Veeam adds ability to restore from backups to Veeam Availability Orchestrator

Other enhancements improve documentation, role-based granularity, remote restore capability, and licensing improvements for VCSPs.

Danny Allan onstage at VeeamON

MIAMI – At the VeeamON event here, Veeam made a point of being more technical in their technology roadmap keynote than they were last year, including presenting eight demos and offering some tastes of the final touches to their long-awaited Veeam 10 release, which was first previewed at this event two years ago, and is slated for release later this year. The major announcement around product that is available now was, however, the general availability of Veeam Availability Orchestrator v2.

“We have had five releases since beginning of the year to the Veeam Availability Platform, and with the general release now of Veeam Availability Orchestrator v2, we are focusing on one of them, the orchestration layer,” said Danny Allan, Veeam’s VP of Product Strategy.

While Veeam describes themselves as an availability vendor, backing up data is fundamentally what built the company into the billion-dollar business that it has become. As the industry – and Veeam’s business – increasingly shifts to the hybrid cloud, the company believes that orchestrating that data effectively will be increasingly critical.

“The first step is aggregating data – backing it up – in the data centre, the cloud and at the edge,” Allan said. “It’s the first and most important point. But while the heart and soul may be backup and recovery, orchestrating it across many layers is where many companies are today. We believe one of the core areas of innovation for us is around that orchestration layer. We  believe that this is where a lot the of brains of cloud management will actually occur. If you can orchestrate business movement effectively, you can react faster.”

Veeam Software first introduced the Veeam Availability Orchestrator, a multi-hypervisor disaster recovery orchestration engine that works with Veeam Availability Suite and Veeam Backup & Replication, in 2016.

“This first version was based on replication,” Allan said, noting that it was all about recovery. A shortcoming, from a cost-effectiveness proposition, was that it required running the data 24/7 in two different locations.

“What’s new in Version 2 is that while Version 1 was about a recovery plan, Version 2 adds the capability for a restore plan,” Allan said. “We can now orchestrate and document recovery from backups. It means that you don’t have to run 24/7 in both locations.”

Allan said that this capability, which for the moment is unique to Veeam, is extremely significant, and expands the use cases beyond recovery verification to things like DevOps, patch and upgrade testing and analytics.

“This now democratizes orchestrated business DR to the whole industry,” he stated. “It has been too expensive and complicated in the past. Now everyone can have restore plans that recover for DevOps. No one else in the industry is doing this, providing the capability to restore from backups rather than replication.”

While Allan stressed that the most significant new capability is adding this ability to orchestrate recovery from backups, Version 2 of Veeam Availability Orchestrator has other new features as well.

“A second new capability is automated testing, because automating the DevOps workload so developers can deliver things faster is a huge use case,” he said. “We have also added a capability for dynamic documentation. One struggle we have had in this industry is elevating the view of how data helps the business to the C level suite. New reporting updates add the ability to set two things RTO [Recovery Time objectives], how long it will take to recover data, and RPO [Recovery Point Objectives], how often you capture data. That lets companies can see if they are meeting objectives they set out for themselves. So if your RPO is, say, four hours, Version 2 will document if you are meeting that or not.”

More granular permissions have also been added.

“We have added the ability to scope the data with granular permissions at the VM group level with Role Based Access Control, without requiring the deployment of additional Orchestrator Production servers at other sites,” Allan said. “It gives teams the ability to do analytics, and manage orchestration, but only for their environment.”

This version also adds new remote VMware console access.

“If an admin is remote, they can’t actually see what is happening,” Allan said. “We have added built-in console access, so the person doing the recovery can see directly what is happening, by launching VM consoles from the Veeam Availability Orchestrator UI. This significantly improves the user experience.”

Finally, an enhancement has been made on the business side for Veeam Cloud Service Providers [VCSPs].

“Veeam has always had a maniacal focus on the VCSPs running our platform,” Allan said. “VCSPs can now integrate Veeam Availability Orchestrator into their Veeam-powered business, including volume-based discounts on volume rental agreements.

“Software itself in this business is easy,” Allan concluded. “What’s hard is business operations, so the new hosting rental license enables partners here.”

Veeam Availability Orchestrator v2 is available now.

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