How to migrate from BRC hardware to x360Recover

Overview of hardware and software considerations

Written By Tami Sutcliffe (Super Administrator)

Updated at November 4th, 2021

Overview 

You have choices when you migrate

This guide summarizes the methods you can choose when migrating existing Axcient BRC clients and appliances to x360Recover.

There are several  practical and technical considerations to review when you decide to migrate between these platforms. This article will provide links to guided instructions describing several different migration methods.

Please keep in mind that you don’t have to pick just one migration method. Review all of your choices below and choose the best scenario for each of your customers. You are free to select different options for different customer sites. Remember: you can use any of these methods to best meet your customer’s needs.


Summary of possible migration methods

Remember: you can use any of these methods to best meet your customer’s needs

There are several different approaches available for your migration from BRC to x360Recover.

Axcient Cloud Retention Method: More...

Using this migration method, your existing BRC recovery data in the Axcient Cloud serves as your historical retention repository. You simply convert the hardware appliance directly to x360Recover.
  • Shutting down the BRC appliance freezes the existing BRC data in the cloud, and any historical recovery operations may be performed from the cloud data.
  • You may virtualize BRC recovery points in Virtual Office, perform file and folder recovery or export virtual disks from within x360Recover Manager.  
  • The BRC appliance is free to be immediately wiped and reloaded with x360Recover.  
  • Once installed, x360Recover agents are deployed (and BRC agents removed) from each customer's protected system.  A new backup epoch under x360Recover has a fresh beginning, with data replicated to the Axcient x360Recover Scale-Out Cloud.
  • Cloud storage is effectively doubled, as we duplicate the protected system data held under BRC onto x360Recover cloud storage servers.  
  • Cloud-pinned historical BRC-protected system data is maintained to provide historical recovery point data, at no additional charge, for up to one year.

Advantages 

  • Simple to implement
  • No additional hardware required
  • Requires only a single on-site trip

 Disadvantages 

  • A brief local backup protection interruption occurs while converting
  • Reseeding to the cloud takes time, creating a window in which your off-site backups are not up to date

A note on software: When you are ready to migrate from BRC to x360Recover, we offer two ISOs:

  • For BRC hardware < two years old, please use the Hardware Enablement version of the ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)
  • For BRC hardware > two years old, please use the standard ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)

 Both types of ISO downloads (with EULA) are available here.

Delete

Swing Migration Method <Read more...>

Using this migration model, you deploy a temporary x360Recover appliance at the customer site, alongside the existing BRC appliance.

Using this migration model, you deploy a temporary x360Recover appliance at the customer site, alongside the existing BRC appliance.

  • BRC and x360Recover run side by side while establishing the initial base image backup of your protected systems to the x360Recover appliance.
  • Once x360Recover is fully established, the BRC appliance is wiped and reloaded with x360Recover. (Optionally, you can choose to continue to run BRC and x360Recover side by side while you complete reseeding x360Recover backups to the Cloud.)
  • Backup data for each protected system is then migrated from the temporary hardware to the original customer appliance, and the temporary hardware can be retrieved.

You may optionally choose to delete the historical BRC cloud data at this point or retain it for long term historical recovery operations.   Axcient will host the BRC cloud data at no additional charge for up to one year.

Advantages 

  • No interruption to local or cloud backups

 Disadvantages 

  • Requires additional temporary hardware
  • Complex and time consuming to implement
  • Requires multiple trips to the client site

A note on software: When you are ready to migrate from BRC to x360Recover, we offer two ISOs:

  • For BRC hardware < two years old, please use the Hardware Enablement version of the ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)
  • For BRC hardware > two years old, please use the standard ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)

 Both types of ISO downloads (with EULA) are available here

Delete

No-hardware BDR method <Read more...>

Step-by-step instructions to use the D2C no-hardware migration method

In this migration model, x360Recover is deployed in Direct-to-Cloud mode, side by side with BRC, while the initial base image backup is sent to the cloud. 

Local cache may optionally be enabled on each backup agent, stored to either a locally-attached USB storage device or a shared NAS storage repository. This allows for a no-hardware BDR local recovery and virtualization.

  • Once x360Recover is synced with the cloud, the BRC appliance can be retired. You might choose to repurpose the BRC appliance as a NAS local cache server, x360Recover appliance, or hypervisor host.  
  • Direct-to-Cloud protected systems may optionally be recovered from the cloud back to an appliance and converted to local appliance mode, now or at any time in the future.
  • You may also choose to delete the historical BRC cloud data at this point or retain it for long-term historical recovery operations.  Axcient will host the BRC cloud data at no additional charge for up to one year.

This migration model might be appropriate for customers with satellite offices, remote workers, or aging appliance hardware which your customer does not wish to replace.

