Modern Applications – Episod 1: Foundamentals

Introduction

This is the first of a group of articles about the technologies that can modernize the applications.

The scope is helping the reader to understand the potentiality of this new way to make business allowing the Companies to be more competitive.

These articles follow my personal approach and studies of Kubernetes.

I’m paying attention to how to make services available and protected by exploiting internal and external native technologies

Let’s start !!!

What is a container

It’s a way to package the applications with their pertinent dependencies and configurations in just one block.

There are at least two big advantages of this approach:

  • The container for his native architecture is portable. It means you can run it in any architecture wherever they are located. (please read the previous article about Digital Transformation and Cloud Mobility)
  • Deploying services prove easier and more efficient than in the traditional world because there are already plenty of software images ready to be used.

Where can I download images to run to the containers?

There are public and private Repositories (please do not mess it with a VBR Repository).

The most famous container technology is Docker that has a public repository called docker hub.

What is a container exactly?

A container allows isolated images to run to an operating system.

Container vs Virtual Machine

The difference between the two architecture seems to be very tiny but actually, they represent two worlds.

The two technologies are virtualization tools but if Docker focuses on the applications layer (picture 1),  VM puts its attention to Kernel and application (picture 2)

Picture 1

Picture 2

Which are the main advantages of this new approach:

  • The container has a small footprint (few MB compare to GB).
  • The boot is faster.
  • Easier compatibility list.
  • It can run in all common operating systems, such as Windows, Mac-OS, Linux.

Container vs Image

It’s crucial to the next articles to have very clear the difference between a container and an image.

Let’s help ourselves through picture #3 that shows the application composition.

There are four main elements:

  1. Image: It’s the code written by developers. It is downloaded from Repositories.
  2. Configuration: It represents the setup created to allow the application to run.
  3. File System: It’s the place where the application and its data are stored.
  4. Network: It allows all components to talk to each other.

The container is where the application runs.

Picture 3

Note 1: Images are part of the container. Think of the container as a multitasking OS specialized to run applications simultaneously.

Note 2: To get info about Docker, please refer to the official website.                I.E.: to run an image just launch the following command:                                  docker run image-name

Note 3: There are more Container technologies; the most common are:

  • RTK (CoreOS)
  • LXC
  • LXD (Canonical)
  • Linux VServer
  • OpenVZ/Virtuozzo 7
  • runC

That’s all for now,  see you soon and take care.

Veeam Backup Office 365 & Cloud Connect

In the last few days, I have been contacted by a Service Provider to design a solution to back up the Microsoft Office 365 environment.

Actually, four months ago, I wrote three articles to show how to set up the environment using a great job of Niels and Timothy, creators and deployers the Martini project.

All details are available clicking  here,

VBO-365 Portal: A nice project just behind the corner – Part 1

Why the Service Provider needs a different way to implement this service?
I think that the two main reasons were:

1) SP has already a Cloud Connect architecture and it wants to use it in all possible scenarios.
2) SP needs always official support from Vendor before implementing any project and the Martini is not. To be clearer, the RestFul Api technology inside VBO is totally supported, the Martini portal isn’t because it is not a Veeam product.

Before continuing the read, there is one requirement to respect: VBR Cloud Connect and VBO-365 have to be installed on the same server (a Windows Server).

Let’s start!

Picture 1 shows the high-level architecture.

Enhanced Self Service Restore in Backup for Office 365 v2.0 - VIRTUALIZATION IS LIFE!Picture 1

The service provider architecture is shown on the right part of picture 1 and it is composed of VBO-365 and the Cloud Connect architectures, while the left part shows the tenant architecture where VBR Server has been installed.

Which are the actions that can be performed by the Tenant?

Backup: the tenant can’t access the VBO-365 console. It means the Tenat can’t set up or launch any sort of backup. In other words, the backup tasks are a managed services.

Restore: The tasks can be driven by the administrator of the Microsoft Office 365 organization through the use of Veeam Explores. The Cloud Connect technology creates the tunnel to connect the two entities.

Note 1: When VBR is installed by default all Veeam Explorers are installed.

I mean that not just the traditional Veeam Explorers (for Active Directory, SQL, Oracle, Exchange, Share-points) are installed but also the Explorer for One Drive and Teams. that are specific for Microsoft 365 technology.

Note 2: Does this scenario require  VBR license?

Yes, but you can use the free community edition.

The point to highlight during the setup is the authentication task that allows the explorer to communicate with VBO-365:

From the VBO-365 console selecting “General Options” (Picture 2) and from the  authentication tab enabling the tenant authentication  you can catch your goal (please for security reason use your own certificate) (Picture 3)

Picture 2

Picture 3

Let’s switch to my demo environment:

1. The Service Provider VBO-365 console, has three Microsoft 365 organizations with a backup job each  (Picture 4). Two of those use modern authentication, the third the basic one.

Picture 4

2. The Cloud-Connect architecture has been set up in order to create a tenant called  Demo-VBO (Picture 5).

Picture 5

  • The VBR Tenant Console shows how the connection towards the service provider has been set up (Picture 6).

Picture 6

The following video shows the tasks performed by the tenant to restore his data (Exchange/Sharepoint/One-Drive/Teams items) located at the Service Provider site.

Video 1

That’s all for now, take care and see you soon

VDrO v.4 – Run a DR plan

This is the last article about how to integrate the Continuous Data Protection (CDP)  technology (available from VBR v.11) and VDrO v.4 (former VAO).

In this part, we are going to see what happens when an orchestration plan is launched.

Yes, I wrote the word “see” because I created a short video showing the tasks that are automatically completed when a Disaster Recovery is occurring.

If you need more details about how to set up the environment, please read the previous articles.

Let me know if videos and youtube platform are a good way to expose technological valuable topics.

Thx for reading and watching and take care