Rapid Rollback: Getting Started

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This article describes the Rapid Rollback process for disaster recovery.

Environment

  • Datto Utilities
  • Rapid Rollback

Index

Overview

Rapid Rollback is part of the Datto Utilities tool suite. It is similar to the Bare Metal Restore utility; however, it allows you to incrementally revert changed data on a production machine to a previously-backed-up state without reformatting or re-partitioning the target hardware.

Which recovery method is right for you?

Disaster recovery needs can take many forms. The following table will help you make an informed decision about which recovery utility is best-suited to your scenario.

Rapid Rollback Bare Metal Restore Direct Restore Utility File Restore
Ransomware Recovery Reimaging a production machine Deploying a new production machine to replace an old one Restoring a single file or small number of files
Restoring uninstalled software Restoring production partitions  Migrating a server  
Restoring damaged system files   Restoring to brand new hardware    
Undoing widespread file changes      

What happens during a rollback?

The Rapid Rollback utility works by reverting a production machine's filesystem to the state it was in at the time of the selected recovery point. The below chart illustrates the actions that the Rapid Rollback utility will take to restore a production machine to a designated point in time.

Production System vs Recovery Point Rollback action taken
File A: Deleted since recovery point File A is recreated from recovery point
File B: Modified since recovery point File B is reverted to recovery point version
File C: New file created after recovery point File C is deleted from production


Any files that were created or updated by the Rapid Rollback environment will be restored to their original directories.

Prerequisites

  • The target machine must be able to boot from USB.
  • The target machine must be on the same network as the Datto appliance containing your backups.
  • The target machine must use 64-bit hardware.
  • The environment of the target machine and the Datto appliance must meet Datto's networking requirements. See the SIRIS, ALTO and DNAS Networking & Bandwidth Requirements article for more information.

You should have the following items available when starting this process:

  • USB stick that is at least 8 GB
  • If your backups are encrypted, you will need the encryption passphrase for the protected system that you are restoring.

Compatibility

Operating Systems

Rapid Rollback is only available for Windows-based operating systems. It has been tested for compatibility with the following platforms:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012R2
  • Windows Server 2016

Warnings

  • Before performing a rollback, shut down the target machine cleanly. Attempting a rollback on a production machine that has not been gracefully shut down can result in a failed restore attempt and potential loss of data.
    • If you are restoring a Windows 10 machine, disable the Fast Startup feature and shut the target machine down gracefully before attempting a rollback.
  • You cannot perform a rollback to any hard drive that does not contain the same volume serial number that existed at the time of the backup. If the Rapid Rollback utility cannot match the volume serial numbers of the target hardware to those in the selected snapshot, it will automatically fail.
  • Rapid Rollback decompresses data when writing back to target hardware. If compression is in use on the target machine, its storage disks must be of an adequate capacity to accommodate all of its production data in a decompressed state.
    • Using Rapid Rollback on a production system with inadequate storage space could leave the target hardware in a non-bootable state.
  • Any new data created on the production machine since the last backup will be reverted by the rollback process. The further back in time you choose to restore from, the more data will change and the longer the restore will take.
  • A Rapid Rollback operation cannot be stopped or undone once started. Interrupting the rollback process could leave the target hardware in a non-bootable state.
  • To preserve system and backup integrity, the following files will not be modified by the Rapid Rollback utility. If these files are missing from the target machine, Rapid Rollback will not restore them.
    • swapfile.sys
    • pagefile.sys
    • hiberfil.sys
    • DattoCtrl
    • DattoSnap
    • endptconfig.sqlite3
    • /Windows/Temp and all files and folders within are skipped
  • Software and firmware-based RAID configurations are unsupported.
  • Rapid Rollback is not tested or guaranteed to work with any encryption method listed in Encryption Compatibility With The Datto Solution that is not compatible with file restores. Datto recommends reviewing this article when preparing to restore to any encrypted system.

CompactOS

Rapid Rollback is not currently compatible with the Windows CompactOS feature. If this type of compression is in use on the target machine's filesystem, you will need to disable it before attempting to restore to the target hardware.

Performing a Rapid Rollback from any previous snapshot taken when CompactOS was enabled on the production machine may produce unreliable results. To ensure a successful restore, CompactOS must be disabled on both the production machine and in the snapshot.

See Rapid Rollback: How do I disable CompactOS on my target hardware? for more information information about checking for and disabling the feature before beginning the restore process.

Procedure

1. Image a USB stick with the latest version of the Datto Utilities Image. For more information about this process, see Imaging a USB Drive with Datto Utilities.

2. Proceed to the Booting a Target Machine with Datto Utilities article to continue.


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