Attending the Microsoft MVP Global Summit 2018

Attending the Microsoft MVP Global Summit 2018

Once more I’m flying to the USA (Bellevue/Redmond, in Washington) where I’m attending the Microsoft MVP Global summit 2018. I’ll be spending my week at the Microsoft campus in Redmond and the offices in Bellevue. I feel grateful and honored to be part of this community and of the chances it offers to learn, connect and build a network world of class experts.


The Microsoft MPV Global Summit is always a very busy week with both official and unofficial, planned and unplanned meetings. From breakfast till nightcaps we’re talking tech with peers from all over the world. The amount of expertise, experience and knowledge that descends on and near the Microsoft offices that week is nothing but amazing. Especially when you consider that MVPs are not Microsoft employees. They are independent experts who care enough about the technology to share what they’ve learned with Microsoft and each other. We provide feedback, the good the bad and the ugly.

I feel very lucky and privileged to get this opportunity once more that comes with being an MVP. As such I always try to attend by freeing up the time and the budget. It’s an investment. It also provides for an opportunity to meet up with many of my fellow MVPs and Microsoft employees we talk to, collaborate with and provide feedback to on a regular basis. Feedback is a dish we server with care and respect. Likewise, we expect Microsoft to listen and when possible, act. Our feedback is meant to be constructive and help, not to insult or cause pain.

If anyone still doubts the viability of remote teams spread across the world you should see a bunch of MVPs interacting, troubleshooting, assisting each other, create presentations and deliver results. All while spread around the globe.

Flying high above it all

I am and remain in the trenches because I don’t think you can design great solutions in the isolation of an ivory tower and without being in touch with reality. But I do tend to make frequent journeys and fly high above it all regularly to keep perspective.


Yes, I’m even flying above the clouds. That’s because “Cloud” has become a polluted word that means whatever a vendor/ISV/VAR/OEM wants it to mean as long as it helps them sell whatever it is they are selling. But hey, nothing new there, sales will be sales.

In order to make sure we talk about usable and valuable solutions that put customer needs first we literally have to rise above it. We need to look at the needs of the customers and find ways to serve them with the solutions we build and offer. Too often today customers are offered cookie cutter services that are designed to meet the profitability of the provider and whatever politics that are at hand and not primarily the needs of the customer. I see “cloud” projects last for years and fail to deliver as much or more than they used to so in the client/server era. The failures of bad ideas, politics over customers, lack of context, bad designs and architectures are still blamed on technology or companies. Nothing new there. Customers or employers are not resources to be mined for every penny. And because I pride myself in not playing that game to make money I keep investing in myself. Getting out of the echo chambers that projects and organizations tend to become is key in achieving that. Way to often the focus is on “a can-do attitude” and “loyalty”. People, voicing concerns, discussing issues and speaking one’s mind are key to achieving success. Conformity and compliance are not, those are measurements, that’s all.

So, what is it I go and discuss for a week on end? Well, I cannot tell you, my employers or customers. Luckily, I get to discuss a lot with my fellow MVPs. It’s always a blast to see so many of them again.

Forging valuable solutions


I can tell you that it helps me make better decisions. It enables me to provide the excellent advice, great designs and functional architecture. These are forged in the fires of reality with my knowledge and insights for a hammer. My context and situational awareness are the furnace and the technologies Microsoft and partners provide are the resources that are turned into valuable solutions. Those are built, not bought. If that’s something you’d like, we can help get you in touch with many MVPs that have a wide variety of skills and are able to assist you.

Our regular schedule resumes after the summit

Anyway, while that week will be busy and while we’ll be anything but quiet over there within our Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).


That means you won’t hear about anything under NDA and as such we’ll remain silent on what we see, hear, learn and discuss at the MVP Global Summit 2018. See you after “The Summit”!

Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany 2018

Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany 2018

The Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany 2018 is a shining beacon of light in a sea of marketing driven IT events. It is organized by Carsten Rachfahl via his company Rachfahl IT Solutions. Carsten is a Microsoft MVP and Regional Director whose commitment to excellence has show for many years in his community engagements. I think his integrity and style is a driving force behind this conferences ability to attract the quality of attendees, speakers and sponsors.


Cloud & Datacenter welcomes top expert speakers from the community and the industry. They deliver high quality sessions and share their combined experience and knowledge with attendees that are truly interested in working with those technologies. That combination delivers high value interactions and knowledge sharing. The sessions in combination with the interaction between everyone there is works very well due to the size of the conference. Its big enough to have the breath of topics needed I todays IT landscape while it is small enough to allow people to dive in deeper and discuss architecture, design, implementation and visions.

Some extra information

The Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany 2018 is being held on May 15-16 2018 in the Congress Park Hanau, Scholes Plats 1, Hanau, 63450 Germany. That’s close to Frankfurt and as such has good travel accommodations. Topics of interest will be Azure, Azure Stack, Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud, Software Defined Datacenter, System Center & O365. The conference is a real-life technology event so no one is pretending that the esoteric future is already here. We are working on that future by building it in our daily job and helping organizations move forward in an efficient and effective manner.

This is a great conference by technologists, for technologists. The opportunities to learn, network and exchange information are great. The speakers are approachable and all of them together are there both share and learn themselves. From my past experiences the organization outstanding and the feedback from attendees was outstanding.

