Earth Day is right around the corner—on April 22, people from all around the world will come together to demonstrate support for environmental protection. From global cleanups and reforestation, to local recycling programs, environmental protection is a cause everyone can support!
As tech pros, you know all too well that Earth isn’t the only environment that needs to be protected. Every aspect of your distributed, cloudy, complex IT environments requires protection from the threats that keep you (and your fellow techies) up at night. Security threats lurk beneath the surface and cybercriminals keep finding new ways to compromise the tech environments you hold so dear. Protecting these environments is truly something to be celebrated.
Last year, you shared your favorite tips and tricks for minimizing your data center footprint, and this year we want to know how you defend your environment against threats. In honor of Earth Day, let us know how you “protect” your IT environment (below!).
You unfurl the map – acquired at great personal cost – and determine the next step on your quest. There are pitfalls to avoid, traps to disable, and secrets to unearth. Behind each door lies another piece of evidence, another trace in the dust of a previous passage, and a hunch on where to go next.
Within the crypt is an artifact more valuable than any other MacGuffin. Do whatever’s necessary to acquire the “Hidden Key to Lost Performance” and make sure it’s placed in a museum.
Complete the mission shortcut between April 1, 2019 and April 28, 2019 to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win a Cubii Jr: Desk Elliptical!
Correctly answer all 20 questions by April 28, 2019 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! GoPro Hero 7
Variety might be the spice of life, but for us in IT, understanding and finding a sweet new solution to a problem is the real treat. Vanilla and chocolate are so boring. Let’s introduce you to a brand-new flavor that may turn out to be your favorite.
Your end users work everywhere these days: in the office, on the road, at their homes, in ice cream shops. It’s time you join in and discover “A Sweet New Flavor of Remote Support”, Dameware Remote Everywhere.
Complete the mission shortcut between March 25, 2019 and April 7, 2019 to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win a Blue Apron Signature for Four meal plan!
The shortcut is simple:
Correctly answer all 10 questions by April 7, 2019 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Cuisinart Air Fryer
We want to hear from you! Help us understand how you manage application performance, security, and resiliency. Complete our 2 minute survey before March 31, 2019 to earn 2,000 THWACK points and help us create tools just for you.
You find yourself with a multitude of clues. Use your instincts and your plethora of tools to understand the means behind this atrocious crime. This is the worst crime of all. The epitome of treachery. What crime you may ask? Theft of productivity.
Comb through the clues and look deep into the bowels of your infrastructure. Avoid the red herrings and get down to the actual root cause. Detectives are only as good as their mind and tools, so use them both to find the culprit in “The Case of the Curious Systems Meltdown.”
Complete the mission shortcut between March 14, 2019 and March 31, 2019 to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win a Nanoleaf Canvas Starter Kit!
The shortcut is simple:
Correctly answer all 20 questions by March 31, 2019 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! 3D Printer
IT professionals come from all walks of life, work in all manner of industries, and have experiences that make each of them unique. To better understand your personal and professional growth, we’re requesting ten minutes of your time to complete our census.
This survey will cover many aspects of your career, not just the parts where SolarWinds plugs in. The IT landscape is constantly changing and new needs are continually emerging. Whether it’s migrating workloads to the cloud, the need for an increased security posture, or optimizing line-of-business applications, we want to know: what are you working on today? What are you anticipating tomorrow? What’s keeping you up at night, looking at the next few years? Let us know and pad your THWACK wallet.
As compensation for your time, the first 100 respondents will receive a $25 Visa® gift card, while supplies last*. Everyone who completes the survey and enters their THWACK username before March 31, 2019 will be rewarded 3,000 THWACK points to use in the store, good towards any purchase you like.
*See Terms and Conditions for official rules
Let me tell you a story about plumbing.
As a young homeowner, I was house-rich and cash-poor, and because of that I needed to handle breakdowns myself as much as possible. I learned to do electrical work, cabling, drywall, basic carpentry, and plumbing. Of them all, I found the greatest satisfaction with plumbing work. Sweating copper pipes together was elegant, utilitarian, and beautiful. Not all joints were the same, so there were challenges to overcome each time, but a clean weld and a solid seal was a mark of satisfaction. There were a handful of tools that took care of most of my problems; a few pipe wrenches, a hacksaw, a pipe cutter, flux, a blowtorch, a bucket, and a mess of couplers were enough to tackle a majority of my issues. The bucket was multi-use. It could be used for when there was a leak, or as a receptacle for my tears when things went badly.
Then things changed. I’m not a tradesman, so I can’t say exactly why this change happened, but the next time I needed to do work, there was a new infrastructure that was taking over. The aisles that were outfitted with row upon row of shiny copper pipe were being replaced with bland white tubes and flexible colored bundles. My jobs didn’t change; I still needed to get water from one place to another without a bucket, but my materials were different.
