VMblog: Out of the gate, I have to ask. How good does it feel to have VeeamON as a physical event? And what are you most excited about in preparing for this year's event?
Rick Vanover: It is refreshing to be planning a hybrid VeeamON event this year with an in-person option. I've personally been lucky to have attended a few other in-person events and coupled with the virtual events I've attended and observed, we've made some changes to VeeamON and will make hybrid the future.
I am most excited to prepare the balance of experiences for the event. It's really like we're planning two different experiences - the in-person and the virtual experience are different tracks, with a common hub in Las Vegas.
VMblog: Have you maintained anything from the purely virtual conference and brought it over to the physical event?
Vanover: Not per se; but one thing that is important for virtual experiences that are integrating with in-person experiences is what I like to call "hybrid parity." This is really important. Too many times the room will take over the flow of anything interactive; whereas the reality is for every one person attending in-person, there may be 50 online. For breakout sessions that are ‘simulstreamed,' we'll ensure we have room parity with the stream.
VMblog: Can you give us a few details around what we can expect with VeeamON 2022?
Vanover: Sure, we'll have content that covers Veeam Backup & Replication V12, the public Cloud, the latest Ransomware advice, the latest Microsoft 365 backup tips, a preview to our Salesforce backup product and the rest of the Veeam product portfolio.
We're doing some new things, in particular for the virtual audience. So here is the challenge, we had in-person "breaks" between sessions that we have to manage. What do you do with the people attending online? One of the big benefits of attending in-person is chatting with the different product managers. If you attend the virtual experience, you don't get that chance. Not at VeeamON. During the in-person breaks, we put in 15-minute "Interview with a Product Manager" segments to give that experience to the virtual audience. This isn't available on the in-person experience!
We have also learned that demo-heavy sessions are received better with the virtual format. So we put some demo-only session content in the online experience. Demos will still be at the in-person event; but they will be more focused for the virtual experience.
VMblog: What are you hearing from partners/sponsors and prospective attendees about the event being physical this year?
Vanover: They want in. We've actually exceeded our sponsorship target and even secured sponsors from nice adjacent markets in IT to the event. There is a big buzz, and it's so refreshing.
Partnerships are in Veeam's DNA. Whether it is reseller/channel partners, service providers, alliance partners, global system integrator partners, distribution partners or more; Veeam will go to market through the partners. We are so grateful for their support of VeeamON and look forward to giving them the best opportunity to reach the Veeam audience.
VMblog: What are some of the key topics being covered this year? What high level messaging will be prominent?
Vanover: I'm a technologist by trade and at heart; so I'm totally stoked about Veeam Backup & Replication V12. The demo I'll be doing on the Wednesday of VeeamON mainstage will show one of the most anticipated capabilities: sending backups directly to object storage. To see object storage become a first class citizen is very exciting; couple that with more immutable options than ever - I'm stoked!
Beyond that, we'll be doing a lot with giving the latest ransomware advice and covering the full spectrum of Veeam backup products.
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 during the show?
Vanover: Yes, and the Data Protection Trends report that Veeam recently published will be highlighted and shown at the event.
VMblog: What do the breakout sessions look like for 2022? How many are there? And do any specific sessions jump out?
Vanover: As of today, there are 84 breakouts. We may add or remove some, but this is an incredible count.
Whew, picking some favorites, that's tough. Here are El Rickatron's picks for VeeamON 2022:
Deep Dive of V12 Object Storage Enhancements
Veeam Object Level Immutability Configuration and Best Practices
Veeam Hardened Repository Configuration and Best Practices
Doing more with your backup data, harness the power of the Data Integration API
Beat the Gostev Challenge Lessons Learned
And one that's fun -- LIVE! Veeam Trivia Show
One Strong Veeam Community: Many ways to engage
All four of the "Interview with a PM" segments
Macro trends and strategies in Data Protection
Enriching Veeam's Security-First Mindset through Enterprise User-Centric Programs
Learn from 1,000 Cyber-Attacks: Five Key Considerations in aligning Backup with Ransomware-Preparedness
VMblog: Veeam is known for their parties at these events. We've lost that face to face for the last two years. What type of entertainment do you have planned as we all come back together in person?
Vanover: There's going to be another great Legendary Veeam party as part of VeeamON 2022. This year's party is at Drai's nightclub.
Beyond the party, one of the other cool experiences at VeeamON will be one of our corporate social responsibility initiatives. For VeeamON 2022, Michael's Angel Paws is one of our key projects. There will even be a booth at the event where attendees can visit with the dogs from the group who definitely have a ‘pawsitive' influence on people!
VMblog: What does a successful VeeamON 2022 look like to you? What has to happen?
Vanover: Attendee satisfaction, hybrid parity, good WiFi. Ask me again in a month.
VMblog: How can people get involved? Is it too late to get registered? Can people still follow along at home?
Vanover: One of the beautiful things about a hybrid event is that we can scale effectively infinitely for the virtual experience. I'll say we have hit capacity in some areas, such as virtual hands-on labs, but for breakouts, the general session and key experience -- we're ready for you.
Should you want to join us in Las Vegas; we can accommodate you there, too!
The virtual experience is FREE! Both in-person and virtual experience registrations can be secured at veeamon.
Rick Vanover is an expert in intelligent data management and backup. In his role at Veeam, Rick sits at the crossroads of many types of storage. Whether it is storage systems, critical application data, data in the cloud or data anywhere in between; Rick has experience in the data management practice as IT practices change with new technologies. Follow Rick on Twitter @RickVanover.