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Veeam Legends – A Year in Review

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Late last night I received a welcome email congratulating me on my renewal for the second half of 2023 as a member of the Veeam Legends and Veeam 100 program. This means that I’m rounding out my first full year as a Legend, so I thought it appropriate to provide a quick(ish) recap of just what the past year has entailed, as well as what what is coming up for the Veeam 100 members as well as how you can work to join this fantastic community. Part of the Growth Mindset is understanding that you will be provided with challenges, and that you accept those challenges and will grow your knowledge and skillset. In my mind, that often means not being “the smartest person in the room”. I love a good challenge as it is what keeps me going day after day, but part of that is knowing how and where to find that knowledge, be it in books, online, or with other people. And the Veeam Community are these people. Simply put, the breadth and the depth of knowledge of that these folks have is awe inspiring. We have folks working in all facets of data protection and recovery. Managed Service Providers, Cloud Service Providers, private/internal IT, public entity IT, Administrators, Engineers, Architects, Executives, Managers, bloggers, tech enthusiasts and evangelists are only part of who makes up this community.

Veeam Legends 2023.2 Renewal Email

What is a Veeam Legend?

Veeam Legends are members of the Veeam Community that “embrace the spirit of technical evangelism”. Most of the Legends tend to be active in the Veeam Community Hub, though others are active in the Veeam R&D Forums, or lead Veeam User Groups, or a combination of things. For Legends, activity is evaluated twice a year and if you are meeting the required thresholds, you can be renewed for that half of the year. I was invited to join the Legends last August and this is my second renewal.

So what about Vanguards? And MVP’s?

Other members of the Veeam 100 consist of Veeam Vanguards and Veeam MVP’s. Veeam Vanguards are the OG of the Veeam 100 Community. These folks evangelize outside of the Veeam platform on their own utilizing systems such as blogging on personal sites, YouTube video’s, LinkedIn posts, writing books, podcasting, etc. This blog as well as my (so far blank) YouTube channel are part of my journey to hopefully join up with the Vanguards as well. The Vanguard program has been around for several years while the Legends program has only been around for a couple of years. Important to know however is that you can be both a member of the Legends and Vanguard programs, and we have a few folks that are indeed member of both though I really have no idea when they find time to sleep. Lastly, the Veeam MVP program is a bit more exclusive in that this program is only for Veeam employees that go that extra mile to support the Veeam Community outside of their normal job role. Because MVP status is reserved only for employees, and Legends and Vanguards are for non-employees, there are less MVP’s out there although some Legends or Vanguards have “graduated” to MVP status after being active in the community and eventually being hired on in an official Veeam capacity.

A “Legendary” Year in Review

Last year, I received a rather unsuspecting email from Veeam. I had been working towards joining the Legends program. As I like to think that I have the heart of a teacher, I’ve always been more than happy to provide input and support to those using Veeam products as well as show off my own Veeam deployments. Of course, this actually started out in looking for input from others with more knowledge and experience as I begin to dive deeper into Veeam and develop services as a Veeam Cloud Services Provider. I received great input from others, and hope that I can give the same quality of responses that I received. And to this day, I’m so grateful for the input I receive from others. And of course, I wanted to return the favor in a symbiotic relationship that benefits everyone involved. Back to point, the email I received was congratulating me on my participation in the Veeam Community and inviting me to become a member of the Veeam Legends. It wasn’t technically difficult to do, but it just required dedication, perseverance, and a drive to help others.

