The Veeam Vanguard summit is an annual a gathering of all the Vanguards from around the globe.  This year, and last, Prague played host to this excellent event.  The agenda is from Monday to Thursday, however the event starts Monday evening with the welcome reception so there is some time for catching up with friends, old and new, during the day.  After my pre-summit travels I was ready for the main event.

Day 1 – Monday

A group of us decided to head out early-ish on the Monday morning for a bit of a walk to see some of the sights before the crowds moved in.

We left the hotel just before 8am and made it to the astronomical clock on the Old Town Hall to see it tick over to 8am.  The clock was installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world, and according to Wikipedia, the oldest clock still operating.

Following the main tourist route, across Karlův most (Charles Bridge) to start the ascent to the castle.  As usual Prague did not disapoint with the views both inside and outside.

After  the castle we took a leisurely walk, perhaps not the most direct route, to Petřín Lookout Tower.  Even @VannyVanguard was taking in the views!

After climbing the tower, the plan was to catch the funicular back down, however it was closed for maintenance so more walking it was.  We met up with a few more Vanguards for lunch at Lokál U Bílé kuželky for lunch.

After lunch myself and a few others headed to a souvenir shop that we had been to last year, Fun Explosive.  After entering the shop I was a bit surprised that the lady working there recognised @coolsport00 and myself from the previous year!

After stocking up on gifts it was back to the hotel to get ready for the first official event of the summit, the Welcome Reception.

The welcome reception was held at T-Anker, just a short walk from the hotel.  The was the first official event of the Vanguard Summit program.  It was a great opportunity to meet everyone, including Nikola Pejková the Vanguard Community Manager.  Shane and Rick even found time to do a quick into video with Nikola.

I met a few new people that night, it’s so great to meet people in person after interacting with a Twitter handle..  One of the new people I met was Paul Braren, we chatted about a few things and then got on to iPhone camera quality, I took one very poor photo that night..  

The very average photo from my iPhone X.

My iPhone X photo of the Church of Our Lady before Týn

As you can see the photo taken by Paul Braren with his iPhone 11 Pro Max is of significantly higher quality!

Checkout all his photos here

@paulbraren with his iPhone 11 Pro Max

Day 2 -Tuesday

Session 1

The morning started with and general kickoff session with Nikola Pejková and Rick Vanover.  This session was a general overview of the summit and a reminder about the Green/Amber/Red colour coding system used to indicate what we can and can’t share.  It was also great to hear that Veeam is looking to have more engagement with the Vanguard community and some of the changes that might be in the pipeline for the Vanguard program.

Session 2 – Veeam cloud & SaaS Backup Solutions

Mike Resseler delved in to great detail about Veeam Backup for Office 365 v4.  At the time everything was RED which meant no sharing.  Some of the new things we learnt about:

  • The new object storage repository, encryption with object storage and the persistent caching used to reduce egress charges when working with object storage repositories.
  • How MS throttles SPO and how VBO using multiple accounts will be able to mitigate that to a certain degree and ensure SPD and ODfB backups are as fast as possible.
  • The option to exclude calendars and contacts from retention rules which means that data is kept forever.
  • Enhanced mailbox protection report.

There are still some things from this session we can’t share, some verying interesting discussion around the SaaS world and what customers are requesting.

VBO v4 beta was released to Vanguards on this day (15 Oct 2019), and went GA on 26 November 2019 you can download it from here.

Session 3 – Veeam cloud & SaaS Backup Solutions (part 2)

This year the summit has too many sessions so there were tracks to choose..  I stayed for more of Mike Reseller’s information about what else is coming…

  •  Veeam Backup for Azure – this was subsequently announced at Microsoft Ignite 2019 in Orlando.  Along with the public beta of Veeam backup for Office 365 v4.  Veeam Backup for Azure has not yet been released, you can register for updates here.
  • Veeam Backup for AWS – This was launched at AWS re:Invent 2019 in Las Vegas.  More information on the product page.

Session 4 – Veeam Instance Licensing Update

As we all now know the new name is Veeam Univeral Licence.  Anton, Chris and Rick gave as an overview of the new VUL system and answer a lot of questions from the Vanguards.

