This year I was honored with the ability to attend Veeam Software’s Vanguard Summit. Summit comprises a meeting of 60-70 of world’s best Veeam Engineers, Architects, and Partners along with their own Product Strategy and Management groups in Prague, Czech Republic.
Often in talking about a subject we’ll float the old cliché of the good, the bad and ugly of it and frankly there is nothing negative I can say about this event. Because of that in this series of posts I’m going to cover the good (the event itself), the awesome (the people and content), the beautiful (the city of Prague itself), and as a bonus, the technical. This post will be the second in the series, covering the awesome people and content that comprise Vanguard Summit.
There are many vendor community programs out there, most of which are much bigger than the Vanguards, and while they may have some nice intrinsic benefits such as licenses or hoodies, nobody does it better than Rick Vanover and his team. This is my 5th year in the program but due to the rules of my previous employer I’ve never been able to participate in person. The addition of being able to interact with seventy of the smartest people was invigorating and enjoyable. While I was happy to meet and spend time with everyone it was great to get to catch up with community stalwarts and friends such as Matt Crape, Craig Dalrymple, Brad Jervis, Dean Lewis and Al Rasheed.
There is nothing like being in a room with your peers, most of which leave me in awe with their abilities, hearing about what comes next from a company and have your feedback and thoughts sought out. In the process the attendees start collaborating on ideas that end up shaping things for years to come. I’ve said this before, but if you think the value of any program like this is measured monetarily, you are doing it wrong. The true value is the information that not only passes from the vendor to the program members but between the members itself and this group is in my mind the best of the best.
I remember back when I began as a Veeam customer there was the free FastSCP product and Veeam Backup & Replication. After nine years it is amazing to see how the product line has grown and this week made that very apparent, with 2.5 days jam packed with content on current and future products. In a later post I’m going to be covering a lot of what’s coming in v10 of Veeam Backup & Replication but we were also treated to updates on Backup for O365, VeeamONE, Veeam Agents for Windows and Linux, as well as Veeam Availability Orchestrator. This doesn’t include the things we aren’t allowed to discuss but frankly are pretty exciting.
One of the ways that this content is vastly different from other vendor briefings you may have attended or seen maybe at a TechFieldDay (who Veeam will once again be attending for TFD #20) event or the like, besides the great Product Strategy staff many of these sessions were led or included the product management team for all of their products. The highlight to me of this even is the final session on Tuesday where we had Anton Gostev, Alec King, and others from the product management/development team in an “Ask Me Anything” style session where we were given the opportunity to ask all we wanted and as best I could tell were given no “BS” answers. In short the content was pretty amazingly done and consisted of far more access to information than I’ve seen from any other vendor.
Much like my last post rather than bore you with more of my opinions I’ll leave you with some pictures from the event.