Veeam 100 Summit, Prague, Czech Republic

Welcome to Veeam 100 Banner

The benefits of being a Legend were quickly realized as I was brought into the fold of a group of people, working in the shadows to support each other and the users of Veeam products at large. I also received an email shortly thereafter requiring me to make a decision on if I wanted to attend the Veeam 100 Summit in Prague. No, not Prague, Nebraska, but Prague, Czech Republic. Mind you, I had only been out of the country once before, 5 years prior to Guatemala as part of a mission trip. I had neve been to Europe. I informed my manager of my disappointment that I was invited to join the Summit but would have to miss out because there was no way my employer was going to pay thousands for me to fly overseas and join a group of folks to learn more about the current Veeam products as well as get insight of upcoming products and provide my own input of what I wanted to see going forward. That disappoint was quickly cured when I was informed by Veeam that they would actually be footing the bill for all flights, hotel and most meals during the event. This was amazing news, and to top it off, I was informed by my employer that they would cover, up to a certain dollar amount of course, an remaining expenses for travel between the airport and hotel, meals along the way, etc. After checking in with my spouse, I was more than happy to accept this invitation and traveled to Prague in October.

Anthony Spiteri presenting at the Veeam 100 Summit 2022

After 14 hours of sleepless, overnight travel including meeting up with several Veeam 100 members as well as the Community visionary, Rick Vanover in Paris, I arrived in beautiful Prague. As we traveled to the hotel, I was amazed to see that the grass was still green in Prague as I had left the drab brown leaves and grass in the US. I continued to stay away for the next 36 hours, a personal record, as I connected with folks I knew only online as we traveled to a sketchy looking section of Prague to race go karts! Staying up wasn’t intentional, but it did have the added benefit of not really feeling too much jet-lag although I did fall asleep in a video call with my family back home. The Veeam 100 Summit was a whirlwind of information. Some of it was rehashed from the previous VeeamON sessions, but most information was new and fresh. It was great getting a deeper technical insight as to the what’s and why’s behind the Veeam product offerings and what changes, features and products were to come. We got our first glimpse of Veeam Backup for Salesforce. We were able to ask questions and provide input to executives and members of the Product Strategy and Product Development teams. We were informed that Veeam was going to also sponsor our attendance to VeeamON 2023 in Miami in late spring – welcome news as I attended online previously but knew there was so much more I could learn in person. And I was able to connect with other Veeam 100 members, face-to-face, in stunning 3D! Never have I ever been in a room with so many people from all corners of the earth. It was all so overwhelming and yet satisfying to be a member of such a Community of like-minded individuals. And then, it was over. The last night there, I ran 13 kilometers along the river, up to the Prague Castle complex, back down across the Charles Bridge back into old town and to my hotel to catch 3 hours of sleep and then off to my flight. After 14 hours of travel (and a COVID infection from the flight), I was home. But with a wealth of information and personal and professional relationships with some of the best and brightest members of the technical community.


After the Summit, I couldn’t stop talking about Prague. It’s a beautiful city, and with so many new friends, my family grew weary of hearing “when I was in Prague….” However, throughout the winter and into spring, we had regular Veeam Legends calls. We enjoyed information, advanced previews and beta releases of upcoming product versions, webinars and personal insights from Veeam staff, and just a plethora of information that I would have had access to otherwise. We had a special Veeam 100 Holiday get-together (virtually) where we had some friendly competition and discussed holiday plans.

I became a beta tester for the next revision of Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 where I had my first true, hands-on experience with protecting Microsoft 365 data. I was able to configure this products using our existing object storage with Wasabi which was the foundation of developing our Managed Backup for Microsoft 365 service at Kidwell. I discovered that I really appreciated the additional power and flexibility the Veeam offered in both backing up, but also restoring Microsoft 365 data over our current product offering of Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud backup. Not that the Barracuda offering was bad, but it was more expensive and less granular in management than what Veeam offers.

And then all turned into preparing for VeeamON 2023!

