AWS Community Builder – 2023

AWS Community Builder 2023

It is official, and I have been awarded AWS Community Builder 2023 (Storage) after applying a few times to the program.

Thank you, AWS CommunityJason Dunn and fellow 2022 AWS Community Builders, for allowing me to join this community for the first time!

AWS CB - Acceptance Email

If you want to learn more about this community, please click on this link for more info. Some of the many benefits that come with the AWS Community Builders program include the following:

Also, don’t forget to check out the Program FAQ for answers to any questions you may have about the program, the program criteria, the program expectations of each member, and much more (available at the bottom of the webpage)!

Looking for an AWS User Group, but unsure of where to begin? Click here to begin your search and connect with a group in your area.

Although the application window is now closed, it will reopen in mid-2023, so please keep an eye out when the next application window is open, which is typically posted on social media, etc. In the meantime, you can contact me on LinkedIn – Chris Childerhose or Twitter – CChilderhose for more information. This community is about building a foundation with AWS and supporting the broader community, so let’s get started!

VMware Tanzu Vanguard – 2023

VMware Tanzu Vanguard 2023

It is official, and I have been awarded VMware Tanzu Vanguard 2023 for the first time applying.

On December 18, 2022, a very nice email arrived in my inbox from Brian Chang (@techadvoguy), one of the community managers indicating he received my application and was giving me the chance to join the program.  I just had to fill out some forms and accept some agreements (the usual stuff), and voila, everything was processed, and I was in the program.

After this, I received an invite to the Tanzu Vanguard slack channel to talk with fellow community members and get a ton of information about Tanzu in general.  Being new to the Tanzu/Kubernetes world, it was a great place to start and ask general questions without worrying about my knowledge level. Everyone is extremely friendly, like many of the IT communities out there.

There were some badges and social media graphics that we got access to, and I received a great swag box with shirts, hoodies and other goodies.

Swag Box with goodies 🙂

The other community manager for the program is Cami Hough (@cami_hough), who can also be found on the slack channel posting about events, calls, and the “Hump Day Highlights” for Tanzu.

So what is a Tanzu Vanguard, you might be asking?  As per a recent email from Cami Hough –


As an active technologist in the IT field, you are well aware that your knowledge, skills, and technical talents make you unique and stand out. The vanguard community was born out of a privilege and acknowledgment that your special skills are to shine, be amplified, and celebrated for everything you have done and will do. This is not your typical community. If you were looking to add this community to your list of product advocacy communities, then you have really lost sight of what we are truly trying to do here. In this community, we set out to accomplish two very important milestones…….to grow and nurture TANZU SUPER USERS and FUTURE THOUGHT LEADERS. If that describes you, then it is time we started on our journey together! ”

You can also find an explanation from the Tanzu Vanguard website as well –

“The VMware Tanzu Vanguard is a select group of active customers, cloud users, and practitioners that are passionate about our products and services. They openly share their experiences and knowledge with the community and the industry.”

Benefits of being a Tanzu Vanguard

  • Access to VMware Tanzu product and service groups
  • Exclusive invitations to our conferences and user group meetups
  • Networking with a small group of peers to get complex IT challenges solved
  • Recognition and rewards for contributions and achievements
  • Digital Tanzu Vanguard badges
  • Community-branded swag

Congratulations to all those awarded the Tanzu Vanguard 2023.  Don’t be shy about reaching out and asking questions on the Slack channel.

If you would like to apply to the program, please visit the following webpage – Tanzu Vanguard – Apply

My journey begins in the Tanzu/Kubernetes world – come and join me!

Veeam Vanguard 2023 – Year Six

WOW! Accepted for the sixth year in a row. #VeeamVanguard

Veeam Vanguard 2023

I was a part of the Veeam Vanguard program for the past five years in 2018-2022, with the hopes of another renewal for the 2023 year. Applications opened up for the 2023 year, and this time, it was all based on your application, whereas in previous years, you could have others nominate you. I have remained active with the Veeam space promoting the product, blogging, Twitter, E-Newspaper, and even wrote a third edition of my book for Packt Publishing – Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication v12

So I filled out the application with examples of all my activities throughout the year in the hopes I would be accepted. After applying, waiting is hard for that email to indicate whether you are in or out.

