Supported hardware configurations and solutions - x360Recover

x360Recover BDR

Written By Tami Sutcliffe (Super Administrator)

Updated at September 28th, 2021

     Supported configurations

     Supported solutions

     Unsupported configurations


Supported hardware configurations for x360Recover devices

  • x360Recover is intended to be deployed on physical devices.
  • Axcient offers a wide range of preconfigured hardware devices that are available from the License Portal for sale or lease.  
  • BYOD hardware is also supported for partners wishing to customize their devices or migrate from other solutions using their existing hardware.
  • For partners wishing to build their own devices, consult our complete list of hardware recommendations:
  • External SAN storage utilized for the data storage pool must be connected at 4 Gigabits or faster.  (i.e. Fiber Channel, or iSCSI over 10 Gigabit ethernet, etc.)
  • See also Minimum Recommended Hardware for x360Recover Devices

 


Deployment as a virtual machine

Limited support is available for deploying a x360Recover device as a virtual machine. 

Axcient Support will provide support for x360Recover-specific problems only.  Support for troubleshooting of performance, deployment, configuration, or other issues related to the hypervisor layer is not available. 

x360Recover virtual machines are supported under the following requirements: 

  • VMware ESXi 5.5 or newer (other hypervisor platforms not supported)
  • Intel CPU’s only
  • Virtual machines must have CPU enabled passthrough of Intel VT
  • 12GB RAM minimum
  • 4 CPU cores minimum
  • E1000 or VMXNET3 network adapter
  • VMware Tools installed (Recommended)

Axcient does not perform rigorous testing of virtual deployments across a wide range of hypervisor major and minor releases.  Issues encountered related to specific builds and releases of VMware are beyond the scope of Axcient Support troubleshooting and assistance.

IMPORTANT:  Axcient x360Recover does not recommend deploying a virtual appliance to the same hypervisor hosts or storage pools as your production servers, as this provides no redundancy between your production systems and backup platform.  Be aware that deploying x360Recover as a virtual appliance may have performance limitations compared to deploying on bare metal. 

Full instructions on how to deploy x360Recover as a virtual machine are here:

 


Supported Protected System Configurations: 

Supported Operating Systems 

  • Server 2003 R2 *
  • Server 2003 R2 64-bit *
  • Server 2008 32/64 bit SP2 *
  • Server 2008 R2 64-bit  SP1 *
  • Server 2008 R2 *
  • Server 2012
  • Server 2012 R2
  • Server 2016
  • Server 2019
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8 * 
  • Windows 7 * 

 * Windows 7 and Microsoft Server 2003/2008 systems are deprecated and end-of-life.  Although x360Recover is able to perform backups for these operating systems, support is limited to basic troubleshooting and diagnostics. 

 Supported Filesystems

  • Microsoft NTFS 
  • Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVFS)**
 ** Requires Agent 2.24+ and Appliance 9.0.0+

Supported Networking

  • 1G Network Adapters and Switches
  • 10G Network Adapters and Switches 

 Supported DR Recovery Mechanisms

  • Bare-Metal Restore
  • Virtual Disk Export
  • iSCSI
  • Direct Virtualization

Supported Application Aware Backups

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
  • Microsoft Exchange 2007 
  • Microsoft Exchange 2010
  • Microsoft Exchange 2013
  • Microsoft Exchange 2016
  • Microsoft Exchange 2019
  • Microsoft Exchange DAG Groups **
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2016
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2017
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2019
  • Oracle Database versions with Oracle VSS Writer installed
  • Other third-party Database software with their own VSS writer services

 ** Only the Active Cluster member in the DAG group will receive a VSS-aware backup of the message store. Passive cluster members will receive a crash-consistent backup.  (This is a Microsoft limitation of the Exchange VSS Writer.)

Supported Virtual Disk Formats

  • VMDK (VMware ESX/ESXi 3.x-6.x)
  • VMDK (VMware Workstation / Fusion)
  • VHD (Microsoft Hyper-V Gen-1 / Xen)
  • VHDX (Microsoft Hyper-V Gen-2)
  • VDI (VirtualBox)
  • RAW (KVM)

 


Advanced Format Disks

Please refer to the full article here: Recover protected systems with 4K AF drives

Support for protected systems with Advanced Format Disks (Native 4K block size.): 

  • Backup of protected systems with 4K drives requires agent version 2.25 and newer.
  • Recovery of protected system data requires x360Recover version 10.1.0+. (Backups made with Agent 2.25 on older appliance version will be recoverable once the appliance is upgraded.)
  • Limited recovery operations for protected systems using 4K disks is currently available (Only Mount, iSCSI, and Bare Metal Recovery.)
  • Virtualization and Export operations will be added in a later release.