Advantages 

  • No interruptions to local or cloud backups
  • No additional hardware required
  • Provides a solution for retiring aging hardware
  • Provides a solution for mobile workforce

 Disadvantages 

  • No local appliance (No-hardware BDR is slightly less convenient)
  • Potentially, backups might be interrupted during cloud x360recovery to appliance (at some future date)
  • Requires multiple trips to the client site if cloud-to-appliance recovery is desired

A note on software: When you are ready to migrate from BRC to x360Recover, we offer two ISOs:

  • For BRC hardware < two years old, please use the Hardware Enablement version of the ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)
  • For BRC hardware > two years old, please use the standard ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)

 Both types of ISO downloads (with EULA) are available here

Delete

Background: Product comparisons

From a technical standpoint, BRC and x360Recover have both similarities and differences to consider when migrating between the platforms. 

Hardware similarities

Both platforms are Linux-based solutions: BRC runs on Debian Linux and x360Recover runs on Ubuntu.  Debian and Ubuntu share the same Linux kernel tree, so hardware compatibility between both products is theoretically identical.

Limited set of potential BRC hardware: BRC is delivered on Axcient-provided hardware only, using HP or Dell enterprise servers. x360Recover is available on Axcient-provided hardware or partner-supplied BYOD hardware.  The limited set of potential BRC hardware to migrate is a plus, since we can definitively validate all possible hardware configurations for installation and conversion.


Hardware differences

One area where BRC and x360Recover are fundamentally different is in the configuration of disk topology for the deployed system.


BRC is built on enterprise server hardware, using hardware RAID to provide data redundancy.

The storage in the system is configured as a single logical volume built from a RAID (Redundant-Array-of-Independent-Disks) array, using the physical drives. (This may be two drives mirrored in RAID-1 or three or more drives striped in RAID-5.) 

  • Data redundancy is provided at the hardware level using RAID for both the operating system and data storage partitions.


x360Recover is built on a variety of hardware, both enterprise and consumer grade. 

Since its inception, x360Recover was designed to allow partners to use their own hardware to best fit customer needs. This flexibility also allows for easy conversion of existing backup solutions to x360Recover. 

In standard installation mode, the operating system is deployed onto a stand-alone disk. Backup data is maintained on a separate set of disks.

  • While BRC leverages hardware RAID to provide redundancy, x360Recover leverages the native RAID capabilities of the ZFS files system to provide software RAID for redundancy. 

Data redundancy is provided by the ZFS RAID layer and operating system redundancy is provided by a simple means of reinstallation and recovery of system settings from backup – OS x360Recovery.

Note that ZFS software RAID has several advantages over standard hardware RAID and does not require the installation of an expensive hardware RAID storage controller in the system. A detailed description of the pros and cons of various types of RAID is available here:


Practical Considerations

Single-disk installation

At first glance, the fundamental difference in storage configuration would appear to make BRC hardware incompatible with deploying x360Recover: the BRC device does not have a separate disk volume to hold the operating system separate from the data.  

However, x360Recover has a solution: single disk installation.

x360Recover supports a special installation mode to allow deployment onto a single disk volume.   

When deployed in this fashion, the x360Recover installer first creates a small (25GB) operating system partition on the disk and then creates a second data partition, using the remaining storage space.

BRC hardware is preconfigured with a single logical volume using RAID1 or RAID5, making this an ideal installation option for existing BRC appliance devices.  Single-disk x360Recover installations onto BRC hardware will have the same level of hardware RAID redundancy as they experienced under BRC, for both operating system and data partitions.


Data retention considerations

BRC and x360Recover are completely different products.

Simply put, there is no convenient way to convert your existing BRC backup data and recovery points into x360Recover data.  

Obviously, no one wants to discard their existing backup history and start fresh with a new backup product.  But, we can help you bridge the gap between (a) maintaining access to historical BRC recovery points and (b) wiping out the appliance to reload it with x360Recover when starting a new backup epoch.

Operational considerations: planning your conversion

When converting from one backup platform to another, you must consider the continuity of your backups.  

  • While you are repurposing existing hardware appliances to be utilized by x360Recover, it is possible you may experience some window of time when backups of your protected systems are not being taken.
  • Depending on the size of your customer environment, capturing the initial full backup image of all systems may take an extended period of time.  Planning conversions to occur after hours (or possibly over a weekend) can reduce the impact of this interruption in backups.
  • Choosing a migration path that involves side by side operation of both backup solutions for some period of time can also reduce the risk of interrupted backups.

A note on software

When you are ready to migrate from BRC to x360Recover,we offer two ISOs:

  • For BRC hardware < two years old, please use the Hardware Enablement version of the ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)
  • For BRC hardware > two years old, please use the standard ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)

 Both types of ISO downloads (with EULA) are available here


Recap: Possible migration methods

There are several different approaches available for your migration from BRC to x360Recover.

Axcient Cloud Retention Method <Read more...>

In this migration model, your existing BRC recovery data in the Axcient Cloud serves as your historical retention repository. You simply convert the hardware appliance directly to x360Recover.

