One Backup, Many Recovery Options

Not all data recoveries are created equal. But the best backup software should allow managed services providers (MSPs) to be ready for any or all of them.

SolarWinds® Backup backs up your devices directly to a SolarWinds private cloud. With the use of the optional LocalSpeedVault, you can keep a local copy to support faster restores—without always requiring recovery from the cloud. Backup looks first in the LocalSpeedVault, which can be an existing network share or the hardware of your choice. Data segments are only recovered from cloud storage if they aren’t available locally—optimizing your time to recover.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of recovery. The first involves a device with the operating system still running and only a few files or folders to restore. The second involves a device without a running operating system due to device failure or hardware damage. Let’s talk about each one.

Operating system is running: file/folder recovery

It happens all the time. Someone accidentally deletes a document, and then needs it urgently. Granular item recovery is the most frequent type of restore, so MSPs need a system that makes it fast and easy to do. With Backup, you don’t need to restore a full device or image to retrieve one file. Instead, simply launch the backup client, choose the backup date and time from which you want to restore, and you’ll see a tree of available files and folders. Find the one(s) you want and click “restore.”

If you want, you can also enable your customers to perform their own file- and folder-level recovery using the recovery console, which can save you even more time and provide even faster service to your customers.

Operating system is not running: full system recovery

When hardware failure or other problems bring down an entire server or workstation, you’ll want to perform a full system (or bare-metal) recovery. The term bare-metal recovery is still in common use even though, in most cases, the recovery will be done to a virtual machine instead of brand-new hardware. In either case, Backup has you covered.

You may notice we haven’t used the term “full image backup.” That’s because SolarWinds’ highly efficient backup tool processes changes from within the disk and allows you to back up only the things necessary for a full system recovery. This architecture results in a much lower change rate than with traditional image-based products—which means smaller, incremental backups. This allows you to back up more frequently and keep more restore points with the same infrastructure—all without losing the capability for a full system recovery.

Archive restore

In addition to these two broad categories, there may be times when you want to recover from an archived backup, such as in the case of legal discovery. Fortunately, this isn’t difficult to do with Backup. The procedure is exactly the same as a file/folder restore or full system recovery from a more recent backup. You’ll notice an “A” marked on restore points that come from archive. But thanks to a journal-based backup storage method, there is no dependency on earlier backups. There is no chain to restore, so you don’t risk issues with later backups due to problems with an earlier “link.”

Continuous recovery

As you can see, Backup offers a broad spectrum of recovery options. But you may have some customers with such demanding uptime requirements that even a fast recovery isn’t adequate. For these clients, you’ll want to take proactive measures with Continuous Recovery. This involves setting up a replica VM of any critical physical or virtual production system. With Backup’s Continuous Recovery enabled, it will automatically update this replica as each incremental backup synchronizes to the cloud. That way, you’ll have an up-to-date virtual device ready for immediate failover any time you need it.

And there you have it. From small items to full systems, SolarWinds Backup gives you a wide range of recovery options, and the flexibility and efficiency to meet your needs when it matters most.


Carrie Reber is senior product marketing manager for SolarWinds MSP.

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