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Veeam Availability Orchestrator setup - pt.1

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Veeam Availability Orchestrator (VAO) is the new solution that provides a disaster recovery (DR) orchestration engine for Veeam Backup & Replication replicas to create and test DR plans providing useful reports.

Veeam Availability Orchestrator can be deployed in different ways depending on your design but if you install a single VAO site, it must resides on DR site. VAO requires the Veeam Enterprise Plus license.

 

Blog Series

Veeam Availability Orchestrator setup - pt.1
Veeam Availability Orchestrator configure a Failover Plan - pt.2

 

Failover Plan

When a disaster occurs, it is essential to have a defined and tested disaster recovery plan to ensure the DR site is actually working as expected. VMs running critical applications may have dependencies to other VMs and the failover process of these virtual machines needs a specific timeline to follow, such as Domain Controllers first, then SQL database, applications, and so on.

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This process can be automated through the Veeam Backup & Replication's Failover Plan feature.

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With VAO you can perform the following tasks:

  • 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compliance requirements - generate and automatically update documentation for DR procedures to eliminate the problem of outdated DR plans.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 operations for Veeam Backup & Replication replicas.
  • Prove recoverability - build test schedules to automate the verification of failover plans, with isolated and low-impact testing of VM replicas and the applications they run.

 

Prerequisites

The following systems are supported by Veeam Availability Orchestrator 1.0:

  • VMware vSphere 5.x or 6.x
  • Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3 or later
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (2012 SP3 Express Edition is included in the setup), 2014, 2016, 2017
  • VAO and Veeam Backup Servers must be joined to an AD domain.

 

Veeam Availability Orchestrator installation

Mount the downloaded ISO file downloaded from Veeam website and run the installer by double clicking the Setup.exe file.

Keep in mind no existing Veeam products should reside in the server used to install Veeam Availability Orchestrator because it's not supported and you will receive a warning message.

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From main installation screen, click Install to proceed with Veeam Availability Orchestrator installation.

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Accept the EULA then click Next.

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Specify VAO components to install and the installation directory if required, then click Next.

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Click Browse button to select the license file .lic received from Veeam and click Next.

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If the installer detects some missing features, click Install to install required components provided directly by the installer.

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Missing features are being installed in the system.

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When missing components have been installed and the computer meets the requirements, click Next to continue the installation.

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It is recommended the use of a dedicated service account member of the Local Admins group with owner rights to the VAO database. Click Next to continue.

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In the Default Configuration screen, check the Let me specify different settings option to customize default settings.

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Select Install new instance of SQL service option to install default Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Express in case no existing local SQL instances are available. Specify Windows authentication credentials of service account to connect the SQL Server. Click Next to continue.

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Leave default database names or type custom names then click Next.

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If you don't have specific requirements, leave default ports and click Next.

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If no certificates are installed in the current server, use the default Generate new self-signed certificate option and click Next.

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Specify the directories to locate the data and click Next.

  • vPower NFS - used by Instant VM Recovery, specifies where the write cache must be stored. Make sure to have at least 10 GB of free disk space.
  • Guest file system catalog - specifies the path where index files generated by Veeam Backup & Replication are stored.
  • Performance data cache - used by Veeam ONE to store the write cache.
  • Synchronization folder - stores data obtained during synchronization across VAO sites.

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Click Install to proceed with VAO installation.

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The installer will begin installing the selected components:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP3 Express
  • Veeam Backup & Replication Server
  • Veeam ONE
  • Veeam Availability Orchestrator

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When the installation has completed successfully, click Finish to exit the wizard.

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Click Yes to confirm the logoff.

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The installation procedure of Veeam Availability Orchestrator has been completed.

 

Initial configuration

Using your favorite browser, type the address https://IP_address_VAO:9898 and enter the correct credentials to access VAO. Click Login.

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As soon as you login to the VAO, the Initial Configuration Wizard is displayed. Click Next to proceed.

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Select DR Site as Site Type then click Next. In VAO infrastructure there are two possible types of sites:

  • DR site - is the site where VM replicas are located, and where failover plans are created, stored, tested and executed using VAO.
  • Production site - is the site where source production VMs are located.

In a single VAO deployment, there can be multiple Production sites but only one DR site.

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Specify the site Name and click Next.

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Specify the groups or the users used as Site Administrator by clicking the Add link or the Add Current User link to specify currently logged in user account. Click Next when done.

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Specify the Veeam Backup Server to connect and click Next.

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Enter the credentials of the account used to access the Veeam Backup Server in order to install the Agent. Check also option Use same account to run the Veeam Orchestrator Agent services if same account should be used to run also the Agent. Click Next.

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Leave default then click Next.

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Specify the vCenter Server to connet and the correct credentials. Click Next to continue.

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Click Finish to complete the configuration.

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The initial configuration has completed. The Welcome page allows you to start configuring VAO to manage your Failover Plans.

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Once Failover Plans have been configured, the Dashboard will display the status of taken actions.

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The installation of Veeam Availability Orchestrator has now completed. Part 2 will cover the configuration of Failover Plans.

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