So based on my post as you can imagine, I was accepted for a sixth year into one of the best evangelist programs out there – Veeam Vanguard. Many thanks to @RickVanover @NikolaPejkova and the amazing people at @Veeam @Veeamvanguard

To be part of such a great group is an amazing feeling. This program is one of the best for promoting the Veeam products and giving insight to the Veeam Team.

You can read about it here –

Veeam Vanguard benefits include the following:

  • Access to Veeam Product teams
  • A forum to provide feedback and perspective
  • Sharing of unique perspectives in the industry and exclusive networking opportunities
  • NFR licenses for all Veeam products.
  • Access to pre-releases and betas.
  • Exclusive access to Veeam Forums and Support.
  • Exclusive access to Veeam events like VeeamON.

One of the best benefits is the #VanguardFriday calls we have on Teams, where you can chat about anything as it ends the week on a good note, even when we are all busy.

Here is to another successful year of the Veeam Vanguard program for 2023, and looking forward to meeting many of you in person again at VeeamON 2023 in Miami.

Veeam Legends Program – Renewed for 2023!

Veeam Legend 2023

It is official; I have been awarded Veeam Legends 2023 for the 2nd year.

I received a great surprise in my email from Madalina Cristil (@MadiCristil), the manager of the Veeam Community Legends program, Rick Vanover (@rickvanover), Safiya Mohamed (@safiya), and Nikola Pejkova (@NikolaPejkova) I was renewed into the 2023 first intake.

You can find out about the Veeam Legends program on the Community Hub here – Veeam Community Hub.

It has been a great first year in the Legends program, and I was happy to contribute to helping the community. I look forward to another year and meeting many of the Legends in person at the #Veeam100 event in October.

There are some great benefits to being a Legend –

As a part of Veeam Legends, you’ll be eligible for unique content, NFR licenses, private betas, prelaunch briefings, Veeam R&D insights and, of course, awesome Veeam Legends swag!

But one of the most significant benefits is being part of a community to share knowledge, experience, tips, tricks, etc.  I know this from being in the Veeam Vanguard program for six years.  Talking with fellow vCommunity members is the most rewarding part of being in any evangelist program.

So if you are interested, check out the link to the Community Hub above and work your way up to becoming Legendary!

VMware vExpert 2023 – Year 4

VMware vExpert 2023

It is official; I have been awarded VMware vExpert 2023 for the 4th year.

My first application was in 2020, and I was accepted, so I continued to apply again in the Evangelist Path for 2023.  As luck would have it, I was accepted for 2023, another year in a great program.

Just to highlight what it takes to be a vExpert and the official benefits; however, the non-official benefits of resources and career growth I feel benefitted me most from being in the program.  Nothing can beat the vCommunity out there, and networking with your peers on anything IT-related, not just VMware-specific, is another great benefit.

Benefits of being a vExpert

Here’s a list of some of the benefits when receiving the award.

Networking with 2,000+ vExperts / Information Sharing
Knowledge Expansion on VMware & Partner Technology
Opportunity to apply for vExpert BU Lead Subprograms (see below)
Possible Job Opportunities
Direct Access to VMware Business Units via Subprograms
Blog Traffic Boost through Advocacy, @vExpert, @VMware, VMware Launch & Announcement Campaigns
1 Year VMware Licenses for Home Labs for almost all Products & Some Partner Products
Private VMware & VMware Partner Sessions
Gifts from VMware and VMware Partners
vExpert Celebration Parties at both VMworld US and VMworld Europe
VMware Advocacy Platform Invite (share your content to thousands of vExperts & VMware employees who amplify your content via their social channels)
Private Slack Channels for vExpert and the BU Lead Subprograms

Which Path Should you Apply for?

Evangelist Path
The Evangelist Path includes book authors, bloggers, tool builders, public speakers, VMTN contributors, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others with the leverage of a personal public platform to reach many people. Employees of VMware can also apply via the Evangelist path. A VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public.

Customer Path
The Customer Path is for leaders who evangelize VMware. We are looking for passionate customers who do the work to evangelize within their organization or worked with VMware to build success stories, act as customer references, give public interviews, speak at conferences, or were VMUG leaders. The actives must not be related to your position within the company, i.e. not being paid for evangelizing VMware. A VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public.

Partner Path
The VPN Path is for employees of our partner companies who lead with passion and by example, who are committed to continuous learning through accreditations and certifications and to making their technical knowledge and expertise available to many. This can take shape of event participation, video, IP generation, as well as public speaking engagements.


