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BDR appliance

A BDR appliance ("BDR" stands for "Backup and Disaster Recovery") is a specialized IT appliance that that is an "all-in-one" unified backup server (includes a backup manager), backup storage, and a standby server for disaster recovery. A BDR appliance is often simply referred to as a "BDR", or sometimes as a "BDR device". BDR appliances are commonly built and distributed as physical appliances; however, since BDR appliances are based on x86 hardware, they have been adopted to run as virtual appliances.


BDR appliances, like other backup appliances, were introduced initially to the small business IT user. Hence most BDR appliances are relatively small and have only 1-4 TB of storage capacity. Today, BDR appliances remain predominantly small, but some have grown to be racked mounted with many TBs of capacity and abundant CPU.

Functions and Components

The functions that are unified to make up a BDR appliance include the following:

  • A backup server (with its own self-contained backup manager)
  • Backup storage (BDRs include as little as 500GB and up to 60+ TBs)
  • A standby server for disaster recovery (DR). A BDR appliance will usually include its own hypervisor, that can be used to restart servers that have been backed up to the BDR appliance. Some BDRs do not actually host a local hypervisor, and rely on a underlying hypervisor of the environment hosting a virtual BDR, or they support a method to attach an image on the BDR to a hypervisor for launching remotely.

A typical BDR appliance is capable of automatically replicating data that has been backed up to it to an offsite, cloud location.

A BDR appliance is almost always associated with the use of Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).

A BDR appliance provides the ability to get an office back up and running in only minutes (even less, depending on the vendor), on a serious failure of a primary storage system, physical server, or virtualization infrastructure.


"BDR appliance" vs "Backup appliance"

A BDR appliance is similar to backup appliance, but with the addition of disaster recovery capabilities.

"BDR appliance" vs "Integrated backup appliance"

A BDR appliance is also an advanced variant of an integrated backup appliance, since it does meet the formal definition of one.

Additional Resources

Datto resources

The Datto SIRIS and the Datto ALTO are example of a BDR appliance.  Information on Datto BDR appliances can be found on Datto.com : Datto SIRIS and Datto ALTO .