Veeam Availability Orchestrator – v.3.0 – DR from Netapp – Storage Replica

The fifth article will show how to use VAO version 3.0 to automatize the Disaster Recovery using the Netapp snap-mirror technology as an engine.


Netapp – SnapMirror

The article (quite long) is composed of 6 parts:

  1. Setting up Netapp Snap-mirror Protection
  2. Setting up the Recovery Location
  3. Setting up the Scope
  4. Creation of Orchestration Plan
  5. Starting the Plan
  6. Checking the Orchestration Plan status

1 Setting up Netapp Snap-mirror Protection

In my personal lab, I added two NetApp simulators 9.6 setted-up in peer relationships.

Pictures 1 to 5,  show how I set-up  a protection rule for a single Volume (named Vol_iScsi_N01)

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

Picture 4

Picture 5

Picture 6 shows the VMware console view of DR site; the replicated volume is presented as read-only volume.

Picture 6

Tips: My personal suggestion is asking your storage expert the right procedure to set-up a snap-mirror relation between two Netapp storages.

2. Setting up the Recovery Location

The recovery location wizard is shown in pictures 7, 8 and 9.

Picture 7

Picture 8

Picture 9

3. Setting up the Scope

The Scope wizard is shown in picture 10.

Picture 10

4. Creation of Orchestration Plan

Let’s go back to the main steps.

The wizard drives the users to select the right voices as shown in pictures 11, 12, 13 and 14.

Picture 11

Picture 12

Picture 13

Picture 14

The test scenarios are available in this configuration too

The Readiness Test is a low-impact and fast method one to confirm that configuration of an orchestration plan matches the DR environment.

The Data-lab test verifies the DR plan starting VM in a separate network.

 As shown in pictures 15,16,17 and 18. the steps are:

– Assigning  Datalab to VM Group (it is available from the admin menu)

– Setting up the Lab Group

Picture 15

Tips: for testing the Netapp integration select the option Restore.

It means the Replica option is just available for VBR Replica jobs.

Picture 16

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Picture 18

5. Starting the Plan

Next pictures show how to run the just created Orchestration plan.

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Picture 22 shows the restore points available.

Tips:  the shown Restore points are the replicated snapshot  (created by snap-mirror).

Picture 22

Picture 23 shows my favorite option available on VAO 3.0 in the Storage replica scenario.

Let’s imagine you run the orchestration plan.
While failover is running, the primary site is back normal operativity.

Your IT manager asks to revert the failover. Is it possible? Well, it can be. If you selected “reprotect storage volumes after failover” during the steps you can easily do it!

Picture 23

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6. Checking the Orchestration Plan status

Time to run the orchestration plan and watch the steps performed.

I would like you to give your attention to the following three pre-plan steps:

a. Breaking the snapshot relationship

b. Putting the destination volumes on-line

c. Mounting the volumes

(Clicking on the picture you can enlarge the images)

Picture 26

From picture 27 you can see  the main steps:

d. VM registration

e. Network founding and connection

f. Booting VM

Picture 27

Pictures 28 and 29 show the result of post plan steps:

g. heart-beating test

h. Unmounting source Datastore

Picture 28

Picture 29

Tips: how to check in 5 points if everything is correctly working

1. VM in the DR site is running (from DR vCenter console connect remotely to VM as shown in picture 30 and 31).

Picture 30

Picture 31

2. Source VM has been deleted (from Production vCenter console check if VM is disappeared) (Picture 32).

Picture 32

3. The Orchestration plan launch button is grey and the plan has to be reset (picture 33)

Picture 33

4. Destination volumes on Netapp console have been set as read/write (Picture 34)

Picture 34

5. The Netapp relationship between source and destination volumes is broken (Picture 35)

Picture 35

– Readiness check report example dowload

That’s all folks for now.

Veeam Availability Orchestrator – v.3.0 – VAO-Baseline-1

August topic is VAO version 3.0.

This topic needs an awfully long time to be rightly covered. For this reason, I wrote 5 articles.

The first two will explain the base concepts in front of technology. The others will cover how to set up VAO for managing the Veeam Replica job, the Veeam Backup job and the Netapp Storage Replica.

Here below all the direct links to the topic:

Baseline-2VBR-ReplicasVeeam BackupNetapp integration

In these articles, I will not manage how to install VAO software; please refer to the deployment guide (VAO Guides).

  1. VAO – Baseline-1:

One of the common requirements of big companies is to automatically manage Disaster Recovery.

Let’s see the decisional process of the IT Manager

These are the VAO answers.

Let’s move to the VAO consolle:

The first steps after logging in (picture 1) is to click on the administrator tab (Yellow on picture 2) and check the license file installed (picture  3)

Picture 1

Picture 2 3

Now I’m going to describe the structure of the software components.

VAO Server:  it shows where the VAO Server has been installed (Picture 4)

Picture 4

The VAO architecture is well-represented in picture 5 where three production sites replicate their data to a DR site

Picture 5

Is it important to fill up the VAO Server form? Yes, because VAO creates automatically the DR- Plan documentation.

In my lab, I have just a production site and a  DR site.

VAO AGENTS: to control the activities of the Backup Server located in production sites, VAO installs his own agent. The installation task is performed directly from the VAO console (Picture 6).

Picture 6

vCENTER SERVERS: in my scenario, there are two vCenters; the first one in production and the second in DR site (Picture 7)

(Picture 7)

STORAGE SYSTEM: the most important VAO 3.0 news is the integration with storage replication technology. This version supports just Netapp. Picture 8 shows how to add the Storages to VAO.

Picture 8

The last VAO article will deal how to set up and use this great technology.

RECOVERY LOCATION: it’s the place where the DR will be performed (Picture 9). It can be a different location respect where VAO is installed.

Picture 9

In the next rows and pictures, I’ll show which info VAO needs to work at its best.

In particular, I’m talking about the resources present in the recovery location. In this example the computer resources (Picture 10) and storage resources (picture 11)

Picture 10

Picture 11

The next 10 rows are very important to fix in mind.

How VAO can understand which resources are available? In other words how can I assign resources to my Failover Plan?

The answer is VAO uses massively tagging to all resources present at the VMware level.

Tagging means that resources can be added to VAO

But …. is it possible to tag the resources?

Yes, It’s possible because inside VAO there is the Veeam ONE Business-View component that can be freely used to tag resources.

To have more details about tagging please refer to the  VAO-guide.

One of the most common requests from the customers is to create automatic documentation about failover for both testing and procedures.

VAO has already templates (in different languages that you can personalize at will) that are automatically filled up from software when you test or perform the Disaster Recovery.

In the next two pictures, it is shown how to set up an e-mail subscription (Picture 12) and configure the report Detail level (Picture 13).

Just remember to subscribe to the report to the right scope.

(Picture 12)

(Picture 13)

The next option is the reason why I fell in love with VAO (Picture 14)

(Picture 14)

As you can see there is a big choice with DR plan steps. What does it mean?

Let’s see it with an easy example:

My DR plan requires to switch on the Domain Controller (VM1) and afterward the SQL Application (VM2).

I want also to be sure that

a. the original VMs are switched off before starting the DR plan

b.  when DR-plan is up and running, the SQL application has to answer to port 1433.

What VAO can do for you?

With pre-plan step, you can check the original VMs are switched off.

With post-plan, you can check that the application answers correctly.

Another great point about plan steps is that you can choose if the actions have to be executed or skipped. In this way  it adds more flexibility to the solution.

(Picture 15)

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It’s time to have a break. My next Article (VAO – Baseline 2) will show scopes and plan components.