Report from the first desaster recovery bootcamp with REAR

In August 2020 the first online desaster recovery bootcamp was held at backups.help . This course more or less equals the Part I course of the series Desaster Recovery with REAR and Bareos from backups.help . The participants worked on multiple scenarios to experience the options provided by the open source tool REAR (relax and recover 🙂 ) , which enables the administrators to perform a perfect recovery in case of a desaster. The desaster case is a serious incident that has to be carefully prepared by the IT administrators. A proper preparation allows the recovery of all the IT equipment of a hoster or company in case of fire, theft, flood damage, power failure, and total fail of hardware or software. The linux tool REAR allows for a recovery that is comparable to an image based backup.

To prepare the recovery with REAR the tool is installed on the servers to be secured. The tool is also configured on each server. After that the disk images are taken and transferred to local devices or to remote storage servers. For transport all usual network protocols are supported. In addition to the transmission of image data, a boot medium is built. This medium is kept at a safe place. In case of a desaster the medium can boot a new or fresh server and recover the image based data to it over the network.

The participants have worked on 3 scenarios for the image based backup:

  • Backup to a locally connected device
  • backup to a remote server via SSH
  • backup to the open source software Bareos at a remote server

After the study of the underlying principles the scenarios were performed on the virtual servers of backups.help. After the backup the simulation of the desaster case was performed, that is, the recovery of the secured servers.

The participants provided interesting suggestions and requests which will flow into the Part II of the desaster recovery course. In Part II more complicated scenarios will be analyzed, for example, the migration of hardware based servers to virtual environments and vice versa.

Feedback of participants

Mr. B. participated the bootcamp in August 2020 together with one of his collegues from the Berlin hoster SysEleven. His feedback arrived via mail in the next week after the bootcamp:

On one hand the course has given me a good overview about the concept and the features of the desaster recovery tool REAR. On the other hand I could gain experience via the practical parts of the course, especially regarding the options to integrate REAR to other systems. It was a very productive afternoon.

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