Last week was VeeamON 2022 in Las Vegas. After a lot of internal back and forth, I ended up making the decision to attend. Going into it, I knew that I had really missed seeing people in person after 2+ years of lockdown, but I really underestimated how great it would feel to see folks in person again. All that aside, I wanted to reflect on some over-arching trends that I saw at the conference as a whole.
First off, as a full disclaimer, Veeam provided me with a conference pass. Flight, accommodations, and meals outside of the conference were all self-funded.
SECURITY IS FRONT & CENTRE
I alluded to this a couple times during the conference, whether in conversations or via Twitter, but security was absolutely a front and centre topic. Veeam specifically have been touting various protection mechanisms and features for awhile (e.g. immutable backups, hardened Linux repositories, etc.). In fact, it was announced on the main stage that Multi Factor Authentication was coming to V12. I managed to grab a brief photo (screenshot on the right). But in addition to specific security features being discussed, it seemed like a lot of conversations were being pointed to overall security.
Protecting backups is nothing new, but it seems this is a conversation piece with C-Level execs now, and not just an IT Best Practice. Personally, during the conference I heard about multiple stories involving ransomware or insider threats, and although specific features were being used to help mitigate risk, a lot of customers are now looking at backups through a security lens as well.
Object storage was also a common talking track. Once again, this isn’t anything specifically new to Veeam. However, it is definitely something that is getting more buzz both from Veeam as well as from partners and customers.
As datasets grow larger, object storage can help provide some advantages when it comes to speed and immutability. During the conference, we saw examples of using object storage for local repositories (i.e. you don’t need to offload it to a cloud). Along with that, we saw plenty of partners talk about object storage offerings. In addition to the various MSPs touting their offerings, we also saw a new company come out of stealth at VeeamON: Object First.
Going to their web page doesn’t yield much information yet. But, what is of note is that the folks behind this new company are Ratmir Timashev and Andrei Baronov. If these names sound familiar, it is because they are both founders of Veeam. So although not part of Veeam, they do have some very tight relationships. They expect to “go live” when Veeam Backup & Replication 12 goes live (expected later this year).
OVERALL FEEL OF THE EVENT
I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to talk about the overall vibe at the event. There was definitely a lot of pent up energy when it comes to the IT conference circuit. Along with that, there was an undertone of safety. Veeam was absolutely adhering to their safety requirements (proof of vaccination or negative test result); I actually did happen to see folks turned away.
From a content perspective, the virtual event and the in-person event were treated as essentially two different events from the Veeam perspective. Apparently there was only about %25 overlap between the two, which in my opinion, is probably a better model. Coming up with the “perfect session” for both remote and in-person attendees is tough. Rather than going for a one size fits all, creating sessions tailored to each delivery model seemed like a good choice.
The sessions I did attend did seem to be on point from a technical content perspective. When talking to peers, I heard a lot of similar feedback. Out of all the sessions delivered, I only heard of one session (from multiple folks) who felt like the content was too sales focused. Honestly, not bad given how common this feedback can be for conferences in general.
Lastly, it was announced that VeeamON 2023 will be moving back to Miami. Although I was not there in 2019, I heard great things about it. Hopefully things will be a little closer to normal in a year (I know … how many times have we all said that these past years?).