This afternoon I received an email notifying me that my 2021 Veeam Vanguard Renewal Nomination has been approved! That means I am a Veeam Vanguard 2021!
The Veeam Vanguard Program
You can read all about the Veeam Vanguard Program here. It is Veaam’s top-level influencer community. We share our insights, provide feedback, and help each other, as well as Veeam, succeed. The Veeam Vanguards are a varied group of people and combine a wide range of expertise in different verticals and in different disciplines. We all contribute to the community at large in different ways. What unites us is that we all share a passion for our industry and show technical thought leadership for the different technical communities in which Veeam exists.
Now I would not call myself a technical thought leader but I do know that via this program I get to stand on the shoulders of giants. Doing so gives me a majestic view over this industry segment, a view I would not have without it.
This is a very nice way to head into the weekend. I am both honored and proud to be a Veeam Vanguard. Veeam as a company has won my respect many years ago and it has only grown. They focus on customer value, deliver an excellent high-quality product, offer top-notch support, and finally offer great tools to the community. I can honestly say that I enjoy working with their products as well as the company and the individuals I know at Veeam.
I am looking forward to another year in this program and the opportunities this brings to us all for sharing, learning, and growing.
I have the distinct pleasure of having been invited to speak at the Extra Evening December MC2MC user group. It is on the 17th of December 2020. This will be my final live and virtual event for the year 2020!
For the occasion I will be giving a talk to introduce you to Azure Virtual WAN and why this is really for everyone. You might not think so yet, but I am sure you will see where the future of Azure networking is heading, and why.
Register, it is free!
So, join us. The event is free, but for your time, but we hope you learn something. You can register on the MC2MC website for this event
My talk starts at 18:45 and after that session they have some more great sessions by fellow MVPs lined up.
18h30 – 18u45: Welcome
Azure Virtual WAN for everyone
18h45 – 19u30: Azure Virtual WAN for everyone by Didier Van Hoye (Microsoft MVP Cloud and Datacenter Management). We’ll look at what Azure Virtual WAN is, why you would use it, and what its “state of the union” is at the time of speaking. We will look at why small and medium enterprises should also adopt it as Azure Virtual WAN is for everyone, not just the global fortune 500. We’ll touch on how to use Azure Firewall Manager with Azure Virtual WAN HUB and show you the custom route tables along with some examples.
Offensive Azure Security
19h30 – 20h15: Offensive Azure Security by Sergey Chubarov (Microsoft MVP Azure). These days, working with a cloud platform is already commonplace. Companies choose Microsoft Azure for a number of benefits, including security. But there are some responsibility on the customer side and that’s may become weakest link in the chain. A demo-based session shows attacks on the weakest link. Penetration testers and red teamers will find steps that can be used in their assessments, defenders will get ideas on what should be protected. The session includes: – Bypassing authentication & MFA – Getting control over Compute – Extracting secrets – Pentesting Azure AD Connect
20h15 – 20h25: Break
I know what you did last project
20h25 – 21h15: I know what you did last project (common mistakes we make in Azure) by Mustafa Toroman (Microsoft MVP Azure). One of major benefits of Microsoft Azure is vast number of services we can choose from. But huge amount of services can create problems like what service to choose in specific situations or what to avoid. Do we select IaaS or PaaS? Or maybe go serverless? What type of database do we choose? Azure SQL, Managed Instance, or something else? And when to go with Azure Cosmos DB? Based on years of experience and hundreds of projects, this session shares do’s and don’ts when designing your solutions in Azure. Avoid usual traps and create rock solid applications in cloud!
Azure DevOps for Ops without Dev
21h15 – 22h00: Azure DevOps for Ops without Dev by Vukašin Terzić (Microsoft MVP Azure). DevOps philosophy doesn’t really apply to non-developers who are not creating and releasing new versions of applications every week. Or does it? In this session, I will talk about how to leverage Azure DevOps tools to boost your productivity and project management and how to save and execute your scripts and ARM templates.
22h00 – 23h00: Social BYOB (Bring-Your-Own-Beer) teams meeting
I hope to see you there and I wish you all a festive period to end 2020 and start 2021.
Boring as it might be, reading your End User License Agreements can be useful. That is no different for the Veeam Community Editions and the Veeam EULA. The EULA came up recently when discussing Veeam services an IT Service business can offer to its clients.
It includes support for up to 10 Instance licenses and allows you to protect any combination of physical machines, virtual machines, and cloud workloads for free. You get the standard edition backup functionality. Veeam also offers community editions of Veeam ONE™ and Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. Cool!
The value for you
This is an awesome offering. It helps people with small environments and small budgets out big time. They get top-notch data protection for free, Not just that, they get all the goodness of the well known Veeam data portability, ease of recovery, reliability, and support. Then there are the forums, where you’ll find many helpful and skilled eyes. It is a very active community.
The value for Veeam
First of all, Veeam is smart. They put their products into as many hands as possible. When that happens people get to use, learn, know, and love the products. That leads to sales when 10 instances just don’t cut it anymore. It also leads to a lot of feedback and insights. A lot of the people using it are early adopters and IT professionals. This means that they use the products and if they find issues Veeam gets telemetry and early insights to potential bugs. This helps them deal with then proactively before the big enterprises upgrade as that usually takes a bit longer.