  • Shutting down the BRC appliance freezes the existing BRC data in the cloud, and any historical recovery operations may be performed from the cloud data.
  • You may virtualize BRC recovery points in Virtual Office, perform file and folder recovery or export virtual disks from within x360Recover Manager.  
  • The BRC appliance is free to be immediately wiped and reloaded with x360Recover.  
  • Once installed, x360Recover agents are deployed (and BRC agents removed) from each customer's protected system.  A new backup epoch under x360Recover has a fresh beginning, with data replicated to the Axcient x360Recover Scale-Out Cloud.
  • Cloud storage is effectively doubled, as we duplicate the protected system data held under BRC onto x360Recover cloud storage servers.  
  • Cloud-pinned historical BRC-protected system data is maintained to provide historical recovery point data, at no additional charge, for up to one year.

Advantages 

  • Simple to implement
  • No additional hardware required
  • Requires only a single on-site trip

 Disadvantages 

  • A brief local backup protection interruption occurs while converting
  • Reseeding to the cloud takes time, creating a window in which your off-site backups are not up to date

A note on softwareWhen you are ready to migrate from BRC to x360Recover, we offer two ISOs:

  • For BRC hardware < two years old, please use the Hardware Enablement version of the ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)
  • For BRC hardware > two years old, please use the standard ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)

 Both types of ISO downloads (with EULA) are available here

Delete

Swing Migration Method <Read more...>

Using this migration model, you deploy a temporary x360Recover appliance at the customer site, alongside the existing BRC appliance.

  • BRC and x360Recover run side by side while establishing the initial base image backup of your protected systems to the x360Recover appliance.
  • Once x360Recover is fully established, the BRC appliance is wiped and reloaded with x360Recover. (Optionally, you can choose to continue to run BRC and x360Recover side by side while you complete reseeding x360Recover backups to the Cloud.)
  • Backup data for each protected system is then migrated from the temporary hardware to the original customer appliance, and the temporary hardware can be retrieved.

You may optionally choose to delete the historical BRC cloud data at this point or retain it for long term historical recovery operations.   Axcient will host the BRC cloud data at no additional charge for up to one year.

Advantages 

  • No interruption to local or cloud backups

 Disadvantages 

  • Requires additional temporary hardware
  • Complex and time consuming to implement
  • Requires multiple trips to the client site

A note on software: When you are ready to migrate from BRC to x360Recover, we offer two ISOs:

  • For BRC hardware < two years old, please use the Hardware Enablement version of the ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)
  • For BRC hardware > two years old, please use the standard ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)

 Both types of ISO downloads (with EULA) are available here

Delete

No-hardware BDR method <Read more...>

Step-by-step instructions to use the D2C no-hardware migration method

In this migration model, x360Recover is deployed in Direct-to-Cloud mode, side by side with BRC, while the initial base image backup is sent to the cloud. 

Local cache may optionally be enabled on each backup agent, stored to either a locally-attached USB storage device or a shared NAS storage repository. This allows for a no-hardware BDR local recovery and virtualization.

  • Once x360Recover is synced with the cloud, the BRC appliance can be retired. You might choose to repurpose the BRC appliance as a NAS local cache server, x360Recover appliance, or hypervisor host.  
  • Direct-to-Cloud protected systems may optionally be recovered from the cloud back to an appliance and converted to local appliance mode, now or at any time in the future.
  • You may also choose to delete the historical BRC cloud data at this point or retain it for long-term historical recovery operations.  Axcient will host the BRC cloud data at no additional charge for up to one year.

This migration model might be appropriate for customers with satellite offices, remote workers, or aging appliance hardware which your customer does not wish to replace.

Advantages 

  • No interruptions to local or cloud backups
  • No additional hardware required
  • Provides a solution for retiring aging hardware
  • Provides a solution for mobile workforce

 Disadvantages 

  • No local appliance (No-hardware BDR is slightly less convenient)
  • Potentially, backups might be interrupted during cloud x360recovery to appliance (at some future date)
  • Requires multiple trips to the client site if cloud-to-appliance recovery is desired
A note on software: When you are ready to migrate from BRC to x360Recover, we offer two ISOs:
  • For BRC hardware < two years old, please use the Hardware Enablement version of the ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)
  • For BRC hardware > two years old, please use the standard ISO (v10.8.0 or newer)

 Both types of ISO downloads (with EULA) are available here

Delete

Mix and Match

Remember: you don’t have to pick just one method.

Migration is a perfect opportunity to improve all levels of protection for existing devices.

For example, the changes brought about by the pandemic to many work environments means many former office workers now operate from home or other locations, away from centralized backup services.  You could choose to deploy Direct to-Cloud agents for these users, to help cover these wayward devices, and that change could also be employed alongside any of the above migration scenarios.

Choose any of the above migration scenarios for each customer or use different options for different customer sites. 

Select whatever method best suits your customer’s needs.  

 


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