Session 5 – Veeam Linux Strategy & Updates

Linux Proxies!  And the crowd went wild, well there was lots of happy people.  Although there won’t be any pre-built proxy appliances, and there are reasons for that, you will be able to use one of the three officially support Linux distributions, Red Hat, Ubuntu or Debian, as a Linux proxy.  The two main advantages with the Linux proxy are, no Windows license required, smaller disk footprint.  Linux proxies will only support hot-add transport mode, therefor a proxy per host is recommended to reduce network traffic.

Fast clone for XFS was the other big Linux news, this means, faster merges and space-less synthetic fulls.

Session 6 – Write for Veeam

Ilya Afanasyev spoke about the recently launched “Write for us” program that Veeam is now running.  If you enjoy writing and have knowledge to share take a look at this opportunity, the content does not have to necesarily be directly releated to Veeam.


Day 3 – Wednesday

Session 1 – Veeam Strategy for Containers

This session presented by David Hill was not so much about any new Veeam product but more of an overview of the container world and the benefits and challenges that it presents.  Personally I haven’t had any exposure to any container ecosystems so it was an interesting overview of what one might look forward to.

Session 2 – Cloud Tier Enhancements

By now you’re probably aware of the flexibility that the cloud tier storage brings to the Veeam solution.  This session re-capped that and also went in to discuss the copy mode feature immutability feature for object storage coming in v10.  Rhys Hammond has done a great job explaining the cloud tier copy mode in this post.

Session 3 – Veeam Agent Updates

Dmitry Kniazev, Pavel Tide and Dmitry Popov ran us through the new features coming in the Veeam agents, including:

  • The server edition will have much improved performance as it will process multiple disks simultaneously.
  • If a backup is interrupted it will attempt to resume the backup if within the retry period.
  • Hibernation and sleep issues will be addressed.
  • will also be a similar resume function if the transfer from the cache to the backup repo is interrupted.
  • dropping support for Win10 1507, 1511, win 8 & 8.1 still supported
  • Agent for Linux will support PostreSQL AAIP and MySQL AIIP
  • and more……

Session 4 – NAS Backup

Michael Cade and Dmitry Popov filled us in with all the great information about the NAS backup solution and some of the intricacies of how it works and why it’s so fast.  NAS backup will support SMB 1/2/3, NFS 3/4.1 and shares on Windows/Linux servers.  The proxy role can only be run on a Windows machine, however that machine can also have other Veeam roles on it.   The NAS backup uses a native blob storage, it does not use vbk/vib format.  If using  a SOBR, placement policy is ignored and data is spread evenly.

Session 5 – RED AMA

This would have to be the best session of all.  Basically we have the senor product team including Gostev ready to take questions from the floor.  The honesty and openness was amazing, the session was super red with nothing to be shared, sorry.

Vanguard Signature Event – Staropramen Brewery

Last year a river cruise, this year a brewery!  Veeam had a bus transport us to the brewery, dinner and drinks were in plentiful supply and an interesting tour of the brewery.  The bus made several return trips for those leaving the event, however I chose to walk and enjoy some more of the sights. 


Day 4 – Thursday

This is a half day with 2 sessions before lunch which marks the official end of the event.

Session 1 – CDP

Anthony Spiteri kicked off the day talking about CDP (Continuous Data Protection) and where Veeam is at..  CDP was first announced at VeeamOn 2017 in New Orleans as part of the v10 announcemnt.  So it’s been a long time coming!

CDP is something that has to be done right, the first time.  CDP will be used on highly critical systems, so nothing can be left to chance.  Veeam hasn’t been slacking off, they have been working hard on this.  The key ingredient here is the filter driver, and when you go playing with the I/O stack you can’t make any mistakes.

Session 2 – Data Integrations

Michael Cade spoke about the Data Integration API (Mount API).  This will allow you to mount any restore point to any system within minutes.  Great for security analysis, eDiscovery, Data mining etc.

I’m sure there are many use cases for this feature and it will be a great tool to have at our disposal.


Thank You Veeam!

Thank you to all the Veeam team that are involved in organising this event.  Thank you to the Veeam R&D team for making themselves available and their open and honest feedback and answers.  Thank you to the other Vanguards for being so welcoming and will to share your knowledge and experience.

 And a few more photos of Prauge 🙂