Secondly, Veeam is community-minded. And that is not just lip service, they act on it. I know this first hand and you will to when you experience it. The community editions of their products are just one example of that.
As mentioned, you get support. Within reason, just like with paid support the Veeam support engineers will not do implementations for you. So just doing “click, click next” like a baffling buffoon won’t get you far. Support is not meant to replace your own skills or provide free IT designs and implementations. That work is for you. The support with the community editions is about finding and fixing issues with the product. That’s very valuable for Veeam as early adopters who run into issues help surface those in time to address for the slower moving customers.
Do It Yourself
The Veeam Community Editions EULA boils down to the fact that it is a Do It Yourself (DIY) arrangement.
As a hobbyist, student, enthusiast, employee who wants to learn more about Veeam products or leverage them to protect a company or non-profit workloads you can do that up to the 10 free licenses. It is perfectly legal to do so. But as it is DIY, you cannot hire someone to do this for you. Likewise as an IT consultant. contractor or freelancer, solo or with a company, you cannot offer paid services around Community Edition. For that, they have different licensing options. You can read up on this in the EULA.
The rules around Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition are simple. As an end-user (hobbyist, employee, business) you get most of the famous Veeam capabilities and benefits for free up to 10 instances. Yes, you can use this in production and you get free basic support from Veeam. Then there are the forums, which offer a wealth of insights and where many helpful eyes can assist you. For this to be legal you have to implement and maintain the community editions yourself. You cannot hire people to do it for you. As an IT service company, no matter what the size or nature, you cannot offer commercial services and build a business model around the Veeam Community Editions. That’s what the commercial versions and partnerships are for. As far as EULA’s go, that is crystal clear.
Yesterday I received the email informing me that I received the Microsoft MVP Award 2020. July 1st is that time of the year that as a Microsoft MVP you find out if you are renewed for the new fiscal year. I was. That was cause for a celebration. But I had to wait a bit to shout out my happiness as I was in a Teams meeting on Veeam Backup for Azure.
I enjoy being a Microsoft MVP
I am thrilled to be awarded as an MVP again. To this day I remain in the Cloud & Datacenter category which is a very good fit for me. As I do indeed work across both worlds. That’s where I help fill the gap to ensure digital transformations go smooth & you don’t lose out wherever you run your solutions. There are many creative solutions to be designed in hybrid scenarios and at the edge. Places where you can investigate, research, and find opportunities to build those creative solutions.
People who follow me know I don’t just copy/paste “best practices.” I research what works best and come up with ways to leverage technologies. I apply out of the box thinking to deliver excellent value for money efficiently and effectively. Then, I share my experiences and what I learn by writing, blogging, and speaking. That includes my successes and failures, as we learn from both.
What do I do?
I like to work end to end. The full-stack. No silos. There is no hiding behind another team or blocking another team. You could describe me as a multi-pronged T. Various prongs go deeper based on need or interest. But there are many and the T is wide so we can act and work without needing to much help to get something going. For one, this also enables me to give feedback with enough real-world knowledge to be valuable. Secondly, it keeps me honest. I do not just do design, I deploy it and support it. It has to work. I dislike support or consulting with tunnel vision or that design only for maximum profit instead of for the need at hand. My approach leaves money for better solutions and saves money in the long run. What I learn and see I take back to Microsoft in feedback, in discussion and interactions with the program managers. That is valuable for me as well as I learn a lot from them as well. In the end, it leads to better products and experiences for all of the community and customers.
I enjoy being a Microsoft MVP for the opportunities it gives me to learn and share with like-minded people from all over the globe. While it takes a village to raise a child, the child needs to get out of the village into the world to evolve and keep learning. Today that is easier then ever before thanks to technology which eliminates many boundaries.
2020 is a bit of a special year
Talking about the globe at the time of writing. In a time of Corona and COVID-19 running amok in the world, it is our technology that makes this still possible while we do not travel en limit ourselves for the better good of all. I am proud to say that our technologies were in place to go in lockdown immediately without having to scramble for solutions. telecommuting is something we did already routinely and technologies could scale up and out, both on-premises and in the cloud, both in the areas where they excel.
That, combined with living in a country where we have universal healthcare and social benefits (taxes for the better good of all) helped ease the blow we all received. We all have shortcomings. But as a nation, businesses, and people we were ready, willing, and able to do what needed to be done.
All this means that this year and next year we do not have an in-person MVP Summit.
That saddens me. The face to face discussions from breakfast till literally in the hotel hallways before we go to sleep are priceless. Those chats with our peers and Microsoft employees are very insightful rewarding and educational. That experience and intensity are hard to recreate in a virtual event. We are all eager to get past lockdown, social distancing, and travel restrictions. We can only achieve this by self-discipline and acting responsibly at our own personal and local level. That and relentless efforts to find a vaccine, which, hopefully, will grant us back some of the privileges we enjoy.
Good intentions for 2020-2021
While I am very happy to receive the Microsoft MVP Award 2020 I want to make sure all recipients feel appreciated and are able to be themselves in our community. I plan to pay extra care into making sure that diversity, inclusiveness, and equity are always on the radar. My extra effort in order to keep the community a welcome and safe place for all.
A small gift
As a special give on the 1st of July, Microsoft made Azure Firewall Manager generally available. I have been working with this in preview the last couple of months. Today I am very pleased I can start using it in production!