Like all skills I’ve picked up, I needed to start learning new approaches. Since the objective didn’t change, but the approach and the materials have, there was a learning curve but with the same goal in mind. A new infrastructure and implementation philosophy had its own nuances. Flux was out, to be replaced with inline couplers or chemical cements. Cutting was relegated to special slicing tools. Supporting new plumbing codes, using new techniques that shortened the time it took to accomplish a task. Everything about it changed, except the goal—getting water from one place to another, getting it there quickly and at the right temperature (a temperature requirement that is always changing). Thankfully, the bucket stayed the same.
You may ask yourself, how is moving from copper to CPVC or PEX anything at all like working in IT? Well, although the infrastructure may have changed, your job has remained the same: to provide services to your end user regardless of where their services reside. You could be working with a team that is containerizing everything or a team that’s shifted everything to a cloud platform, but none of that matters. Making sure that the end users can do their job is your job.
Where and how the user does their work is immaterial. Realistically, it doesn’t matter where the work is done, be that on a bunch of physical servers, within a plethora of virtual servers, in a private cloud, hybrid cloud, public cloud, or within a SaaS solution. In that light we’ve added the Cloud Management forums to THWACK. It’s the work that’s valuable to your organization and why you have a job. The tool and the approach that was right last year may not be the same for the next year. This is why SolarWinds® AppOptics™, Loggly®, Papertrail™, and Pingdom® share the spotlight with products like Network Performance Monitor and Server & Application Manager. You can easily take what you know, combine it with your years of experience, and apply them to this new emerging IT environment, armed with tools that are purpose-built for the new plumbing.
New approaches, tools, and skills never, ever replace your existing skillset; they just supplement it. That’s what makes for great IT professionals. There are times when I’ve had to go back and sweat copper while helping a friend or replacing an old water softener. Your legacy skills and tools are just as viable, but you need to know when and how to use them.
So, don’t be afraid to think about picking up some new tools and taking a different approach to solve problems that are ultimately the same as before—helping your users do their jobs—on some new infrastructure. The skills you picked up in your past are valuable, useful, and reduce the learning curve when challenged with something totally new. Your skills, those which help you work through problems from a multitude of angles, are the ones needed with any new infrastructure.
But if there’s one thing I can recommend, it would be to not forget the bucket.
St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, so dust off your “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirt and celebrate! Before heading out to show off your Irish stepdancing skills, tell us about your luckiest moments as a tech pro—because leprechauns aren’t the only ones who can find a pot of gold on the other side of the rainbow.
We want to know when you’ve felt luckiest in your career—the situations that made you raise a glass to yourself, or to the “luck of the tech pro!” When did you feel like things could have gone terribly wrong but didn’t? Did something break? Get lost or deleted? You know that feeling—all hope seemed lost, but like magic, everything worked out. (At least we hope you know that feeling).
Share your luckiest stories about finding the tech pro pot o’ gold by March 12, 2019, and we’ll give you 250 THWACK points in return!
Rise of the Undead User Accounts!
They rise from the grave with a single intent: to bite you in the neck. The users are long gone, but the accounts are lingering in your infrastructure—hiding below the placid landscape, just sitting, biding their time. They are waiting to rise like the undead, clawing, infiltrating your world. Don’t let them catch you off your guard—like everyone else during an undead invasion.
ARM yourself with the necessary tools to lock down your home and secure your environment. Barricades will only get you so far. It’s time to take some action!
Complete the mission shortcut between February 4, 2019 and March 3, 2019 to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win Last Night on Earth: 10th Anniversary Edition
The shortcut is simple:
Correctly answer all 20 questions by March 3rd, 2019 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Emergency Zone Bundle & Save 2 Person Urban Survival Bug Out Bag + Basic Dog Emergency Kit
Any time you put bandwidth hogs and large amounts of flow traffic in the mix there’s a chance you could have an unexpected network disruption on your hands. Properly analyzing and understanding flow data is an integral part of maintaining a healthy network. This month’s bonus mission showcases three FREE flow monitoring tools that can help you distribute, test and configure your flow traffic.
Ready to fine tune your flow analysis? Start the mission!
Complete the mission shortcut between January 21, 2019 and February 4, 2019 to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win a Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Hit us with your best shot! Provide us one screenshot that demonstrates how you are using your favorite flow tool. We really want to get an idea of the way our users are benefiting from their flow tool bundle, so be sure to send us the best picture possible of one of your tools from the bundle in action by following the below instructions:
Correctly answer all 10 questions by February 3rd 2019 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable
SolarWinds had a great 2018: We launched seven new products and over 12 product updates to our Orion® Platform, DevOps, Security and Compliance, and MSP portfolios. These releases have had an overwhelming amount of support from our user community, which continues to be the foundation of our product strategy. We couldn’t have done it without YOU, our customers, and THWACK® community members.
