When Veeam Backup & Replication v11 went Generally Available on the 24th of February I posted the What’s in it for Service Providers blog. In that post I briefly outlined all the new features and enhancements in v11 as it related to our Veeam Cloud and Service Provider Partners. As mentioned each new major feature and enhancement listed below deserves its own seperate post. While these posts are targeted at Service Providers, the majority of these features can be levered by all types of organizations. In this post I am looking at the work we have done to improve the VMware Cloud Director Self Service experience.
As a reminder here are the top new features and enhancements in Backup & Replication v11 for VCSPs (with links as created)
- Linux Backup Proxy Enhancements and other Linux Enhancements
- Data Integration API Enhancements supporting more platforms
- Continuous Data Protection for VMware Platforms
- VMware Cloud Director to Cloud Director Replication
- VMware Cloud Director Native HTML5 Tenant Portal, SSP Enhancements and 10.2 Support
- Archive Tier, Object Storage and other SOBR Enhancements
- New PowerShell Module and RESTful API
- Hardened Linux Repository for Immutability on Primary Landing Zones
- Enhanced Instant Recovery for Databases and NAS
- Improved Restore to EC2 and Backup for AWS/Azure Support
- Enhanced Linux File-Level Recovery
- Veeam Agents for Windows and Linux v5.0 and Agent for Mac v1.0
Self Service with the Veeam SSP within the VCD UI
Self-service is the cornerstone of VCD and has become a critical component of most IaaS offerings. Extending self-service to backups is just as important and Veeam has supported self service in VCD since Backup & Replication v9.5. In fact, before I joined Veeam in 2016 the Self Service Portal was announced. Based as a component of Enterprise Manager, it was one of the first SSPs for vCloud Director and was well received by our VCSPs. When VMware added extensibility into VCD, all of a sudden vendors had the ability to create plug-ins based on the HTML5 Tenant Plug-in. Building on the community version release last year, this new capability allows service providers to leverage the extensibility of VCD and the HTML5 Plug-in UI.
The new VCD Tenant UI includes existing Veeam Backup & Replication functionality, enabling tenants to manage their own backups and restores without leaving the VCD web console. As mentioned, this integration is based on the existing VCD self-service backup portal and frame in that portal into the VCD UI. The look and the feel changes to match the default theme of the VCD Portal.
Taking things a step further and also, looking into the future, we have added some very basic first right-click functionality. As seen below, a tenant can right click on a Virtual Machine and Add to Backup
From there, tenants will be presented with a list of existing Jobs that exist on the Veeam Server as part of their Organization. From there you can add the VM to the job.
I would expect moving forward, that we continue to develop right-click functionality into the VCD UI and expose more backup and replication functions.
What’s Involved at the Service Provider End
In terms of Service Provider configuration, the Plugin can be installed via the Customize/Manage Portal section. From here the Service Provider uploads the plugin.zip file from the Veeam Backup & Replication ISO, stored under \Plugins\vCloudDirector to install it into the VCD instance.
The final step is to Publish it. The scope can be at the Service Provider/Tenant level and from there also choose select tenants, or all tenants.
On the Veeam Backup & Replication server, jobs will appear in the Jobs Pane with the format of OrganizationName_JobName.
Benefit to Service Providers
More than ever VMware Cloud Director plays a pivotal role in helping Service Providers offering Infrastructure as a Service on VMware based platforms. Being able to tap into the extensibility of VCD and build this new with the old Self Service Portal in V11 means that service providers can offer more value for their tenants. Service Providers can also look to enhance their own offerings with the ability to control what tenant has access to the portal, it could be built as a non-standard premium service that tenants can consume over a more standard IaaS backup offering. From a tenant point of view, they are able to have more control of their backup and recovery in case of disaster.