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StorageCraft HeadStart Restore Technology
A Flying Start: Pre-Stage a System Recovery Before Disaster Strikes.


Overview:

What is StorageCraft HeadStart Restore Technology, and who should use it?

StorageCraft HeadStart Restore (HSR) technology lets you start a restore operation before a disaster hits. Should a server fail, a pre-staged restore operation greatly reduces downtime, especially when multi-terabyte systems are involved.

HeadStart Restore is a component of StorageCraft ImageManager backup management software. If you are using StorageCraft ShadowProtect backup software along with StorageCraft ImageManager, you can buy an HSR job license and begin setting up your pre-staged restore operation.

HSR, along with ShadowProtect and StorageCraft ImageManager, is part of StorageCraft Recover-Ability—the disaster recovery solution that provides you with the tools you need to swiftly recover your systems every time, everywhere, from any disaster.

How does HeadStart Restore pre-stage a restore operation?

Our backup software generates a base backup image file of your server. This backup includes systems, applications, services, configurations, settings, and data.

HeadStart Restore applies that base backup image file to a new volume. That new volume becomes your standby volume, and your existing server continues to run as usual.

The standby volume stays up-to-date because StorageCraft ImageManager™ “restores” copies of the ShadowProtect incremental backup images from your backup image chain to your standby volume.

If your server dies, your standby volume is identical to your dead server’s volume, short of one or more incremental backups. Those can be added, and then you’re ready to restore.

Your standby volume can be a virtual or physical disk. Virtual disks can be restored to a local or network drive or to a VMware ESX/ESXi Server. Physical disks can be restored to a locally attached device.

When to use HSR

When you want to avoid downtime if a multi-terabyte server fails, use HeadStart Restore. With a pre-staged recovery, you can migrate or restore in the time it takes to reboot a server. Here are some scenarios for which IT pros use HeadStart Restore:

Use HSR in these scenarios:

Hardware FailureHardware Failure

While you repair a downed database server, the business won’t even notice it’s not available. Employees can still access the database because you’ve set up a temporary virtual machine (VM) with StorageCraft VirtualBoot technology. In this VM, changes to the database will continue being recorded and stored in incremental backups. You would then set up an HSR to the repaired database server. Once the most recent incremental backup from your temp VM is applied to your repaired server, finalize the HSR job, take the VM down, and bring up the database server—as if nothing happened (as far as your clients know, that is).

Planned MigrationPlanned Migration

Migrate a 2TB database server to a new environment without needing three days of downtime to get it done. While your database server continues to run, use HeadStart Restore to send a full backup image of this server’s disk and subsequent incrementals into a VM file. Once you’re ready to switch over, you’ll then apply the most recent incremental backup to your new server and bring it online. Use StorageCraft Hardware Independent Restore technology to get the migrated operating system to boot on the new machine.

Virtual StandbyVirtual Standby

Be prepared with a standby if your primary server fails. You can set up HSR to create your standby volume as a virtual disk and place it on an ESXi host. If the server does fail, then you finalize your HSR job (which stops adding changes to the volume) and reboot (with the help of the StorageCraft Recovery Environment). Bring your standby copy online as a replacement for the failed primary server.

Licensing:

To use HSR, you must first purchase an HSR job. When you buy jobs, you receive a product serial number that contains one or more job licenses. You can assign these job licenses to the same or different computers, and you can move them between computers as needed. Each HSR license supports one device restoration.

Technical Specifications:

HSR is a component of StorageCraft ImageManager backup management software and works with StorageCraft ShadowProtect SPX and StorageCraft ShadowProtect.

HSR supports the creation of the following volume types: VHD, VHDX, VMDK, and physical volume.