If you are an active VMUG Leader or hold the title of VCDX, you will qualify for the vExpert award. VMUG leaders are verified through the VCDX directory. VMUG leader titles and activities are also verified, and you must be an active leader in your chapter. Inactive VMUG leaders will not qualify for the award. To apply via VMUG or VCDX, please use the evangelist path and state you are a VCDX or VMUG leader and which chapter. All VCDX applicants will be verified via

To apply, you need to enter in your browser. If it is for the first time, you need to create an account, and then you can apply. If you need any help with your application, you can always contact a vExpert PRO. They will assist you with how to apply and explain the best way to apply.

Congratulations to all those awarded the vExpert 2023, and welcome to the newcomers.  Don’t be shy about reaching out and asking questions on the Slack channel.

If you did not apply when applications were opened at the end of 2022, you can apply again in the vExpert 2023 second-half applications that should be open around June/July.

My vExpert page: vExpert – Chris Childerhose

My VMware forum page: VMware Forums – Chris Childerhose

VMware Advocacy Program:

Veeam Vanguard Nominations for 2023 are Now Open

The Veeam Vanguard program is one of the best influencer/evangelist programs out there, and one reason you need to nominate yourself or someone else that deserves to be in this program.  You will gain access to cutting-edge technology as well as resources.  With 2023 just around the corner, now is the time to consider nominating yourself or someone you know who should be considered.  Also, at this time, for the existing Veeam Vanguards like myself, it is renewal time to ensure I am selected for another year in this exciting program.

Being a Veeam Vanguard means being part of an exclusive community of top IT professionals and thought leaders worldwide. As a member, you’ll have access to a wide range of exclusive resources and opportunities, including:

  • Early access to new Veeam products and features
  • Invitations to Veeam-sponsored events and webinars
  • Opportunities to provide feedback and input on Veeam product development
  • Access to the Veeam Vanguard private community, where you can connect with other Veeam Vanguards and share ideas and experiences
  • Opportunities to collaborate with Veeam on blog posts, case studies, and other content
  • And much more!

The benefits of being a Veeam Vanguard don’t stop there. As a member of the group and the extended Veeam 100, you’ll also have the opportunity to grow your skills and knowledge through access to a wide range of training and educational resources. This includes:

  • Online courses and training materials to help you stay up-to-date on the latest Veeam technologies and best practices
  • Exclusive access to Veeam Certified Engineers (VCES) and Veeam Certified Architects (VCAs) for mentoring and guidance
  • Opportunities to attend VeeamON, our annual conference for data management professionals, where you can learn from industry experts and network with other IT professionals.
  • Attend the Veeam 100 Summit in Prague, which is an amazing event and the highlight of the year for most in the program.

I have been in the Veeam Vanguard program for five years (2018-2022), and this was my first year attending the Prague Veeam 100 Summit.  I have to tell you it was an amazing experience, and you can read all about it in my recap post here – Veeam 100 Summit – Recap.

So if you’re a current Veeam Vanguard, now is the time to renew your membership for another year of exclusive benefits and opportunities. And if you’re not yet a member, now is the perfect time to join the Veeam Vanguard community and take advantage of all the resources and opportunities available.

To learn more about renewing your Veeam Vanguard membership or joining for the first time, visit the Veeam Vanguard Nomination Form.

Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication v12 (Third Edition) – COMING SOON

“Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication 11” was released earlier this year in February 2022.  The book can be seen at the following links and ordered:

Version 11 Book is here –

Packt – Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication – Second Edition

Amazon – Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication – Second Edition

I have since been approached to write an update to the book for Version 12 and have accepted the challenge.  The current book will get an updated chapter 1, and then everything else will be brand new with all new features in the latest release of Veeam.

Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication v12 (Third Edition) — Coming Soon

I will update my blog as my journey progresses with the new version.  I hope to create an updated book that is as good as the first two, which everyone enjoyed that gave me feedback on.  It will be fun writing about the newest features of Veeam v12.

Keep an eye out for further updates and other blog posts.

Veeam 100 Summit Recap

I’d like to first thank Rick VanoverMadalina CristilNikola PejkováAubrey Galen, and everyone at Veeam for their efforts and support leading into the Veeam 100 Summit. It’s a HUGE undertaking that requires many levels of coordination. This was my first time attending the event in person. It was an honour to attend such a prestigious event and meet many fellow Vanguards, Legends and MVPs in person.  It is amazing how being at an event and being able to speak to others of the same mindset makes you feel great.  As for the host city of Prague, it never fails.

