Democratizing Disaster Recovery

VeeamON Briefing Note – Veeam Availability Orchestrator 2.0

Disaster Recovery (DR) is about more than just recovering data. When a data center is down and applications need to restart in another location, there is a whole series of events that need to happen prior to the application becoming accessible to users. The challenge is that during a disaster, people and systems are stressed, which makes ensuring that the numerous steps required to recover critical applications are carried out, very difficult.

In the past, most organizations have tolerated the expensive investment in labor and IT resources required to recover mission critical applications. The problem today is that almost every data center has seen an explosion in the number of applications that it must run. Most of these applications are not mission critical, but they are important and often need to be part of the recovery process during a disaster. IT needs something more than backup but it can’t afford replication.

At VeeamON 2019, Veeam announced Veeam Availability Orchestrator (VAO) version 2 (v2). VAO is an orchestration tool that works with Veeam Backup and Replication. It automates the process of creating, documenting and testing DR plans to ensure business continuity and meet compliance. It can perform recovery orchestration both for a customer’s secondary site and for cloud recovery use cases.

One of the most interesting new features added in VAO v2 is the ability to orchestrate recovery from backup, instead of just replication alone, dramatically reducing the cost of disaster recovery and extending high performance recovery to all applications. The recovery from backup feature will determine the most intelligent path to rapid recovery for a protected application. This might mean automatically restoring data after each backup so that the application and its data are in a native state. It also might mean creating a virtual NFS volume on the backup target so that the restore doesn’t need to traverse the network.

VAO v2 also includes automated testing so that customers can be confident that their recovery plans will work. Automated testing also enables use cases beyond disaster recovery, including test/dev, security, patch verification and vulnerability testing.

Also included in VAO v2 is verification of recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). The reporting function will validate if IT can meet its commitment to the organization. Storage Switzerland is an enthusiastic advocate of setting and communicating service level objectives to the rest of the organization, and Veeam’s update to VAO makes the process much easier.

StorageSwiss Take

Given the very real threat of cyber-attack plus natural and man-made disasters, no geography is safe from a disaster. An effective disaster recovery plan is more important than ever. The explosion of applications and the increased expectations of rapid recovery by users put IT under intense pressure to deliver. The automation and democratization of disaster recovery is an important step forward as is the ability to efficiently communicate service level objective attainment. For current Veeam Backup and Replication customers, Availability Orchestrator is an obvious next step, for customers looking at Veeam as their future data protection solution, it may accelerate their transition.

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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