The Veeam VAO verification plan setup consists in creating a job. This job runs test and validations in case a fail over from Production Site to DR Site occurs. It is an opportunity to test and verify the RTO and the applications behavior in the DR Site environment. Previous articles covered the Veeam VAO Virtual Lab and Veeam VAO Replication jobs as part of the main VAO Server deployment.
These are exactly the same components a Veeam Availability Orchestrator will use to perform the validation.
In addition, it is also possible to keep both (the Virtual Lab and the Plan VMs) up and running after the validation occurs. This allows the administrators and application owners to further verify the fail over process making sure the end user experience is seamless. It is also an opportunity to add extra verification steps also post fail over job. And there are plenty of examples like automating inventory scans, antivirus and anti-malware scans, restart of the services upon file configuration checking and so on.
All the steps (Job and VM Steps) are captured with their execution codes and included in the documentation that is automatically generated at each execution of the Veeam VAO verification plan.
Veeam VAO verification plan setup
From the Failover Plan section there is a list of existing plans created. By selecting the desired one and from the Verify > Run Lab Test menu the wizard to create a Veeam VAO verification plan.
Next step is to set the desired RTO. there is an option to also enforce the RTO and stop the testing should this exceed the desired RTO. Very useful to keep track of the growth of the application in a Production environment. For example this might be an indication the virtual hardware resources (CPU, Mem, Disk I/O) assigned to the VM replicas might not be sufficient to meet the RTO desired. Should the plan exceed to target RTO it will be included in the verification job documentation.
An interesting option is the ability to keep the Virtual Lab up and running even after the testing is complete. This is useful when multiple applications are configured to use the same Virtual Lab.
The same applies to the VM replicas in the “Plan VMs” groups. It is possible to keep these running in the Virtual Lab for additional application testing. For example by running updates. So a potential scenario will look like:
- Create a VAO Replication Job to DR Site
- Run a VAO Verification plan
- Keep the Plan VMs running and install latest updates, make changes
- Test new changes
And a final screen shows the main settings before running the verification plan.
When moving to the chosen Virtual Lab it shows the current execution for both the Virtual Lab and the Plan VMs. By clicking on each object the GUI is expanding displaying more details. For example on each VM replica it shows all the associated VM Steps happening before and after the fail over. Clicking on each one of these provides even more detailed information about the execution. These details as well are automatically captured in the documentation.
Another useful feature from the main Virtual Lab section is also the ability to Schedule a Lab at specific and recurring times. For example on a daily/weekly basis.