Veeam Availability Console series #2: Setup your service provider company

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In the previous post of this series, we installed and started the configuration of Veeam Availability Console. In this second part, we are going to look at the rest of the initial configuration, and plan for the first customer onboarding.

Personalize VAC for your company

VAC can be customized so that the interface can show your company information. In the Getting Started wizard, there is an entire section for this, comprised of steps 3 to 5:
In the profile section, you fill in the information related to your company. The second tab of Company Info is the Portal Branding; here you can change things like the Portal color and the different logos that show up in the interface. The logos can be previewed in their final destination so that you can evaluate if they are correct before using them:
The final step before moving into the creation of customers is the setup of at least one Subscription Plan. Here, you define financial information about your services, like currency, VAT, and the price of the different services you will offer. VAC will then use the reporting values it collects from the different tenants, apply the selected subscription plan to each customer, and calculate for you the billing summary, as you can see in the preview above.
One interesting feature of VAC, that shows up when configuring the Subscription Plan, is the possibility to monitor the usage of Veeam Cloud Connect Replication (VCC-R), not just in terms of replicated virtual machine, but also the amount of computing resources consumed during a failover. This has been a request that came multiple times from service providers offering VCC-R, and now with VAC this information can be easily obtained. Providers can also offer some amount of computing time as part of their plans so that customers are allowed to execute test failovers without additional costs:

Configure the first customer

Once the initial setup and configuration are completed, we can start to onboard our first customers.
Actually, if your Veeam Cloud Connect environment that you linked to VAC had already some tenants consuming either backup or replication services, you already have customers in VAC:
 
This happens because VAC will automatically import the existing VCC tenants and will make them new VAC users. In fact, managing Cloud Connect is one of the possible use cases for VAC.
But let’s say we have another use case, a remote company with their own Veeam Backup & Replication server, protecting a local VMware vSphere environment. They want their service provider (us) to monitor and manage their backup solution. We can use VAC to do so!
First, we create this new customer, we will call it “Remote Small Company”. For this customer, we are asked to create the first Cloud Connect user. Even if we don’t want to sell Cloud Connect services, remember that VAC is based on the Cloud Connect technology for the cyphered connections over the Internet, so this is a needed step. Think about this user as the master account for the new customer:
We can choose if we want to enable the lease expiration, for example if this customer is getting a one-month trial. When the lease expires, no service is deleted, but the access to VAC and its managed services like Cloud Connect is disabled.
Next, we can assign Cloud Connect backup and replication resources. In our example, we do not choose either, because we are only going to offer remote management services to this customer. We complete the wizard by selecting an existing Billing Plan (or by creating a new one), and define (if we want so) bandwidth limits for Cloud Connect.
The customer is created, and they can now login into their portal to start consuming the given services. The login page is always the same, and customers can use their own credentials we just created. The login format is “Company name \ username”:
 
Once inside the portal, the master admin of the customer can do a few initial things. For example, they may want to have additional administrators, or even simple users; or again, define new backup policies to be applied to remote agents, or configure alarms. All is done via the configuration part of the portal, and as you can see, it’s way more limited than the configuration available to portal administrators:
 
In the next post, we’ll see how to connect to a remote Veeam server and monitor its status.

 

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