This article is about how to perform restores of your server.
Because this is a fairly “tech” area, unfortunately it is hard to avoid using some tech terminology.
HIR / redeploy
So, what does “HIR” stand for?
HIR = Hardware Independent Restore
Some vendors also refer to this feature as “redeploy”.
In both cases, what the capability means, is the ability to restore a backup system image to a hardware platform that is different from the ‘original’ or ‘source’ hardware platform, where the original backup was performed.
Why does HIR matter?
Why is HIR important?
Depending on your circumstances HIR / redeploy can be important for a number of reasons, but the number one reason why this feature is essential, is because it provides flexibility when performing periodic test restores of your backup images.
If your backup system doesn’t support HIR / redeploy, then restoring your backups to:
- a hardware platform that is different to the hardware platform that the server is currently running on
- a VM environment
becomes very complicated. So complicated in fact, that you wouldn’t attempt a restore, except as a last resort.
And of course, if a task becomes really complicated, then you’re not likely to undertake it unless you’re forced to.
So, the bottom line, is that if your backup system doesn’t support HIR or redeploy, then you’re unlikely to be performing test restores of your backups.
Without HIR / redeploy
Without HIR / redeploy, the only way that you can perform test restores of your backups is to either:
- Have a maintenance window and restore the backup image using your production hardware (and I’ve never known anyone to do this, because if you happen to encounter a problem, then your production server is going to be “down”).
- If you have a second computer with identical hardware to the production server which is “idle”, then you can perform a test restore using this “idle” hardware. But that is not an efficient use of resources, as the 2nd computer will be idle for most of the time.
If your backup system doesn’t support HIR or redeploy, the only thing that you know for certain, is that if you ever need to restore your server to a hardware platform, that is different to the hardware platform that your server is currently running on – then that is going to be a nightmare of a task (and that’s assuming that ultimately a restore can be performed).
So, HIR or redeploy capability is important, because it means that you can periodically perform test restores, and you can be confident that if you ever need to perform a “bare-metal” server restore for real, that it will work.