Day 1 included a Welcome Reception.

A big thanks to Jim Jones and 11:11 Systems for sponsoring our Go Kart event earlier in the day! It’s safe to assume everyone thoroughly enjoyed this experience!

Day 2 was the official kickoff for the Veeam 100 Summit. Rick, Madalina, and Hannes Kasparick started the day with a presentation in which we learned more about the various Community groups managed by each.  If you’re not familiar with each community, I have provided a link and\or description for each below:

  • Veeam Vanguard – The Veeam Vanguard Program is Veeam’s top-level influencer community. This group shares points of view, provides feedback and is committed to mutual success. Experts in the Vanguard program are a combination of many different disciplines, contribution types, and advocacy mechanisms. Yet, they are each the best regarding technical thought leadership for the technical communities in which Veeam exists. These individuals have been nominated as Veeam Vanguards. A Veeam Vanguard represents our brand to the highest level in many technology communities we engage. These individuals are chosen for their acumen, engagement and style in their activities on and offline.
  • Veeam Legend – Veeam Legends are Veeam users and data protection industry experts passionate about technology and innovation and eager to further develop their careers while sharing their experiences with the community. As avid Veeam users, they participate in various community projects, drive local Veeam User Groups and can also influence the development of Veeam products and solutions — they have a tangible impact within the community! Apart from that, Veeam Legends are always eager to help their peers and get connected with other community members.
  • Veeam MVP – this group includes top Veeam employees with a customer-facing technical role who share and engage when it is not part of their job. This program is ONLY available to Veeam employees.

Next was Rick Vanover and Edwin Weijdema from Veeam, and their presentation was about Ransomware. As we know, this subject matter is relevant and is always in the news. Below are a few slides from the presentation:

What risks to consider when trying to protect your data, and are you prepared for a disaster?

Recovery considerations should include How (the method),  Where (the location), and Time (how long it should take to recover from a disaster).

Jorge de la Cruz, Roman Kuksov, and Kirsten Stoner discussed What’s New in Veeam ONE v12, but due to this product not being GA, and the content from this session can not be shared at this time.

Matt Crape provided the final session for Day 1, but unfortunately, it was labelled as Red and cannot be discussed outside the Summit.

Another thing that came up is CFPs for VeeamON 2023 are currently being accepted. Click on the QR code found in the image below to learn more!

Interested in learning more about the Veeam Hardened Repository (VHR)?  Scan the QR code below for a walk-through video:

Please check out additional Veeam 100 Summit posts from fellow attendees, which include:

It was a great time catching up with everyone I had already met in person at VeeamON or other events and those I had not, other than on weekly calls for Vanguards or Legends.  Video chat is not the same as in-person I think we can all agree!


A special thank you goes out to Craig Dalrymple, who helped me tremendously.  I typically have everything ready to go the night before leaving for travel, but in this case, I did not.  I used the safe in the hotel room to store my passport and guess what – yes, I left the hotel, got to the airport, then got an email from the hotel that I left a document behind.  My heart sank as I realized the safe and my passport.  I contacted the hotel, and they had it at the desk, so I told them someone would get it and bring it to the airport for me.  Craig to the rescue!  He grabbed my passport and dropped it to me at the airport.

I cannot say enough about this great group of people and how they are willing to help out another fellow #Veeam100 member.

Interested in learning more about the Veeam Vanguard and Veeam Legends programs? Click on the links provided, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Interested in pursuing a Veeam Certification? More information about the training can be found here.

By the way, a little birdie shared a secret with me (This bird has all the privileges). Ready?? VeeamON 2023 is back in Miami, and I hope to see you there!

Thank you to everyone at Veeam, the Veaam Vanguard Program and the #vCommunity for your support! This is the best influencer program and the other Legends/MVPs that make up the #Veeam100.

That concludes days 1 & 2 for this recap.  I plan to update this post as soon as possible to include my experiences for days 3 and 4.

Please click on this link on my blog if you’re interested in anything related to Veeam.

And to finish it all off, here are a few wonderful pictures of Prague that I could take during the trip.  Such a beautiful city and architecture.  Walking is the best way to see the sites and visit places for a drink or food.

Veeam Legends Program – Renewed for 2022!

Today I received a great surprise in my email from Madalina Cristil (@MadiCristil), the manager of the Veeam Community Legends program, and Rick Vanover (@rickvanover) that I was renewed into the 2022 second intake.

