When it comes to Unix servers, there aren't a whole lot of applications that will let you do bare metal restore, that is, restore a system after a catastrophic failure. Veritas has announced that effective this June, it will discontinue sales of Bare Metal Restore for IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager, although it will continue to support it for another two years, through 2005.
Veritas obtained Bare Metal Restore software last year through its acquisition of The Kernel Group. TKG's Bare Metal Restore was relatively unique in that it was the only bare metal restore package to support most commercial Unix operating systems.
Tivoli has responded by coming out with its own bare metal recovery product, dubbed TSM for System Backup and Recovery, which is available for AIX and eventually, other operating systems, says Mike McCarthy, IBM director of market management for Tivoli storage software.
The decision to discontinue Veritas BMR for TSM was mutual, McCarthy says, and honestly, "not that big a deal." As a product, "Tivoli hasn't sold very much BMR," he says. That's perhaps because most Unix systems provide the utilities you need to do a bare metal restore as part of the operating system, he says.
But while Tivoli hasn't been overwhelmed by orders for bare metal restore capabilities, some smaller vendors have seen a significant uptick in interest, especially "since those unfortunate events last Sept. 11," says Steve Schwartz, president at data protection software developer UniTrends.
UniTrends recently announced a new, larger version of its Data Protection Unit, (DPU) a clever appliance which combines the company's backup and bare metal restore software with an ATA-based hard drives. The latest model supports over 20 operating system varieties, including Windows, Linux, BSD, and Solaris. Support for AIX and HP-UX is also under development. The unit can be equipped with up to 720GB of data, divided up between three internal hard drives and two sets of three removable drives, which can be swapped out and taken off site for safe keeping. The DPU can also be configured with an optional CD burner with which to make rescue disks.
The way Schwartz figures it, the combination of backup and bare metal restore software with the speed of restoring off of disk, and the safety of removable drives makes a nearly bullet proof disaster recovery strategy. "We have a Murphy's Matrix," he jokes, "where we try and figure out all the ways that Murphy can get you. We think we've got it pretty well covered."