Automatic bare metal recoveries
How do I best back up a Solaris operating system to automatically perform bare metal recoveries, like mksysb on AIX and make_recovery on HP-UX? The other issue is that I also need to collect the VGDA to perform faster recreation of the logical volumes, volumegroups, and even format filesystems. Do you have a better method for this?
There are actually a few options available to perform a "bare metal restore" on a Solaris system. There is a product originally developed by TKG (The Kernel Group) called Bare Metal Restore that is now owned and distributed by Veritas. This product enables the recovery of a system from a network boot down to the last application data file. The downside is it requires a fair bit of setup ahead of time.
Another option is to use Sun's Jumpstart if a third party product is not wanted. Jumpstart is typically used for image installs of new systems but with some configuration, it can be used to restore an existing system starting from a network boot. There a few interesting write-ups on the subject available on the Web.
Lastly, there is an appliance like solution called DPQ+ Series from Data Storage Depot. This product offers a multiple OS "ghosting" feature that allows for bare metal restore of systems while interfacing with a tape library for storage. It even offers a vaulting feature for offsite storage.
I hope this helps.
Read W. Curtis Preston's answer to this question.
This was first published in June 2004