Everybody has a Backup strategy. The real question is who has a Restore strategy? This is where the majority of companies all sizes today fail to address the stringent requirements. Requirements that are dictated by the needs of different departments to have their data always available. IT infrastructures these days can meet the most demanding workloads providing availability and scalability for all applications. In case of disasters and with ever growing applications data it is crucial to ensure the recoverability of the data within the predefined Service Level Agreements. This is what the Veeam Availability Orchestrator (VAO) provides. This is a new article series dedicated to Veeam VAO install, configuration and verification jobs setup.
And there is more a Veeam VAO install can do: automatic documentation of all verification steps. This includes from the status of each operation to the general steps execution. So for example when testing a particular application it is possible to also add and review the interaction with dependent services like DNS, Databases, Active Directory and more.
What if an application has just crushed? This is where the Veeam VAO install can show its strengths: the ability to Fail-over and Fail-back between Production and Disaster Recovery environment. The purpose of this article series dedicated to the Veeam VAO install covers all the steps from initial configuration to a verification job execution which will lead also to a Fail-over test scenario:
- Veeam VAO install configuration and verification job
- Veeam VAO configuration steps with DR setup
- Veeam VAO Virtual Lab quick setup
- Veeam VAO Replication Job setup
- Veeam VAO agent quick install
- Veeam VAO Failover plan configuration steps
- Veeam VAO verification plan execution
Veeam VAO install steps
The Availability Orchestrator is available as download from the Veeam website. There are different types of deployments based on the requirements and available resources. Typically the Veeam VAO install happens in the Disaster Recovery location. It is a self sufficient setup and connects with the existing VMware virtual infrastructure and the relevant Veeam Backup & Replication (VBR) Servers in the Production location (the Headquarters) and additional VBRs in separate locations. For example in a Remote Office Branch Office (ROBO) scenario. The Veeam VAO install connects to additional VBRs on separate locations using a VAO agent. More on this component in a separate article.
The Veeam VAO install process is pretty easy and straight forward. It is available from a GUI and also as unattended deployment. For demo or testing purposes a Windows Server VM with at least 2x CPUs and 4x GB of RAM would be sufficient.
First thing would be to accept the EULA in order to proceed.
The Veeam VAO install setup allows to decide on which component to install. As shown in the screenshot this includes a cut down version of the Veeam ONE. In reality the Veeam VAO install also includes a cut down version of the Veeam Backup & Replication update 3 (at the time of writing with VAO 1.0). More on the interaction with this component will be covered in a dedicated article.
Next is to provide a license or use the trial for 30 days.
The VAO install setup will also check for all sub-components dependencies. Missing ones can be automatically installed and checked from the same wizard.
A few moments later all the dependencies are installed and satisfied.
The VAO install requires a service account which will be automatically added to the VAO Admins group and will also be used to execute check routines. All these aspects can be configured as covered in more details later.
The install wizard now shows the default configurations values. Each one of them can be customised.
In this case for example a custom name for the SQL Databases that VAO will create for VAO itself, Veeam ONE and Veeam VBR.
From this step the option to edit the VAO database names.
Same applies also for the default Network Ports. Interestingly also the ability to use RESTFull APIs for the ones who desire to create a custom web based portal and leverage all the Veeam VAO features.
All the communications between components are signed with a self-generated certificate at the time of the deployment. Of course also the ability to use an existing certificate possibly verified by a public Certification Authority (CA).
As part of the Veeam VBR and ONE cut down version shipping with the Veeam VAO install there is also the option to customise the locations for the vPower NFS and PerfCache. Respectively the location where VBR will create the temporary disks (during verification) and the one used to store temporarily virtual infrastructure details fetched directly from the Veeam VBRs and VMware vCenter environments. Also the option to create a custom location for the Veeam VAO sync folder as well.
A final screen before committing shows the chosen values with the opportunity to change them as required.
At this point the Veeam VAO install setup has all the information to create the relevant databases (local MSDE SQL will be installed if required) and relative applications.