I’ll be speaking on RDMA to give a roadmap on this ever more important technology. On top of that I’ll be around to discuss high availability, clustering, data protection both on premises as in (hybrid) cloud scenarios.

Do your self a favor and register for the Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany in 2018.

All I can say is that you should really consider attending. It’s most definitely worthwhile. The quality of the attendees, the speakers and the absolute top-notch organization of the conference have been proven in the previous years. The Cloud & Datacenter Conference is a testimony to the professionalism, integrity and quality my fellow MVP and friend Carsten Rachfahl delivers with his company Rachfahl IT solution on a daily basis to his customers. So, help yourself out in your career and register right here. I hope to see you there.

Note: The CDC is German spoken conference but as some speakers are from around the globe you’ll have to listen to some of them speaking in English. If you’ve ever heard my German, I’m sure you’ll prefer me speaking English anyway.

VeeamOn 2017 Points of Interest


I’m back form attending, speaking, learning and sharing experiences and knowledge at VeeamON 2017 (and DELL EMC World before). It was a blast and I had the opportunity to engage in very interesting discussions with experts from around the globe.


As it was a Veeam event it wil be no surprise that we got some very interesting information about the new Veeam offerings now as well as in the near future. Points of particular interest to me are:

  • Veeam backup for file shares. Really this might solve my entire dubio around virtualizing very large capacity clustered files shares (100-200TB) I have to protect. I’m looking forward to testing and leveraging the various restore options like File share rollback. Handy when ransomware just struck.
  • I like what Veeam is doing for disaster recovery in Microsoft’s Azure public cloud. Veeam’s Direct Restore and new Power Network (PN) in order to facilitate and automate the disaster recovery process.
  • The Veeam agent that can protect Windows ad Linux based physical servers and endpoints, along with applications running in Microsoft Azure, AWS and other public clouds tied into Veeam Backup & Replication. We will also get support for failover clusters with this. Something I have been lobbying for!
  • They support native object storage support using Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure Blob etc.
  • They announced improved and extended Office 365 protection including OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. One of those improvements is very handy with multiple tenants.
    Ramsomware did something very significant beyond reminding everyone of the importance of recoverable backups and that is reigniting the interest in tape as a backup medium. The inherent “air gap” that tape offers has become more interesting to many people as ransomware can also delete or encrypt backups. So the 3-2-1 rule has never been more important and is being extended by additional rules of thumb. The product to investigate for me is Starwind Virtual Tape Library (VTL). What I like is that I can have an air gapped backup integrated with Veeam in Amazon AWS. Even while my entire business might run in Azure, this separates my data protection technology and location form my production / development environment. Ideal for maximum isolation to protect us form both external and insider threats and risks while avoiding the need to deal with physical tapes. This is and remains a major concern for operational costs and RTO.


The new capabilities are very welcome to help solve the challenges we have now and the ones we see coming in the near future. We have plenty of ideas and plans to build the next generation of data protection and data availability solutions. Whatever the need, on-premises, IAAS, PAAS, SAAS, private/hybrid/public cloud, the need to protect data against loss and down time is there in one form or another. That is and remains a primary responsibility of any business regardless of the technology. As always, my fellow MVPs and Vanguards are ready, willing and able to get the job done.

I am presenting at VeeamON 2017

I’m travelling to New Orleans for VeeamON2. If you don’t know what that is, please check it out here. I can recommend this conference. Both the attendees and presenters are all very active users of Veeam products and the workloads Veeam protects in real live. That makes for excellent sharing of experiences, insights and knowledge with your peers.

SM banner-Presenters

I have the distinct honor of presenting a joint session with Luca Dell’Oca (@dellock6 / and Carsten Reachfahl (@hypervserver / The presentation is called: Throw your backups into ANY window and is on Wednesday, May 17 | 13:30-14:30.

Choosing a storage solution for your backups can be a daunting task: Windows or Linux servers, SMB shares, SAN, NAS, deduplication appliances … But block cloning, a new feature in Windows 2016 and leveraged by Veeam Backup & Replication™, is promising to change this. Available for ReFS 3.1 file systems, this technology allows for insanely reduced transform times and spaceless GFS backups. Or at least, this is what marketing has told us so far, but how good is it in reality? Is an expensive and complex Storage Spaces Direct the only way to consume all the amazing new features? How can I design my new backup repository with these new options in mind? What about encryption and Veeam Scale-out Backup Repository™? Didier Van Hoye, Carsten Rachfahl (both Microsoft MVPs and Veeam Vanguards) and Luca Dell’Oca (Veeam cloud architect) have joined forces to bring you from-the-field information, tips, tricks and ideas to build your next Veeam backup repository with real-life tests and feedback gained from deploying this new powerful combination into multiple environments.

This session is complimentary to the other ones given at VeeamON 2017, both the breakout sessions as well as some of the session the Microsoft MVPs are presenting at the boot. Those sessions combined will send you home with ideas and options on how to leverage Veeam in creative ways to achieve the best possible solution for your needs. Personally I’ll be discussing some of the options you have to get get high available backup targets leveraging ReFSv3.1 in brown field scenarios when  a brand new Storage Spaces Direct deployment is not option or when you don’t run Windows Server Windows Server 2016 yet.

Next to that and between attending interesting sessions I’ll be available at the Veeam and Microsoft boots if you want to have questions or want to discuss the technologies. At the Microsoft boot I’ll be presenting a demo focused walk through on how to on Discrete Device Assignment in Windows Server 2016.