • Ahh, here's what I was thinking of:

    ----------------------------------------

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff634208.aspx

    In DPM, BMR protection covers protection for operating system files (System State) and critical volumes (excluding user data).

    TipTip
    If your application is installed on a critical volume, you will also be able to restore the application as part of BMR. However, application data is not backed up as part of BMR.
    ----------------------------------------

    This technet article seems a bit confusing.  At first glance, it seems to read that critical volumes are backed up, but any user data on that volume is excluded.  
    Is it trying to say that a volume which contains only user data (and app data) isn't considered a critical volume?  

    Monday, January 3, 2011 3:30 PM
  • That TechNet article seems to be misleading. When I tested a BMR restore the user data was there.

    In regards to applications maybe the author was referring to applications like CRM or SharePoint that actually contain the data somewhere else like in a SQL database on another server.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011 4:30 AM
    Moderator