Every day, we learn a company has experienced a serious disaster in the operation of the IT infrastructure, which has led to serious financial loss and reputational impact. System failure is the first thing that comes to mind when possible risks are calculated for the operation of IT services and the organization as a whole. However, more often than not there are other reasons: the human factor, equipment disruptions, power cuts, malware, data corruption. All this can lead to a complete shutdown of systems and applications. The successful emergency switchover to a backup site (planned or urgent) will be poor if you don’t take care to the process, the switching plan / Recovery Plan, and if you don’t update it in a timely manner and don’t test it at the right time. Incorrectly specified dependencies of Machines and Applications, undocumented changes, incorrect processes, unverified applications and services, the incorrect sequence of Virtual Machines started from Replicas are just some of the problems that can prevent successfully switching both one application and the whole data center. For this reason, Veeam recently released new Veeam Availability Orchestrator version (v2) to automate the management of VM replicas when switching to a backup site. At VeeamON 2019 in Miami, I was lucky to attend at VMCE Orchestration (BETA class) training powered by Rasmus himself…
The Veeam Certified Engineer (VMCE) Orchestration course is a 2-day technical deep-dive focused on teaching engineers to architect,implement and optimize the Veeam Availability Orchestrator solution. This class is designed for the professional services consultant and system administrator alike creating a Veeam expert who is able to maximize the benefit to a business. The VMCE course combines expert instruction with intensive hands-on exercises to provide the maximum knowledge transfer to each participant, especially via an interactive Lab. A nice little perk of the VeeamON if you ask me! Anyways, this week a handful of us were again lucky to participate in the next level of training, the VMCE Orchestration course in a beta class pilot.
It’s an awesome course to take. I guarantee you will get something out of it even if you play on Veeam B&R & Veeam One a daily basis. For me, being a Partner and Responsible of these products it was an awesome opportunity to walk through the Veeam orchestration methodologies, and deep diving into each step one by one to come out with the full Disaster Recovery solution with advanced features such as SureBackup, DataLabs, and automated reports.
Veeam Availability Orchestrator (VAO) extends the functionality of Veeam Availability Suite to orchestrate disaster recovery (DR) tasks, allowing DR failover and restore plan creation, documentation, testing and execution in VMware vSphere environments.
Veeam Availability Orchestrator leverages the backup, replication, failover and restore capabilities of Veeam Backup & Replication. It allows you to build DR workflows to automate failover and restore processes, eliminating error-prone manual steps.
Veeam Availability Orchestrator also provides reporting capabilities that let enterprises document their DR plans to meet compliance requirements.
With Veeam Availability Orchestrator, you can do the following:
- Meet disaster recovery compliance requirements — generate and automatically update documentation for DR procedures to eliminate the problem of outdated DR plans.
- Automate DR procedures — create workflows that orchestrate failover and restore operations for Veeam Backup & Replication backups and replicas.
- Prove recoverability — build test schedules to automate the verification of failover and restore plans, with isolated and low-impact testing of VM replicas and backups, and the applications they run.
To validate your DR plans without impacting the production infrastructure, you can configure automatic scheduled testing for VM backups, replicas and application verification. For this purpose, VAO uses DataLabs (old Virtual Lab) created in the Veeam Backup & Replication console. These DataLabs provide an isolated environment in which VAO performs VM verification
VAO uses the failover and data recovery functionality provided by Veeam Backup & Replication to automate recovery actions taken in case of software or hardware malfunction. For these purposes, VAO offers two types of plans:
- Failover plans — consist of VMs that should be failed over to replicas.
- Restore plans — consist of VMs that should be recovered from backup files to the original or another location.
Both failover and restore plans are based on VM groups created using categorization data from Veeam ONE Monitor.
VAO comes with a number of reports that allow you to (8 default reports, French is available):
- Obtain summary information to document the recovery process.
- Check plan configuration before running orchestration plans.
- Obtain the results of plan testing and execution.
Note: VMCE Orchestration certification is not available yet.
Thanks to Rasmus!
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