Last week I had the opportunity to be one of the 1200 + (estimated) in attendance for VeeamON in Las Vegas, a conference themed around datacenter availability. Of course remember what happens in Vegas, goes on twitter #VeeamON. The conference was filled with lots of activities such as lab warz, tour of the modern datacenter and training for the Veeam Certified Engineer (VMCE) just to name a few. Although three days, well four for those who attended the VMCE training, the agenda was quite full:
- Sunday – Registration, Partner Reception / Dinner
- Monday – Partner Keynote, Breakout Sessions, Expo Lounge Opening / Reception
- Tuesday – General Session Keynote, Breakout Sessions, VeeamON Party!
- Wednesday – Breakout Sessions, General Keynote , General Departure
- *Thursday – VMCE training (for those who signed up)*
Conference keynotes can either be entertaining to draw the focus of the attendees or mundane and lose it with presentations like death by PowerPoint. This is not the case here, from the first day’s partner keynote which right from the gate was injected with humor and had a talk show vibe. Ratmir Timashev was one guest, who shared his journey as well as the vision of the company. Other guest speakers include Chris Moore and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit who provided an entertaining closing keynote.
Each day had tracks geared towards different skill and audience type, ranging from Partners (pre /post-sales), Technical and Business. With the exception of the last day, sessions started around 1 pm. This type of schedule is refreshing as it takes to account the prior evening activities and gives the attendees a chance to recover.
During the conference the first announcement was around Veeam Availability suite v8, which incorporates new features such as:
- Veeam Explorer for Storage snapshots NetApp / HP,
- Veeam Explorer for MS Exchange, SharePoint, SQL and AD.
- Cloud Connect,
- Support for EMC Data Domain,
- End to end encryption
- Replication enchantments
To get more info on Veeam Availability suite v8 and its release check out http://go.veeam.com/availability-suite-v8
The top secret announcement was a standalone product called Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE, yes FREE! This product supports the backups of physical endpoints such as Windows desktop and laptops running Windows 7 and higher but also supports Windows Server 2008 and higher. These endpoints can be backed up to internal / external drives, NAS or a Veeam Backup Repository which is saved in a VBK format the same as Veeam’s Backup & Replication product. Another great feature available in this product is the ability to create bootable media for recovery. To find out more and see when it will be available in 2015, sign up for the beta here: http://go.veeam.com/endpoint
Community / Expo
The presence of the community was seen all round the conference from the presenters, Veeam User group and vBrownBag. Within the expo lounge you could see the support of sponsors such as VMware, NetApp, HP, Cisco and Microsoft just to name a few. In the middle of the expo lounge was the stage of the vBrownBag, filled with two days of tech talks from folks such as Rick Vanover, Chris Wahl, Chris Colotti and Phoummala Schmit just to name a few. Check out all the tech talks here , which I also had an opportunity to take part of. During the evenings the expo lounge severed as a reception area before dinner.
I have been fortunate enough to attend several Veeam parties both in the US and EMEA, lets just say they never disappoint. The Light nightclub at Mandalay was the location filled with dancers, DJs and Vegas style lighting everywhere. Of course it was a great opportunity to catch up with friends and network.
Overall the vibe of the conference was great as most did not know what to expect for the first event. It will be interesting to see what Veeam has in store for 2015? Location, location, location, will they keep the event at in Vegas? Also will the next event have an open submissions to allow more presenters from the community but also more sessions as the conference continues to grow. Hopefully we will see a survey to allow those who attended to provide feedback. The bar has been set high and I am sure Veeam will continue to surpass.
You can catch the VeeamON recap this Wednesday (10/15/14) on Whiteboard Wednesdays