You can find out about the Veeam Legends program on the Community Hub here – Veeam Community Hub.

It has been a great first year in the Legends program, and I was happy to contribute to helping the community. I look forward to another year and meeting many of the Legends in person at the #Veeam100 event in October.

There are some great benefits to being a Legend –

As a part of Veeam Legends, you’ll be eligible for unique content, NFR licenses, private betas, prelaunch briefings, Veeam R&D insights and, of course, awesome Veeam Legends swag!

But one of the most significant benefits is being part of a community to share knowledge, experience, tips, tricks, etc.  I know this from already being in the Veeam Vanguard program for the past five years.

So if you are interested, check out the link to the Community Hub above and work your way up to becoming Legendary!

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 – Blog Series – Part 2

So part one of the Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 discusses the shared responsibility model and outlines both Microsoft and Customer responsibilities. I also look at why you need to backup briefly but will dive more into this for part two. You can find resource links and part one here – Part 1

When it comes to backing up your Microsoft 365 data, there are seven reasons why you NEED to back it up –

  1. Accidental deletion: This is actually the most common cause of data loss in Microsoft  65. If you delete a user, whether you meant to or not, that deletion will then be replicated across the network. A backup could restore that user, either to on-premises Exchange or Microsoft 365.
  2. Retention policy gaps and confusion: Retention policies in Microsoft 365 are designed to help organizations comply with regulations, laws and internal policies that require that they retain or delete content; they are not back ps. But even if you do rely on your retention policy in place of a backup, these retention policies are hard to keep up with, let alone manage. A backup provides longer and more accessible retention that’s all protected and stored in one place for easy recovery.
  3. Internal security threats: When we think of threats to our business, we usually think in terms of protecting against external for us. However, many businesses also experience threats from the inside, and these issues happen more often than you think. Having a high-grade recovery solution mitigates the risk of critical data being lost or destroyed.
  4. External security threats: Ransomware is becoming more and more sophisticated, and criminals are finding more ways to reach our users and deceive them into clicking a link that encrypts the entire organization’s data for ransom. A backup can easily restore data to an instance before the attack.
  5. Legal and compliance requirements: There are eDiscovery capabilities built into Microsoft 365, but a third-party backup solution is purpose-built to easily search within a backup and quickly bring back data to meet any regulatory compliance needs.
  6. Managing hybrid email deployments and migrations to Microsoft 365: Whether you are migrating to Microsoft 365 or have a blend of on-premises Exchange and Microsoft 365 users, the exchange data should be managed and protected the same way, which makes the source location irrelevant.
  7. Teams’ data structure: The Microsoft Teams backend is much more complex than many real ze. Teams is not a self-contained application, meaning the data generated in Teams resides in other applications like Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDr ve. With this added layer of complexity, ensuring that data is adequately protected is paramount.

Reference – 7 Reasons Why Microsoft 365 Backup is Critical

The above reasons are the most common for Microsoft 365 backups, and the article referenced is a good read if you want further information.

So again – Why back up Microsoft 365?  Microsoft provides a wide array of powerful services within Microsoft 365, but a comprehensive backup of your Office 365 data is not one of them. The data residing in Microsoft 365 is your responsibility, and you need a backup to ensure you have total access, control and protection of your Office 365 data.  It cannot be stated enough that you need to backup up the Microsoft 365 data in your organization even if you are using On-Premise Exchange.

So when it comes to a solution Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 is the one to look at whether directly from Veeam or via a Service Provider that might offer that along with storage too.  Be sure to follow the 3-2-1-1-0 rule as well with your Microsoft 365 data so you ensure that you have multiple copies of it and offsite as well for DR recovery.

Along with Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 being able to back up your data they also have 45 ways to restore it as well.  It works with:

Exchange Online & Exchange On-Premise

OneDrive for Business

Microsoft Teams

SharePoint Online & SharePoint On-Premise

Depicted below is the many ways Veeam can restore your data and also in the referenced link below is further information:

So again it bears repeating that you need to BACK UP your Microsoft 365 data to ensure it is protected from things like Ransomware, Malicious actors, etc.  In part three of the series will start to get in to the workings of the actual Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 product and things to consider when deploying, configuration, and other best practices.  For now you can reference some other great links mentioned in this blog below.

Great resource links for more on Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 –

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365

45 Microsoft 365 recovery options with Veeam

Until Part 3…….