This article describes how to install and configure the Acronis PXE server on your BDR. Doing so will allow you to PXE-boot your servers to the BDR to access the Acronis Recovery Environment in the event that you need to perform a Bare Metal Restore. If you can walk a client through booting a server via PXE, you can potentialy do a BMR disaster recovery with out anyone on site.
- Log into the BDR and launch the Acronis Installer.
- Select Modify and click Next.
- Select the PXE Server Option and click Next. Then click Modify.
- After the modifications are finished, click Tools at the top and select Create Bootable Media.
- Click Next on the Bootable Media Builder Welcome screen.
- Select Take Licenses from the following license server and enter in the FQDN of your cloud storage node (this is the same FQDN you use to connect to your license server). Click Next.
- Enter your credentials for your cloud license server and click Next. This step can take a moment while while the console communicates with the license server in the cloud.
- Verify the licenses to be used and click Next.
- Select Windows PE as your Bootable media type.
- If the Create WinPE automatically option is grayed out, click the download link for the Windows 8.1 ADK. This will download the ADK setup utility. If the Create WinPE automatically option is selected, continue with step 15.
- Keep the default installation path and click Next.
- Decide whether or not you want to participate in the CEIP and then click Next. Read the license agreement and click Accept if you agree to it.
- When selecting which components to install, all you need to select are the Deployment Tools and the Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) options. It is a 3GB download so it will take a while.
- When Windows PE download is Finished click Close then cancel the Acronis Bootable Media Builder. Restart the Media Builder by following steps 4-9. Create WinPE automatically should now be an option.
- Select Create WinPE automatically and click Next.
- Leave Enable remote connection selected and click Next. This will allow you to connect to the Recovery Environment with the Acronis Console.
- If you want to add additional drivers to the Recovery environment for network cards or RAID controllers, you can add them on this screen. This can be done in the recovery environment as well.
- On the Select the media output screen, choose Acronis PXE Server and click Next.
- Enter the BDR host name for the machine and enter administrator credentials for the BDR. Click Next.
- Click Proceed.
Acronis recommends that you set all onsite servers being protected by Acronis to boot off the network adapter first. Then disable the Acronis PXE service under services.msc on the BDR. That way, if a server needs a BMR, you can remote into the BDR to enable the Acronis PXE server and tell the client to reboot the affected server. Keep in mind that taking this action will increase boot times because servers wait for the PXE boot to time out before it will boot off the hard drives. Also if the PXE server is left running a server reboot could result in the server booting into the Acronis recovery environment rather than the Server OS. The benefit is that you can potentially do a BMR completely remotely.