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. As one who had never been to Europe and has long been an advocate of Veeam’s products Vanguard Summit had all the makings of an awesome event and it never came close to letting me down.
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.
As anybody who has ever been to VeeamON or even a Veeam Party at partner conferences such as VMworld will tell you, the company knows how to throw an event. That holds true especially when they do small group events such as Vanguard Summit. The Summit itself consists of two and a half days starting on Tuesday of technical content that we’ll discuss later, but the event, like the Vanguard program itself, is as much about its community as it is the content. Two full days before the first session many if not most of us arrived in Prague to allow those coming long distances to get acclimated prior to the event starting. That meant that as a group we had most of the day Sunday and Monday to hang together as a group, get reacquainted and go sightseeing.
Things got into high gear Monday night as we all gathered at a rooftop bar and restaurant for dinner and “responsible enjoyment” just as sunset was approaching. The views, the food, the people were all pretty magical. Afterwards many of us gathered back in the hotel bar for conversation before getting ready for the content portion to start the next day.
After a full day Tuesday of technical content; some current, much it forward it is a lucky thing that Tuesday was a free night. After the traditional Vanguard toast lead by Craig Dalrymple the free evening allowed us an opportunity to further gather and then get a little extra rest after all we’d processed that day.
Wednesday we got right back to it followed by Vanguard Summit’s signature evening which this year included us taking over the Starpromen Brewery Visitors Center for a good bit more “responsible enjoyment.” This event included some great local foods, a brewery tour and a photo booth all the while getting the chance to relax and get to know the people behind the products you probably use everyday for your backup and replication needs.
The final day of the even is actually just a half day of content, allowing for some final gatherings and sight seeing. In these sessions the content was extremely valuable as it included deep dives into shiny new technology coming in v10 but also included the ability for us to directly provide feedback on the event itself. If you haven’t figured it out yet my own feedback was nothing short of glowing as the event was amazingly planned by Aubrey Galen of Veeam’s events team and the Product Strategy team who among many other things are responsible for the Vanguard program itself. For all of this I owe them a hearty thank you for a wonderful time.
Rather than write in this space I’m just going to load you with some images from the week. Until next time!