Prepare you vLab for your VAO DR planning

disaster-recovery-plan-ts-100662705-primary.idge_.jpgA good disaster plan needs careful preparation. But after your careful planning, how do you validate your DR strategy without disrupting your daily business operation? Veeam Availability Orchestrator just might be your solution.

As this blog post focuses on one aspect of the VBR and VAO configuration and to learn more about Veeam Availability Orchestrator, and to find out more about Veeam Replication and Veeam Virtual Labs, continue reading.

Veeam Availability Orchestrator is a very powerful tool to help you implement and document your DR strategy. However, this product relies on Veeam Backup & Replication Tool to:

  • perform Replication, and
  • Virtual Lab.

Therefore, to successfully configure the Veeam Availability Orchestrator, you must master Replication and the Virtual Lab. Don’t worry, I will take you through the important steps to successfully configure your Veeam Availability Orchestrator, and to implement your DR Plan.

The best way to get started is to share with you a real-life DR scenario I experienced last week during my VAO POC.

Scenario

A customer wanted to implement Veeam Availability Orchestrator with the following objectives:

  • Replication between the production and DR datacentre across the county,
  • Re-Mapping the Network attached to each VM at the DR site,
  • Re-IP the VM IP address of each VM at the DR site,
  • Scheduling the DR testing to perform every Saturday morning,
  • Document the DR Plan.

As you might already be aware, all those objectives can be achieved using Veeam VBR & VAO.

So let’s get started.

The Environment and the Design

To understand the design and the configuration lets first introduce the customer network subnets at PRODUCTION and the DR site.

PRODUCTION Site

  • At the PRODUCTION site, the customer used the 192.168.33.x/24 subnet,
  • Virtual Distribution Switch and Group: SaSYD-Prod.

DR Site

  • Production network at the DR site uses the 192.168.48.x/24 subnet
  • Prod vDS: SP-DSWProd
  • DR Re-IP subnet & Network name: vxw-dvs-662-virtualwire-4-sid-5000-SP_Prod_Switch

To accomplish the configuration and requirements at those sites, the configuration must consider the following steps:

  • Replication between the PRODUCTION and the DR Sites
  • Re-Mapping the VM Network from ProdNet to vxw-dvs-662-virtualwire-4-sid-5000-SP_Prod_Switch
  • vLab with that configuration listed above.

The following diagram and design is what we are going to discuss on this blog:

Replication Job Configuration

To prepare for a disaster and to implement failover, we must create a replication job that will replicate the intended VMs from the PRODUCTION site to the DR site. In this scenario, to achieve the requirements above, we must use Veeam replication with Network Mapping and Re-IP options when configuring the Replication Job. To do this, we have to tick the checkbox for the Separate virtual networks (enable network mapping), and Different IP addressing scheme (enable re-IP):

At the Network stage, we will specify the source and destination networks:

Note: to follow the diagram, the source network must be: Prod_Net and the Target network will be the DR_ReIP network.

On the Re-IP, enter the original IP address and the new Re-IP address to be used at the DR site:

Next, continue with the replication job configuration as normal.

Virtual Lab Configuration

To use Veeam Availability Orchestrator to check our DR planning, and to make sure our VMs will start on the DR site as expected, we must create a Veeam Virtual Lab to test our configuration. First, let’s create a Veeam vLab, starting with the name of the vLab and the ESXi host at the DR site which will host the Veeam Proxy appliance. At the following screenshot, the hostname is spesxidr.veeamsalab.org

Choose a data store where you will keep the redo log files. After you have selected the datastore, press next. You must configure the proxy appliance specifically for the network to be attached. In our example, the network is the PRODUCTION network at the DR site named SP-DSWProd, and it has a static DR site IP address. See below.

Next, we must configure the Networking as Advanced multi-host (manual configuration), and then select the appropriate Distributed virtual switch; in our case, SP-ProdSwitch.

This leads us to the next configuration stage, Isolated Network. At this stage, we must assign the DR network that each replicated VM will be connected.

Note: This network must be the same as the Re-Mapped network you selected as a destination network during the replication job configuration. The Isolation network is any name you assign to the temporary network used during the DR plan check.

Next, we must configure the temporary DR network. As shown on the following screenshot, I chose the Omnitra_VAO_vLab network I named on the previous step (Isolated network). The IP address is the same IP address of the DR PRODUCTION gateway. Also on the following screenshot, you can see the Masquerade network address I can use to get access to each of the VMs from the DR PRODUCTION network:

Finally, let’s create a static Mapping to access the VMs during the DR testing. We will use the Masquerade IPs as shown in the following screenshot.

Conclusion

Veeam Availability Orchestrator is a very powerful tool to help companies streamline and simplify their DR planning. The initial configuration of the VAO DR planning is not complex; but it is a little involved. You must navigate between the two products, Veeam Backup and Replication, and the Veeam Availability Orchestrator.

After you have grasped the DR concept, your next steps to DR planning will be smooth and simple. Also, you may have noted that to configure your DR planning using Veeam Availability Orchestrator, you must be familiar with Veeam vLabs and networking in general. I highly recommend that you read more on Veeam Virtual Labs before starting your DR Plan configuration.

I hope this blog post helps you to get started with vLab and VAO configuration. Stay tuned for my next blog or recording about the complete configuration of the DR Plane. Until then, I hope you find this blog post informative; please post your comments in the chatter below if you have questions or suggestions.

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