I’ve been wanting to attend a VeeamON Conference event since Veeam started having them in 2014. Needing to implement a true VM image backup & replication solution for the organization I was working for at the time, and after testing out a few VM image backup products, it was really no contest of which solution to go with. It was more of a formality to appease my Director that I provided him a list of 3 vendors to choose from. Ever since back then (around 2008), Ive been a Veeam fanboy.
Since those early days, Veeam hasn’t failed to deliver on product feature set, provides timely and tested updates, and one of the biggest reasons I still love them….COMMUNITY involvement and backing! So, it was only a matter of time before I made it a point to get to their conference. This year, everything aligned just right for me to be able to attend. The following is my take on what turned out to be a magnificent show…
There were several announcements, but my main focus was to see what to expect from the new Veeam Backup & Replication (VB&R) version 10. And Veeam didn’t disappoint! The features listed below are not an exhaustive list of what to expect in v10, but rather what I’m particularly excited about:
1. Continuous Data Protection (CDP) – the ability to set jobs to run every ‘x’ SECONDS, rather than minutes. Veeam taps into VMware’s vSphere for API I/O (VAIO) functionality to be able to do this. How can Veeam do this when the need to create snapshots exist for b/u job creation? Simply, they don’t use snapshotting for this feature. Instead, they end up using a Delta disk file for changes using VAIO, thus the ability to run jobs every ‘x’ seconds.
2. Scale-Out Backup Repository > Archiving Tier; ability to add low-cost, storage agnostic media for transferring primary backup to secondary & tertiary “tiers” for archival purposes.
3. Built-in Management for the Veeam Agent for Windows & Linux – the agent is no longer a separate install. It can now be deployed and managed through the VB&R Console. The ability to backup & manage those remaining physical server machines is now made easier. Heck, you can even backup and manage critical workstations!
For a more thorough review of what to expect in version 10, see here.
I have to be honest here, nothing much stood out for me when any of the execs spoke. At most conferences I attend, it all is the same ‘speak’. But, what did appeal to me is how the ‘vendors’ are genuinely interested in partnering with Veeam to enable the customer space achieve it’s ‘Availability’ goals. Time will tell if that genuineness actually comes to fruition. But, with some of the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announcements, the willingness for all to help customers achieve ‘Availability’ seems to be more of a realization rather than a hope.
I attended several sessions. Overall, the sessions were decent. I wasn’t really overwhelmed with information I wasn’t already familiar with, and that is a good thing. It means I’m running my VB&R environment on point! What I also liked about the sessions is there were a whole bunch to choose from that interest me. The only drawback was a lot of them ran concurrently. Thankfully, as with other conferences, Veeam will be allowing attendee access to all content several days after the show.
And though this wasn’t an actual ‘session’, I also like the fact Veeam enabled partners and attendees to pursue VMCE certification by offering their VMCE class and test, bundled for a low-cost. I’ll be looking into doing this next year.
Veeam is all about Community, so it only seems fitting there would be plenty of community activities during the brief conference span. It all started on Monday night with a #vBeers gathering, put together by Jase McCarty. Jase and I have been friends for several years, so it was good to meet up with him again. I also got to see other community folks I haven’t seen in a while, like Tim Smith, Mike Preston, and Sean Thulin to name a few. And, I didn’t run into him at #vBeers, but was able to catch up with another long-time friend from HPE, Calvin Zito.
The community gatherings continued on Tuesday morning with the first ever VeeamON #vBreakfast, put on by yours truly. As this event coincided with some partner activities, it wasn’t as populated as it is at VMworld, but was still worthwhile to meet up with friends and chat before the conference went full swing later that evening; which leads me into the next event….
Welcome Reception – this. was. AWESOME! On Tuesday evening, as with the Welcome Reception I’m familiar with at VMworld, Veeam also instituted a ‘Pre-conference Welcome’ into their conference. There were multiple stations of finger-foods and drinks to serve the attendees. This was also a chance for attendees to begin getting to know the vendors who help support the conference and what they offer in helping customers achieve infrastructure ‘Availability’.
Vendor Parties – On Wednesday evening, a few high-profile vendors (HPE, Cisco) held offsite parties at local establishments for attendees to unwind at. I really enjoyed walking around the venues and interacting with other attendees, as well as vendor employees.
Veeam Party – as with their parties at other conferences, the Veeam VeeamON Party did not disappoint! Great food, great music, diverse activities and areas to mingle and partake in, and of course…GREAT COMPANY! I appreciate Veeam putting on a great after-conference party.
The VeeamON Conference was held in New Orleans this year. Personally, I was looking forward to visiting “NOLA”. I had been to the city one other time over 20 years ago, but wasn’t able to wander around to get to know the city well. New Orleans had a lot to offer – a decent sized Convention Center for the conference; relatively brief walking distance to the Convention Center from hotels closer to NOLA nightlife, if you chose to do so (I did; although, shuttles were also provided, which I also partook in); a vast amount of restaurants for a variety of food choices; and a diverse array of entertainment spots for just about anyone.
Overall, I really enjoyed the conference. From the technical announcements, breakout sessions, community activities, networking, and venue, there wasn’t much to not like. And, with the announcement VeeamON 2018 will be held in Chicago, I should be able to attend next year, since Chicago is so close to where I currently reside – Kansas City, MO. Until next year fellow Veeam’ers!…
Sr. Systems Engineer, vExpert