May 15, 2017

An Exclusive Inside Look from Veeam at What to Expect at #VeeamON 2017

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It's hard to believe that by tomorrow, more than 3,000 people will have made their way to the city of New Orleans to discuss the latest in data center modernization using virtualization, storage and cloud technologies.  The event that's bringing everyone together is called VeeamON and it is being dubbed as "the world's largest event entirely focused on Availability" by its creator and presenter, Veeam. 

VeeamON officially kicks off to the public May 16th and ends on May 18th.  To find out more about this week's event, I spoke with Veeam's director of technical product marketing and evangelism, Rick Vanover, who provided me with additional insight and advice for attendees ahead of the show.

[ Watch coverage of VeeamON 2017 from VMblog at our Events page ]

VMblog:  Let's start off with a bit more details about the upcoming show.  Can you give us the who, what and where so people know what's coming and when?

Rick Vanover:  Who: Anyone who wants to keep their applications, data and systems AVAILABLE. What: It's VeeamON 2017!  Where: New Orleans, Louisiana May 16-18 2017.

VMblog:  VeeamON is now in its 3rd year.  Can you talk about what goes on behind the scenes, the amount of work that goes into establishing content and creating an event like this? 

Rick Vanover:  VeeamON is the single greatest Marketing priority at Veeam. Behind the scenes it is truly a team effort. This is one of our core values, Veeam Team, where we all work together to reach a common goal. A lot goes into VeeamON and basically every group of the company is somehow involved.

You ask about the content, and that's great as that's my key role at VeeamON. I'm on the core team that's in charge of managing breakouts. My team and I put incredible scrutiny on this part of the event. We want this to be the best part of VeeamON and have something for everything: technical content at many levels, content for the business decision maker and customers sharing their Availability and technology challenges. Additionally, VeeamON is a great venue for our partners to share their stories as well.

VMblog:  You all go all out for other shows like VMworld, how is preparing for your own event different?

Rick Vanover:  The difference is we're on the hook for the whole thing! Our engagement at VMworld or Microsoft Ignite is similar, but this is amplified just because Veeam is central to everything at VeeamON. We love it though. We've seen steady growth and interest; we're on a roll and giving it all we have to make it the best Availability experience on earth.

VMblog:  What are you most excited about in preparing for this year's event?

Rick Vanover:  For me personally, I love sharing the technology futures to simply give the people what they want. We have a lot, and I mean a lot, of new things coming next week that me and my team are very excited for. We will be sharing all of these details next week and hope that our customers, partners and prospects like what they hear and see.

VMblog:  Can you highlight the key benefits of VeeamON for attendees?  And, do you have any tips for "making the case" with management for attending this year?

Rick Vanover:  The No.1 benefit is there is no other experience with as much technical expertise dedicated to backup and Availability out there. The second is access to the VMCE course at an incredible discount. To make the case for management, the VMCE credential is a great value when purchased with a VeeamON pass.

VMblog:  Veeam has established a fantastic partner ecosystem that is still growing.  How many sponsors will be at the event? And can you talk about why those exhibitors have chosen to sponsor VeeamON?

Rick Vanover:  Indeed. Partnerships are in Veeam's DNA. We have over 45 partners as sponsors at the event, and scores more partners that will be attending the dedicated content on Tuesday of the event for Partners. This includes reseller partners (ProPartners), service provider partners (Veeam Cloud and Service Provider Program partners), distribution and alliance partners.

VMblog:  What high level messaging should we expect to hear during this year's keynote?

Rick Vanover:  We will be extending Availability. People have come to know you have a good Availability experience with Veeam - this will be extended to new places and types of data.

VMblog:  How many breakout sessions do you have?  And are there any that truly stand out above the rest that people should take note of and attend?

Rick Vanover:  89. This includes 3 top-secret ones announced during the general session. Me and my team put a high level of scrutiny in the content and also the schedule. For example, I want a decision maker to always have a track option as well as someone who wants deep technical information. Additionally, I want to balance all of the different products accurately.

VMblog:  Do you have any special tips to share with first time attendees of the show?  Anything they should be aware of before they head out?

Rick Vanover:  Plan your day. Look at the session schedule in the mobile app and build your agenda to your liking. But also include in the plan to have some FUN! The VeeamON social functions are second to none.

VMblog:  Are there any new trends in the industry that people should be aware of or should keep their eyes and ears on the lookout for anytime during the show?

Rick Vanover:  Veeam is responding to the changing market conditions in IT - and we will make announcements around the possibility of extending Availability to new places and types of data.

VMblog:  Veeam is always known as throwing a fantastic party at other events like VMworld.  Beyond the learning at VeeamON, what do you have planned for entertainment for your attendees in New Orleans?

Rick Vanover:  The new twist this year is the Premier Partner Parties on Wednesday night. We have Microsoft, NetApp, Cisco and Hewlett Packard Enterprise offering premier parties for VeeamON attendees. This is a great way to have like groups celebrate after a hard day of work! And the VeeamON party on Thursday will be a good one as well.

VMblog:  If someone can't make it to VeeamON, is there a way for them to follow along remotely? 

Rick Vanover:   Select parts of the event will be streamed online - so go to Veeamon.com to see what is live. Additionally follow the #VeeamON hashtag on all networks and watch for a few Instagram Live and Facebook Live videos.

VMblog:  What does a successful VeeamON mean to you guys?  What are the few takeaways that once the show is over, if those things happen, you'll consider the event a huge success for Veeam, its ecosystem partners and its attendees.

Rick Vanover:  It's pretty simple: Do the attendees like it? If so, we've succeeded.

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A special thank you to Rick Vanover of Veeam for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak to VMblog about the upcoming VeeamON 2017 event. 

Last modified on May 15, 2017
David Marshall

David Marshall has been involved in the technology industry for over 19 years, and he's been working with virtualization software since 1999. He was able to become an industry expert in virtualization by becoming a pioneer in that field - one of the few people in the industry allowed to work with Alpha stage server virtualization software from industry leaders: VMware (ESX Server), Connectix and Microsoft (Virtual Server).

Through the years, he has invented, marketed and helped launch a number of successful virtualization software companies and products. David holds a BS degree in Finance, an Information Technology Certification, and a number of vendor certifications from Microsoft, CompTia and others. He's also co-authored two published books: "VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center" and "Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" and acted as technical editor for two popular Virtualization "For Dummies" books. With his remaining spare time, David founded and operates one of the oldest independent virtualization news blogs, VMblog.com. And co-founded CloudCow.com, a publication dedicated to Cloud Computing. Starting in 2009 and continuing all the way to 2016, David has been honored with the vExpert distinction by VMware for his virtualization evangelism.

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