Notes from SWOVUG

Veeam User GroupAfter some delays on my end (primarily due to a trip to the UK … not that I am complaining), the second SouthWest Ontario Veeam Users Group is in the books. By all accounts, it was a great success. Attendance was somewhere around 50 folks, the feedback was great, and the company was fantastic.

As a bit of background, we ended up having about twice as many folks as we originally anticipated from when I started planning this in June. It got to the point where we had to close registration – an interesting problem to have! Given that, the venue that we chose wasn’t quite sized as well as we would have liked. The main issue at hand was some audio problems, but we didn’t let that get in the way.

TintriTintri was awesome by stepping up and sponsoring lunch for a community event (thanks again!). Veeam was also out in full force represented by Mario Marquez (Manager Systems Engineering) and Michael White (Global Evangelist, Technical Product Marketing). Michael is relatively new Veeam (he joined back in April of this year), but he probably is best known for his work at VMware, DataGravity, and his blog, Notes from MWhite.

Satinder Sharma highlighting how Tintri& Veeam compliment each other.
Satinder Sharma highlighting how Tintri& Veeam compliment each other.

After some quick introductions and a review of the agenda by myself, we jumped right into our sponsored presentation by Satinder Sharma from Tintri. Satinder is a very knowledgeable engineer and a fellow vExpert with an extensive background – you can find his personal blog at Virtual Data Blocks, or follow him on Twitter (@storarch). Satinder highlighted some of the key benefits of Tintri as well as what makes them different from other storage vendors. Timing was perfect as well seeing as how Tintri just recently released their Veeam Best Practices guide (note that it requires registration to view). Some of the content made its way into the presentation, but for the rest, you will need to grab that white paper.

After that, we had Brandt up, who is a Veeam users & who also happens to be using Tintri. Brandt gave us a walk-through of what he and his organization went through when considering a storage refresh, including how it would affect their backups using Veeam. He was kind enough to pass along a copy of his presentation, as well as some templates that he used to calculate TCO of the combination. There were some best practices included along with some details of tips and tricks that he learned along the way. You can grab a copy of his presentation and the TCO spreadsheets from here.

Michael White discussing SureBackup
Michael White discussing SureBackup

After a short break (which turned into an awesome networking event for a lot of folks), we had Michael White give us a run through on features coming in Veeam 9.5. This was a very interactive portion that involved some great conversations from the attendees. The presentation seamlessly slipped into the Q&A portion where we discussed a few topics including replication, Veeam One, security, and SureBackup. An impromptu poll showed that a lot of folks aren’t using or aren’t aware of SureBackup, which is a shame as it is a killer feature. Michael was kind enough to pass along a few links to his blog where he has discussed these in more detail:

To wrap things up, a few attendees were lucky enough to walk off with some prizes. Tintri graciously had two Amazon gift cards that they raffled off, Michael White had some real slick looking Veeam Best Practices Guide books (printed & bound) as well as some vouchers for a movie theatre, and lastly Veeam was able to get me yet another Amazon gift card to raffle off.

I had the opportunity to chat with a few attendees, and based on the evaluation forms, everyone really enjoyed the user group meeting. By far, the most common question I received is ‘when is the next one?’, which is great to hear. I’ll be working with Veeam to start planning another event; the location (Mississauga) seemed to work well, but the venue wasn’t ideal given a) our size and b) the audio issues.

All in all, it was a great event. If there is anything I missed above, please feel free to reach out.

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