VeeamON 2023

VeeamON 2023 Selfie

As it began to warm up and everyone began to prepare for summer activities, so did everyone begin to prepare for the trek to sunny Miami, Florida. This time when traveling with Veeam, I was only going to be traveling for around 6 hours as I was staying in the United States and all of my friends across the globe would be coming to visit. Preparations were made and flights coordinated. We received previews of information to be provided at VeeamON as well as an early list of some of the sessions to be hosted, as well some insight as to what sessions were most popular. And then we all began our travel nearly simultaneously. I was able to meet up with a fellow Veeam 100 member in Atlanta where we flew into Miami. I had never been to Miami nor seen the beaches of the east coast, so again I was in for a bit of a shock of the beauty I was about to witness. And of course, reconnect with the folks I was able to meet in Prague, as well as new members of the community that joined in the early 2023 Legends intake. Again, I made many new connections. I attended many sessions that gave me insight into upcoming products. Best Practices. Lot of tidbits that I had otherwise missed or would not have otherwise known. And a great session around the Linux Hardened Repository. We took photos with our own listings on the Veeam 100 Directory. And we connected at some Veeam 100 specific events and had several meals and drinks with members of the community as well connecting with several vendors that could have product offerings that could benefit my company and clients. Again, it was a whirlwind of information, and then it was over. This time at least, there were no COVID infections to recover from, and the jet-lag was minimal, but there was plenty of information to share with my team back home. And or course, to review all of the online-only sessions as well as sessions that were recorded online that we missed in person.


As summer began, it was amazing how the Community connected outside of the Veeam platform. A chat session that was utilized for coordinating travel to the Summit and VeeamON and activities around these events grew into sharing of vacation travels well as showing off meals and drinks prepared worldwide. We were suddenly inundated with photos of beaches and mountains and grills with slabs of meat and plates of very tasty food. I learned that in the UK, what we call Eggplant is known as Aubergine. I periodically had to look up other terms to find out what exactly those Europeans (mostly, but also the Australians and New Zealanders) were talking about. We also had more calls and informational sessions, including a newly established Veeam 100 call that included all members of the Veeam 100 rather than just a Legends call and special Veeam 100 edition of the 2023 Ransomware Trends Report and the 2023 Data Protection Report as compiled by Veeam. We prepared for the Veeam summer series of events as well as the Veeam Hackathon. Polls have been sent out and answered as we prepared for the annual trek back to Prague. And then, the very email arrived last night, renewing my membership again in the Veeam Legends program and qualifying me to officially travel to Prague for the next Summit in October.

Joining the Veeam 100

If this sounds appealing to you, and I highly recommend it, and you feel like you have something to offer to the Veeam Community or the tech community at large, you too can join the Veeam Community, and if you desire, can work towards joining the Veeam 100. I’d recommend also joining the Veeam R&D Forums as well where things are more technical but also more part of the product support and R&D space. There’s more information about this in the Veeam Community, but the Legends program check out the Legends overview to get started.

And Thank You!

I know this folks hear it again and again, but I want to thank Rick Vanover, Madalina Cristil, Safiya Mohamed, Nikola Pejková for creating and managing and maintaining this program. While it’s ultimately a good program for Veeam, it’s also a fantastic program for the members, the Veeam community, userbase, clients and partners. I want to also thank my employer, Kidwell, Inc and my direct manager, Shawn Phillips, and the rest of my team for supporting me in the program. I know that dedicating some of my time to this program, especially the two weeks that I travel to the Summit and VeeamON can place more of a workload on us all, but I really appreciate everyone backing me to better not only myself, but also the company so that we can provide best in class service to our clients.

And finally, the person I need to thank the most, my wife Barb! While I go traveling around for a couple of weeks, I know that it places a lot of planning, stress, and running around because both VeeamON and the Summit occur during the school year when our three children, who attend three different schools, all need to get to classes and she does it pretty much on her own! Without her support and urging me to go forward and be active in the program, I’d be sitting at home and the office doing what I can remotely when the best results come from being fully immersed in the program, so I have to thank her for all that she does both when I’m around, but also when I’m absent.

And a few photos to remember it all by!

Dad Joke Time!

How does a squid go to battle? (click to reveal the answer)
Well Armed!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Fernando Peoples

    Great job Derek.Keep doing excellent work.

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