How to configure Veeam with SovLabs and VMware vRealize Automation to simplify backups and recovery

As a partner with VMware, Veeam and SovLabs, I recently had the pleasure of exploring SovLabs’ new extensibility module for VMware vRealize Automation (vRA). This new plug-in supports vRA 7.x, including 7.3, and boasts a lot of new features for tagging, IPAM and Backup as a Service (BaaS). The BaaS components of the Advanced Bundle provide IT administrators with the ability to automate policy-driven backups using self-service in vRA’s user interface. So, whether attaching a backup policy to an application as it’s being built, or providing VM and file-level recovery as a Day 2 operation, adding SovLabs with your Veeam and vRA deployment will simplify backups and recovery.

VMware vRealize Automation is a unified lifecycle automation tool for the Software-defined Data Center (SDDC) that is part of VMware’s overall cloud management platform (CMP) solution called the VMware vRealize Suite. This product enables users and administrators to globally provision and manage IT resources from Day 0 to decommission for various “As a Service” needs. The multi-vendor, multi-cloud architecture behind vRA provides the agility and extensibility for customers to embrace private, hybrid and public clouds using legacy and cloud native application technology. For more details on VMware vRA, you can follow this link, or request a live demo from WWT.

Configuration instructions

In order to build a new demonstration environment in the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) for the plug-in, we first have to start with a vRA 7.3 instance and Veeam’s Backup & Replication 9.5. In addition, Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager is required to provide API communications between vRA and the backup product. Once the three software components are installed and configured, we can get started.

First, the plug-in must be installed on the vRealize Orchestrator appliance and then properly licensed using the catalog item for add license. Next, follow the instructions found at docs.sovlabs.com to setup the vCenter, IaaS and café endpoints.

Veeam configuration

For Veeam configuration, follow this procedure:

1. Click the Add Veeam BEM Endpoint from the vRA Catalog.Backup as a Service with Veeam and SovLabs
2. Complete the fields for the Enterprise Manager system by inputting the hostname, API port and credentials. If you’re not sure which port is being used for the API on the BEM interface, click Configuration > About and the port will be listed. By default, it is 9398. Click Submit.

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3. Once the request is successful, the new endpoint will appear in the Items tab of vRA to provide day 2 operations.

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4. Now return to the vRA catalog and click the request to create a backup profile. A profile is used to define a policy for an application that will use Veeam as a backup solution. This maps an existing backup job in Veeam to the profile, so that the provisioned VMs assigned to the profile will auto-join the backup job once provisioning completes.

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5. Select the BEM endpoint and then add the backup job to the right field for this profile and click Submit.

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6. Repeat this step for all backup jobs that will be mapped into vRA.
7. Once complete, backup profiles will appear in the Items tab of vRA for Day 2 operations.

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That’s basically it for the configuration side. Now the backup profiles just need to be added to a vRA blueprint.

Adding backup profiles to vRA

1. Click the Design tab. Find a blueprint to edit and open the design canvas.
2. Inside the canvas, click the machine and then click the Properties tab.Backup as a Service with Veeam and SovLabs 8
3. In the Properties tab under Property Groups, click Add.
4. Locate the backup profiles for Veeam and select only one option. Notice there is an option to add a drop-down box to select the backup profile during the request of the catalog item vs. hard-coding the blueprint to use a specific profile. Click OK.

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5. Click Finish.

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6. Check your work by requesting the application from the vRA catalog.
7. Once provisioned, go to the Items tab and review the new deployment. From the Actions menu of the machine, there will now be Day 2 options for VM and file recovery.

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Here’s a quick look at file recovery options with Veeam:

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