Déjà vu Server/Application HA with Veeam CloudConnect

HighAvailabilityIs Veeam DRaaS enough to keep your customers connected to your services; even after a server, service or application failure? Is there another way to initiate a failover sequence at anytime without human intervention? Is server and service Disaster Recovery keeping you awake at night?

In 2004, I joined a company called XOsoft. XOsoft specialised in High Availability (HA) products. While I was with the company, I helped their research and development department to develop four applications for high availability solutions (HA for MS-Sharpoint, MS-IIS, Blackbarry and Multi-hostname redirection failover), and these applications are still available for sale today.

When I look at the Veeam Cloud Connect DRaaS product, application High Availability (HA) immediately comes back to me. With the new coming features of version 9.5 of Direct Restore to Azure (Direct restore to Azure available today at Azure marketplace), I am encouraged to repurpose the cloud connected DRaaS so that it can offer HA application and/or server.

I believe that service providers, partners and customers with Cloud Connect, and Cloud Connect Enterprise Edition, can all benefit from this HA customization.

In this post, I will provide you with an easy and straight forward solution to help you started with your HA application customization.

Building Blocks

You will need the following items to start:

  • Veeam Backup and Replication Product;
  • Cloud Connect DRaaS (or VCC-E) license;
  • Application (I choose a web app);
  • Replication Job; and
  • Failover Plan.

 

How it works

NOTE: For the purpose of this post, and to demonstrate application HA with Veeam Cloud Connect DRaaS, I will provide the basic scripts and steps to demonstrate how easy it is to deploy and implement the solution.

The script we will use in this solution monitors the application by pinging the server IP address, and also by checking the application service(s). If either of these checks fails, then the script will initiate a Failover Plan, and will update the DNS A Record.

The Deployment Process

From the Veeam backup server, create a “.cmd” file. The script will ping the IP address of the server and check the application availability every five seconds, or for some other duration of your choosing.

If the ping fails or/and the monitored application failed to response, the script will change the DNS IP address to the Service providers IP address, and then initiates the Veeam failover plan. In this example, the Veeam failover Plan is called “VCCFOP”. The script is shown below:

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 9.17.54 AM

Replication Job and Failover Plan Creation

After the script has been created, the next step is to create a Veeam Replication job and the Failover Plan. The job can be a local replication, or a cloud connect replication (DRaaS in this example). The Replication job is a regular job with no particular configuration. For dependency applications, you can include multiple VMs together. The Failover Plan is similar to the regular Plan; again, without any special settings.

Where to go from here

The script shown above in this post demonstrates how easy it is to turn Veeam DRaaS into an Application High Availability product. Of course, the script I have provided can be modified with your adjustments and checks, and perhaps you can script the failover to Azure with v9.5.

Conclusion

With the script I have provided above, you can make a huge different to the effectiveness of your Disaster Recovery strategy. After you have deployed the solution, you will have  offered another protection layer for your critical application availability, and this will be without the need to be always on alert to initiate your failover plan in a disaster, or by acquiring any complex or expensive products for the same functionality.

I hope this post was informative and helpful. As usual, if you like it, then you are welcome to share it with your social media friends. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or require clarification on any point.

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