Looking ahead to VeeamON, even if you are not a Veeam customer

While there are not many bonuses to a pandemic and the restrictions that it has placed on many of us, one professional benefit is it has opened up access to many technology vendors annual “events” as they take them online. Just a couple of weeks ago Microsoft did a great job of delivering their Build conference as an online event.

Next for me on the online calendar is Veeam’s flagship event VeeamON running June 17th/18th. I’ve attended VeeamON “physical” edition in the past and it is a fascinating and surprising event, I mean how do you get such a big group of people together to talk about backup, recovery and replication? That is all Veeam do, don’t they? That is what many people still believe and while it is still at the heart of what they do, Veeam and VeeamON are much more than that.

What is interesting to me and I think for anyone involved in data management is increasingly how the world is data focussed. If you look at the challenges so many enterprises have faced during the COVID19 pandemic it highlights this even more. How many companies were worried about whether the employees, suppliers or customers could access their datacentre? Or if their servers were OK? And while some people are rightly concerned by such things, at a “business operation” level they are not. Their questions are more often “can I open my word doc?”, ” how do I send an email?”, “can I access the financial system?”, none of these questions are about technology or location they are ALL about DATA, the modern enterprise needs that data to provide the information required to keep the operation running, meet customer demands, communicate, etc. our business demands are all about accessing data and information, not location and infrastructure.

Once governments started to implement “lockdown” measures the ease at which businesses could react and operate as near to normal as they could was, in many cases, tied to how much of their data was already in the public cloud. For those who already had cloud as an integral part of their data strategy, they found that transition, overall, much easier than those that didn’t.

What does all of this have to do with VeeamON? I’ve said before one of the things I admire most about Veeam is their strategic approach, they recognised some time ago that being the “backup and replication” company wasn’t where they or their customers needed to be, they saw the cloud and a focus on data as a shift that was a necessity. They appreciated that this change was essential in ensuring data was available and in the best location for any given task and would be crucial to keep them relevant and their customers with the flexibility that modern business demands.

That view is going to permeate through this event, with a tagline of “Elevate your Cloud Data Strategy” it underlines where Veeam’s focus is, for not only VeeamON but for their strategic future and I’d respectfully suggest it should also be part of yours.

One thing that the current situation should have taught us as technologists is the criticality of an appropriate data strategy and the part cloud plays in it, without this do we have the ability and flexibility to respond at speed to rapidly changing conditions? Can we be sure we can make our data and information available at scale? And can we be on top of the demands that those requirements present from availability to security to compliance? The clear reality is that managing data is not getting easier.

I do not want to attend and have Veeam selling to me? That is a fair point and while they will talk about their products, for me an event like this is an opportunity to take a look at a bigger picture, to hear from industry leaders about how the world of data is evolving, how the new challenges are been addressed and how new trends are going to impact them all. Like with all events, physical or online try to look past concerns of “selling” and focus on what you can learn.

I do not use or want to use Veeam, why would I go? The development of a data strategy, in my opinion, is crucial (check out this podcast with Matt Watts where we discuss that) and to develop one we shouldn’t be afraid of listening to advice outside of our normal circle of suppliers and peers, even if only to “sanity” check what we are doing. Veeam customer or not, it doesn’t matter, this will be an event that will generate lots of interesting content and debate and will if nothing else, allow you to either level-set your strategy or if you are just starting then it should provide some very valid input.

You can register and discover more information about the event here VeeamON2020.

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