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:

VAO-Baseline-2 –  VAO & V-Replicas  –  VAO & V-Backup  –  VAO & NETAPP

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 automatically the resources? How is it possible to tag the resources?

It’s possible because inside VAO there is the Veeam ONE Business-View component.

To have more details about tagging please refer to the 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).

But I want to be sure that the original VMs are switched off before starting the DR plan.

I want to be sure that when DR-plan is up and running, the SQL application can answer to LAN requests from port 1433 too.

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)

Picture 16

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












Veeam Availability Orchestrator – v.3.0 – VAO-Baseline-2

Let’s continue the VAO features description talking about scope (Picture 1)

Picture 1

VAO controls access to its functionality with the scopes.

A scope defines which operations users can perform.

In my example, I created a SQL Production scope where only the users belonging to the SQL administrator group can manage and launch the DR process.

The plan components are probably the main VAO attention point (Picture 2).


From the menu, it is possible to group scope, VM (applications-services), recovery locations, plan steps, credentials, and jobs template.

To be clearer, it’s like creating a picnic basket and putting inside different dishes.

Now you just have to lay the table.

How to do it? (Which dishes do I have to put into the basket?)

Just select scope (Picture 4), then from VM groups include the needed VMs source (Picture 5), from recovery locations select the DR site (picture 6) and at the end select plan steps, credential and Template Job.

Picture 4

Picture 5

Picture 6

Last point is the DataLabs assignment but I’m sure you can now include them on the right scopes.

Exit from the Administrator menu and move to the main menu to create the first Recovery Plan.

The wizard is very easy to be used:

Picture 7

Picture 8 shows how to select the Scope.

Picture 8

Picture 9 shows the detailed plan info and Picture 10 the plan type (next articles will deep how to set them up)

Picture 9

Picture 10

Picture 11, 12, 13 show how it’s possibles to discover the VMs that belong to the group selecting VM group

Picture 11

Picture 12

Picture 13

Picture 14 shows the control options for the DR plan. If something goes wrong the plan can be halted or not.

Picture 14

Picture 15 shows the steps, 16 the option to protect VMs switched on after the failover has been completed, 17 the RPO and RTO that the plan has to respect.

Picture 15

Picture 16

Picture 17

Picture 18 shows the template docs that will be used, while picture 19 shows a (for me) interesting mandatory check option.

Before doing any new activity the Readiness check analyzes that all components are correctly set up.

Picture 18

Picture 19

In my next article, I will cover two examples: DR-plan from Replica and DR-plan from backup. Keep in touch!

Veeam Backup & Replication – Agent Licensing

Today I’m covering how to enable VBR to use VUL licensing to backup Physical Machines (they could be server or workstation both)

If you need more details to understand better the implementation scenarios please refer to the three articles I already wrote

Veeam Agent  Part 1     Veeam Agent Part 2     Veeam Agent Part 3

As many of you already know it is possible to work with the free Veeam Agent version and a paid VBR version.

The only thing that this architecture allows is using the VBR repositories as a global backup container.

What customers forget is that you can’t have a mixed infrastructure composed of free and paid agents.

Let’s see an example:

An end-user with already 10 VBR sockets license has a new project to protect 30 workstations and he wants to use Veeam agent Free.

The end-user just has to install and set up on every single workstation the free agent to write backup data to VBR repository.

From VBR version 9.5.u4, Veeam is gifting 1 VUL license for every socket customer bought (up to 6 sockets). In our example it means the end-user can protect up to 6 Physical Server or 18 Workstation (1 Vul x 3 Workstation) for free or a mixed architecture.

What happens if you enable VBR to assign the gifted license from your VBR server?

First thing how to enable it? The next three pictures explain how to perform it

Picture 1

Picture 2

        Picture 3

From now on VBR will use the agent license up to consuming them.

In our example, the end-user will protect 18 Workstation but the last 12 will be out from the backup procedure.

Which is the solution?

Easy one, just Buying a new license pack.

Why you should have to buy new licenses?

There are at least three good reasons:

a) It is possible to manage your workstation architecture directly from VBR console.
b) There are more restore options.
c) Veeam support.


1) One of the good news about the licensing of VBR v.10 is that from now on the license bought will be added to the gifted one. It means that you buy just a VUL packet (10 Vul) and have a total of 16 licenses.

2) If you have two license files (the first for VBR, the second for Veeam Agent) you have to merge them in just one license file.

The License rule and the procedure are available reading the following links  (rule)                   (procedure)

3) Is there a turn back procedure?

Yes, please refer to the following KB and  contact Veeam’s support.

To Remember:

4) It’s not possible to protect VM with sockets and VUL license. It means that sockets license has the priority to protect VM respect to VUL.

5) Product comparison edition