DR Orchestration – Zero to Hero

Veeam Availability Orchestrator is designed to help your organisation implement and manage flexible Disaster Recovery plans, Restore, Replica and Storage plans. How can you build each plan, and what does it take to protect your applications?


Many Veeam customers are asking me to help them to design and implement their DR plans using Veeam Availability Orchestrator. Each time I get involved in an exercise like this, I have to rebuild my environment and go through the basics to demonstrate the wonders of Veeam Availability Orchestrator.

As a big fan of the product, I believe that if you want to learn about Veeam Availability Orchestrator, you are not going to learn the best features the product can offer in protection by implementing a one server build. Therefore, when I get involved on any demonstration and design, I like to work with the following environment:

  • Two VMware clusters, one as PRODUCTION and the other as a DR site
  • Veeam Backup and Replication Server
  • Veeam Availability Orchestrator Server
  • Application: I like to use Microsoft Dynamics (Server1: DC/DNS, Server2: SQL Server, Server3: MS Dynamics + IIS)
  • Two NetApp OnTap Appliances

Infrastructure Design

The following diagram is showing the infrastructure I will use. You can also learn about the components and the steps I will be covering from this diagram; such as Tags, NetApp config and more…:



Throughout my demonstrations, I will be using the infrastructure outlined in the plan above. In addition, each video will take you through the steps I took to accomplish the tasks I have listed below:

  1. We will start by deploying the Veeam Backup and Replication server and introducing the Microsoft Dynamics environment. We will end the demo by creating and running a replication job. We will use this setup on future videos.
  2. Next we will deploy a Veeam Availability Orchestration server, and then run through setting up an initial configuration.
  3. In this session, I will demonstrate how to use VMware Tags to tag the Server, ESXi Host, and Datastore that I will use when I demonstrate the Recovery and Storage plans.
  4. If you want to test your Disaster Recovery plans, you have to configure a Veeam Backup and Recovery Datalab; therefore, I will demonstrate how to configure the Datalab, and then test that my configuration is correct.
  5. In this video, we will learn about the Veeam Availability Orchestrator plans; we will start with a replica plan and learn what it takes to build that plan.
  6. At this point, we are ready to start configuring the Veeam Availability Orchestrator plans – let’s start with the Replica plan.
  7. Next, we will learn about the Restore plan.
  8. After the Restore plan, we will need a Storage plan; but before you start on the Storage plan, I will teach you how to deploy two NetApp Virtual Storage Appliances on your lab and how to configure the those appliances.
  9. The last session is about the Veeam Availability Orchestrator Storage plan using the NetApp Storage Mirror.

One last note before we get started; please note that I created these videos as part of my job, and do not include a voiceover. I will explain each step, and work on adding a voiceover as an update as soon as possible. Also each task/video will be followed by a demonstration of Disaster Recovery testing and a Disaster Recovery failover.  


Session #1: Deploying Veeam Backup and Replication

Session #2: Deploying Veeam Availability Orchestrator

Session #3: Prepare VMWare Infrastructure – Tags

Session #4: Configure Veeam Datalab

Session #5: Configure and Prepare a Veeam Replication Job

Session #6: Build a Veeam Orchestrator Replica Plan

Session #7: Build a Veeam Orchestrator Restore Plan

Session #8: Deploy NetApp Appliance

Session #9: Build a Veeam Orchestrator Storage Plan


As you go through the videos I have shared on this blog, you should get a good idea of what we are trying to do in Veeam Availability Orchestration. You will have a good starting point to become comfortable with the product. I’m sure you find enough here to begin configuring your first ever Veeam Availability Orchestrator Disaster Recovey Plan. I hope these videos help you answer any questions you may have about Veeam Availability Orchestrator, Disaster Recovery planning, NetApp integration, and more. Please do not hesitate to share your feedback on the note below.

6 thoughts on “DR Orchestration – Zero to Hero

  1. Hello, thanks for the post.
    Do you know if we can use VAO without VBR and leverage only on NetApp Snapmirror Asynch replication to restart VMs on the DR site?

    • Hi Renaud, thanks for your message and interest on my blog. Regarding your question, if you don’t use a standalone VBR server, VAO will leverage the embedded VBR server instead.

  2. Hello, I have plan to test VAO on my lab so can you recommend for my lab environment can work for VAO test or not?

    – NetApp single controller and deploy 2 SVM inside, one smv for DC and one sim for DR
    – VMWare system:
    – Single vCenter, single VMWare DataCenter and single VMWare cluster
    – Inside VMWare cluster have 2 ESX and I plan ESX#1 for DC and ESX#2 for DR


    • Hi Pop,

      I don’t see any issue with the environment you are using. try to create two datacenters (one production and one DR) and on each DC, create a cluster and attach the ESXi to the cluster, then attach each SVM to the appropriate cluster. So, to summarize you will end up with the below (the below what I have on my lab):
      1 x vCenter
      2 x datacenter + 2 Clusters
      4 x ESXi virtual hosts (2 on each DC or just one)
      2 x SVM’s for each DC

      Hope this help


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