Veeam Vanguard – more than just an influencer program

veeam_vanguard-700x224Back in July when I was selected to be part of the Veeam Vanguard program I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  Sure, having been part of other influencer programs I assumed the basics – swag, early briefings, access to product teams, etc.  But after spending a day at VeeamON 2015 with my fellow Vanguards that made the trip I’m realizing that it’s much much more than just an influencer program, but more of an opportunity to learn and explore other technologies that I may not have on other terms…

A bit about the Vanguard day

There were a lot of things happening at VeeamON during the Monday of the conference.  There was a partner track happening, the VMCE training was going strong, but most importantly to me was the Vanguard day.  For 6 or so hours the Vanguards gathered in a room to talk about everything Veeam.  We got an overview of the program, why it was started, where Veeam sees it going and not to mention we got a lot of cool swag (means a lot to me as I packed really light and needed some clothes Smile.  Unfortunately most of what we spoke of was under strict NDA and embargoed till a later date – I can’t remember which was what so I’ll just take the safe road and not mention any of it!  Aside from the information obtained I began to see another benefit, another advantage to being a Vanguard – one which didn’t even occur to me…

Hyper-V – The dark side of the moon.

The Vanguard program is somewhat unique in terms of the knowledge and skillset of the members it contains.  Obviously we all share the same passion and love for the Veeam products we use, and evangelize them in some sort of fashion, but we do so by running these said products against different hypervisors.  Instead of it being a shear vSphere/Hyper-V smackdown I’ve found it to be quite a learning experience instead.  I’ve had numerous conversation with the Hyper-V experts that are in the Vanguard over the last few days and it’s interesting to hear them share their struggles, problems, and workarounds from the Microsoft side – which tends to have a lot of overlap in the vSphere world.

The Vanguard program to me is more than just swag and recognition for being an industry influencer – but it’s a program full of opportunity – opportunity to see what’s on the other side of the hypervisor fence, opportunity to meat and get to know new people, new experts from from the Microsoft world that I would normally not see on my travels, and opportunity to help shape and influence a product that both Hyper-V and vSphere customers depend on everyday – because as more and more time passes, at the end of the day we are seeing more and more attention being focused on the applications, rather than on the hypervisors sitting underneath these said apps.  And who knows, maybe some day I’ll need to reach out to the Hyper-V guys for some help…

Also huge props to the Veeam All-stars that are running this program and organized the day for us – they will be some familiar names – Rick Vanover, Luca Dell’Oca, Clint Wyckoff and Mike Resseler – if not for the effort and determination these guys put in the day would never have been what it was.  Speaking of these guys, if you have a chance to view the opening general session of VeeamON do it – these guys were involved in showing all of the v9 features and did a great job!