Veeam Vanguard Summit through a cloud lens

Earlier this fall I had the honor of attending my first Veeam Vanguard Summit. For those who aren’t aware, the Veeam Vanguard is an influencer program, and one of the annual benefits includes a summit that brings together the Vanguards to highlight the inner workings going on at Veeam. I’ve been very lucky to have worked for a Veeam partner, and therefore have had a lot of exposure to Veeam over the last few years. This has provided a me with a good bit of material on this blog, along with some general insight into the state of the current data protection landscape.

The 2019 Vanguard Summit was an incredible experience. I had the opportunity to meet all of the Vanguards, some of whom I had already known from other industry events. With the upcoming release of Veeam v10, we also had a ton of great material presented to us. There have been a bunch of other Vanguard Summit blog posts thus far, so I won’t rehash the full trip here, but check out experiences from some of the other Vanguards below:

https://www.koolaid.info/vanguard-summit-2019-the-awesome/ – Jim Jones (@k00laidIT)

https://rhyshammond.com/veeam-vanguard-summit-2019/ – Rhys Hammond (@HammondRhys)

https://www.penguinpunk.net/blog/veeam-vanguard-summit-2019-fairly-full-disclosure/ – Dan Frith (@penguinpunk)

https://alarasheedblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/28/2019-veeam-vanguard-summit-day-3-recap/ – Al Rasheed (@al_rasheed)

https://virtualvt.wordpress.com/2019/10/21/a-letter-to-veeam-vanguards/ – Scott Driver (@VTsnowboarder42)

As well as a curated list of technical blog posts that came out following the summit:

https://www.veeam.com/blog/v10-top-new-features-vanguards.html

One of the most interesting aspects of the 2019 summit was getting insight into where Veeam is headed as the IT landscape continues to shift more towards cloud native. The most current release of Veeam v9.5 U4 brought in some new cloud components along with the first venture into the AWS ecosystem. The recent introduction of the Veeam Universal License (VUL) brings a subscription based licensing model and helps to make consuming any flavor of Veeam easier and more portable. The upcoming release of v10 will bring much greater enhancements, with things like NAS backup, Linux Proxies and Continuous Data Protection (CDP) timed closely with new native backup products for both AWS (announced at re:Invent) and Azure (announced at Ignite).

Many of these options have been promised for some time. One could also argue that some of Veeam’s competitors have been quicker to the draw with cloud capabilities in the last couple of years. The Veeam team let us know that they realize this, but that their goal has always been to make sure they have a first class product available rather than rush to meet potential market demands. They are more focused on making sure things are done properly than chasing the latest trends.

Veeam has a solid customer base that was built on the premise of delivering best in class data protection for virtualization platforms. That business continues to grow steadily, allowing Veeam to become the software powerhouse that it is today, without all of the next-gen bells and whistles at its disposal just yet. It is true that public cloud adoption is rapidly growing, and it will certainly eat into virtualization’s slice of the pie. That still leaves a very large market for traditional infrastructure that won’t completely disappear any time soon.

Like many others in IT, my career is going through a bit of a transition. I came up being really good at fixing desktops, which evolved into delivering server projects. That gradually turned into a focus on virtualization technology via delivery and architecture roles for traditional data center products. I’ve shifted towards the cloud native side of things, but I also realize that my background is very important when working with customers. Organizations are still at varying points in their cloud journey, which means a reluctance to completely write off virtualization platforms.

Veeam is in a similar spot, where their product needs to account for changes that are occurring in the industry, but the core functionality is something customers will continue to depend on as they navigate this newer landscape. Veeam recognizes this, and will continue to grow their business on the strength of its core while building next gen components that customers will trust to protect their data as it continues to expand outside of the corporate data center.

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