Launched in February 2018, Veeam Availability Orchestrator v1 introduced a purpose-built orchestration and automation engine for Veeam-powered replicas, helping organizations overcome the core challenges of business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR). This includes ensuring IT resilience and reliably recovering services within defined SLAs, regularly testing and proving recoverability, and maintaining up-to-date documentation. By orchestrating and automating what were once unsuccessful, manual, time-consuming and error-prone practices, Veeam Availability Orchestrator users can rigorously plan, prepare, practice and execute their disaster recovery (DR) plans more successfully, accurately and efficiently — even at large scale.
Building on the immediate successes of v1, I’m excited to announce the general availability of Veeam Availability Orchestrator v2! This includes incredible new features and functionality that extends the power of orchestration and automation to restores from Veeam backups. This new capability is massive, as orchestration tools are traditionally only available for complex and expensive replication-based protection, limiting true DR capabilities to mission-critical applications and large enterprises. By delivering full orchestration and automation support to recovery, testing and documenting for both replicas and backups, true DR can now be extended to all applications and data while significantly lowering costs, democratizing DR for companies of all sizes. Let’s take a look at some of the notable new features and enhancements.
Those already using Veeam Availability Orchestrator will be familiar with the notion of a failover plan, an arrangement of steps and parameters responsible for executing the failover of groups of VMware vSphere VMs that are replicated by Veeam Backup & Replication. Restore plans will bring this same orchestrated, automated functionality to restores of VMware vSphere VM backups. This includes support for:
- Instant VM Recovery: Immediately restore VMs back into the production environment by running them directly from the backup file, minimizing disruption to the business caused by the downtime of critical production VMs.
- New recovery locations: Predefine new recovery locations to restore VMs to in the event that the original destination is unusable. Recovery locations are dynamic groups of compute and storage resources and also include automatic network mapping and re-IP of recovered VMs.
By combining orchestration with Veeam’s patented Instant VM Recovery technology and the dynamic approach to recovery locations, users will be able to achieve incredibly low recovery time objectives (RTOs) that rival those of replication-based failover. What’s so important about this massive new feature is that it enables organizations that don’t have the resources to replicate their mission-critical VMs to achieve true DR from backups.
The ability to automatically generate multiple detailed reports in Veeam Availability Orchestrator is a feature many organizations have realized great value in. This includes defining the plan, checking the plan’s readiness, satisfying compliance requirements, highlighting areas requiring improvements, troubleshooting and more. With v2, we’re adding some major enhancements to documents based on your feedback.
- Users can set RTOs and recovery point objectives (RPOs) as properties within their plan and then compare them with real-world values after a test. This is great for proving SLA compliance with internal and external regulations, as well as proactively identifying, remediating and retesting plans where SLAs have been missed.
- In addition to being able to customize all of the free text within your report templates, all internal labels used by the reporting engine have been documented and exposed (e.g., [RPO], [CONTACT_EMAIL], etc.).
- All reports are now available in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian (Note: Only the user-customizable portion of reports is localized — technical details will still be in English).
Delegating access to DR resources for application owners, business units and operations teams is critical. They know the application best and what it needs for successful DR, but they aren’t necessarily pros at Veeam Backup & Replication — in fact, the company security model may require that they don’t have admin access to infrastructure servers such as Veeam Backup & Replication and VMware vCenter at all. Veeam Availability Orchestrator v1 enabled this necessary access, but it required the deployment of a separate Veeam Availability Orchestrator server at each production site. The introduction of scopes in v2 allows for more granular permissions and role-based access without requiring the deployment of any additional Veeam Availability Orchestrator servers. This not only allows for more simplified deployment and management in multi-site environments, but also enhances security, as Orchestration Plan authors will not be able to access resources they’re not entitled to.
VM console access
We’ve also added the ability to launch and access VM consoles directly from Orchestration Plans in the UI. This feature will allow the Orchestration Plan Authors direct access to the console of the VMs in their plans, great for additional testing, verification and troubleshooting once an automated test has been completed.
Hosting rental licenses
Finally, we are opening up Veeam Availability Orchestrator to our Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) partners with the addition of hosting rental licenses. By integrating Veeam Availability Orchestrator into your Veeam-powered business, you’ll be able to:
- Ensure seamless operation of the IT services that power your most critical business functions through an orchestrated, automatically tested and documented DR plan
- Offer the highest level of Availability to your BaaS and DRaaS customers with a fully orchestrated DR plan, including automated execution, testing and documentation
- Take your managed services to the next level by offering an orchestrated BCDR plan as part of your remote managed data protection services.
The new functionality in Veeam Availability Orchestrator v2 promises to bring even more intelligence and capabilities to your BCDR strategy, ensuring that the IT services that power your business are always Available.
If you’re already using Veeam Availability Orchestrator, you are able to migrate to v2 at no cost by downloading the ISO and new license key from the Veeam license management portal.
If you’re not already using Veeam Availability Orchestrator, I strongly encourage you to download the 30-day FREE trial today and take it for a spin! It includes everything you need to get started, even if you’re not currently a Veeam Backup & Replication Enterprise Plus customer.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact your local Veeam representative or attend the webinar we have scheduled where we will take a deeper dive and demo a lot of what’s new in v2!