 


Virtualization

In general, any supported operating system that can successfully be backed up by x360Recover can be virtualized, including both legacy MBR-BIOS based systems, and newer EFI-BIOS based systems.

 


Bare Metal Recovery

x360Recover currently does not support bare metal recovery onto systems that utilize Windows-Only Drivers. These are typically embedded motherboard RAID controllers on very low-end servers or mid-range workstation devices. Examples of unsupported controllers include the Dell PERC S3xx series, Intel Cxxx controllers, and HP SmartArray B120/B320, as well as most white-box motherboard RAID controllers. These controllers are supported only in SATA/ATA Mode, not RAID Mode. Recovery options back to a physical server using one of these controllers is limited.  You may either disable the ‘Fake’ RAID controller and revert to standard SATA mode, or alternatively you can load Windows on the physical hardware in Hyper-V mode and recover the system as a Hyper-V guest.

 


Unsupported Hardware Configurations for x360Recover devices

  • SMR-based hard drives are not suitable as x360Recover storage devices. Shingled magnetic recording (SMR) is a hard drive storage technology that improves data density and storage capacity on disk, at the expense of write performance.  Severe performance limitations have been observed with x360Recover when employing SMR-based hard drives, and these storage devices are not recommended for use with x360Recover. 
  • Single-disk installations from a x360Recover appliance or vault (where both the operating system and customer data co-exist on a single drive) are NOT supported for Bring-Your-Own Hardware (BYOD) solutions.
  • BYOD solutions are supported only for systems with at least 2 disks: one for the operating system and a separate disk for data.
  • It is HIGHLY recommended that you build your BYOD systems with at least 4 disks: one disk for the operating system, and at least 3 disks for your data pool in a RAID configuration to provide redundancy.
  • External SAN storage connected at less than 4 Gigabits (i.e. iSCSI onver 1Gig Ethernet) is not supported.

Unsupported Networking Configurations

Backing up remote devices to an appliance over WAN or VPN connections is currently unsupported. 

To back up protected systems which are remote from the on-site appliance, we recommended deploying the agent in Direct-to-Cloud mode and performing backups directly to the vault. 

For details on deploying the Direct-to-Cloud agent, refer to the following articles:

 


Unsupported Protected System Configurations

Unsupported Operating Systems

  • Windows XP
  • Server 2003 (Non-R2)
  • Server 2000
  • Linux
  • Mac
  • Other Non-Windows Operating Systems

Unsupported Networking

  • 10/100 Network Adapters and Switches *
  • 1G iSCSI Storage Adapters

 * Image-based backup and recovery can be a network-intensive operation.  x360Recover  does not recommend deployment on networks slower than 1Gigabit between the BDR and the protected system.

Unsupported Filesystems

  • Fat/Fat32
  • ReFS
  • Non-Windows Filesytems 

 

 

 

 

Unsupported Applications

  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 and earlier
  • Microsoft SQL 2000 and earlier
  • Third-party database servers without VSS Writer services  

Other Unsupported Configurations

  • Uncommon partition configurations ***

 ***  x360Recover expects a standard Windows partition layout.  Uncommon configurations (like custom OEM partitions, boot volume not on Disk 0, C: drive not on a primary partition, etc.) may prevent virtualization from succeeding. 

 

Third party software

The x360Recover platform provides for a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) model to allow the maximum flexibility in choosing or re-using a wide range of hardware devices. 

Along with this BYOD model comes a level of access to the BDR operating environment not typical of other solutions.  This presents the ability for partners to install their own customized software solutions onto the BDR.

Installation of third party software onto your x360Recover BDR devices is unsupported by Axcient.  Any such installations are undertaken at the risk of the partner and should be thoroughly tested before widespread deployment to your fleet.

Axcient performs extensive quality and regression testing around all aspects of the platform, but only with the default software configuration employed.  Adding additional software components can have unexpected consequences and may impair the operation of your devices.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Installing additional packages commonly available within the Ubuntu package repository is generally considered safe, as such packages are tested extensively by Canonical and the Ubuntu community.
  • Installation of additional third party packages and software should only be done if a genuine need for the software is demonstrated, and limited in scope to the bare minimum number of changes from the default environment to reduce the risk of impacting the product.
  • Installing any package or software component that requires configuration of additional package repositories is unsafe and will most likely block your devices from Ubuntu OS-level upgrades. 
  • Likewise, installing any software from source code and compiling it onto the environment is highly likely to cause issues later during Ubuntu OS upgrades and should be avoided.
  • Axcient does not recommend installing any Antivirus engine directly onto the BDR device, as several AV products have been shown to interfere with x360Recover software updates and the internal workings of the product.  

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Last updated July 2021                                                                                                                            255  |  633 |  859