Most recently, we asked our customers to review us on the Gartner Peer Insights platform for Application Performance Monitoring Suites, an expanding SolarWinds portfolio supporting both cloud-native and on-premises application monitoring. Our customers’ response was emphatic about our APM products, with several highlighting their great return on investment (ROI). Thanks to these reviews, we’re excited to announce that SolarWinds has been recognized as 2019 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Application Performance Monitoring Suites. But don’t take my word for it—check out some of our customer reviews on Gartner Peer Insights:
“Great monitoring solution (AppOptics™) that works out of the box and doesn't need a lot of time.” - CTO in Services Industry
“Overall the upgrade process is working great, AppOptics uses the same agent we already install and the data has allowed us to better tune our applications and servers.” - Senior Network Security Engineer in Finance Industry
“A great product (SAM) that allows me to get on with other work knowing that should anything start to go wrong I will be alerted usually with enough notice to prevent downtime or serious systems degradation.”- ICT Infrastructure Senior Systems Engine in Education
“SolarWinds Server and Application monitor (SAM) has helped up maximize our performance, ROI, and allows for proper information knowledge transfer to happen in a timely manner.”- IT Director in Services Industry
At SolarWinds, continuing to develop our product roadmap through feedback from our user community and customers is our priority. We take pride in knowing the products we make available to our customers are practical, easy to use, and precisely what our technology professionals are asking for. Simply put, we understand our user community and their needs, and make products that work and solve their IT infrastructure problems. As we kick off 2019, I want to take a moment to reflect on our success in 2018 and highlight the unwavering support we continue to receive from our user community.
Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings, and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Gartner or its affiliates.
We’re bringing deeper visibility and smarter scalability to your network with new features and solutions you need to see at Cisco Live! Barcelona 2019.
Join us at booth #S20A to learn how SolarWinds continues to improve our hybrid IT management solution built on the Orion® Platform. SolarWinds is recognized as a worldwide leader in network management software by industry analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
COME LEARN ABOUT:
Network Insight for Cisco Nexus:
Network Insight is designed to simplify the management of complex network devices by providing the right information for each device's unique role in the network. Network Insight™ for Cisco Nexus joins Cisco ASA and F5 BIG-IP to help you troubleshoot your switches, firewalls, and load balancers like an expert. Now in Network Performance Monitor and Network Configuration Manager.
Whether you are scaling up as your network grows, or scaling out to support remote locations, SolarWinds is ready to grow with you. With quadrupled monitoring capacity per instance and our same easy-to-use interface, SolarWinds® solutions are more simple, powerful, and affordable than ever.
You need to understand the relationships between devices and applications on your network, but don’t have time to maintain maps. Introducing Intelligent Maps, for people who love beautiful maps, but hate to maintain them. Get back to managing your network, not your network monitoring.
Stop by our booth to see demos of our full suite of powerful, affordable, and easy-to-use IT management software solutions. In addition to our core IT products, you can learn more about MSP and cloud-native products as well.
Let’s begin with a personal invitation to each and everyone one of you to join us in 2019 for one of our SolarWinds User Groups (SWUG™). This year, we’re traveling to Atlanta, Seattle, New York, and Chicago. For 2019, like years past, it’s all about building bridges, tearing down walls, expanding communications, and fostering the best community in IT. The 2019 SWUGs will feature two days of sessions, including keynotes from SolarWinds executives, Head Geeks™, and others, open spaces for attendee-led meetings, community-requested sessions, multiple topic-centric tracks, interactive sessions, and much, much more.
You may ask yourself why SolarWinds has made these changes. Well, it’s largely in result to our previous attendees’ feedback. You asked for more technical deep-dive sessions, more interactive sessions, more how-to sessions, and more interaction with the attendees in the room – and we heard you. If you’re taking time out of your busy schedule to be a part of an event, then it’s our job to make this event as informative and educational as possible.
If you’ve attended a SWUG in the past, you know that we have always packed the day with content, but it just wasn’t enough. Therefore, we’ve gone to two days. We also realize that not every session resonates with every person. With that in mind, we’re relying on you, the community, to tell us more about the sessions you want. You get to direct our track-based content. Our concentration is to make the sessions and content more diverse and community-driven.
The short answer is that it’s over 16 hours of educational content provided by SolarWinds professionals for free. That’s what you see on paper, but what you get by attending this in-person event is so much more. What we’re offering in a SWUG is opportunity: opportunity to speak with SolarWinds staff about the software, opportunity to interact with other IT professionals in your area of expertise, opportunity to influence the future direction of solutions in your environment, and opportunity to customize your experience and the content to your needs.
The thing that I’ve enjoyed the most about being part of the SWUG journey over the last few years is meeting the community. Although I’ve been with SolarWinds for a few years now, I haven’t forgotten my roots—as part of the community of users who utilized SolarWinds solutions to do my job better. My favorite interaction was always someone who brought up their manager or their co-worker and, together, we helped show them how we could help fix that one problem that’s been a pain point for some time. The power of SWUG is in a room full of other professionals to answer your questions. Although each environment is different, many of the problems we encounter have some level of commonality. At a SWUG, you are surrounded by hundreds of people whose role is like yours—in essence, a community.
The super power of the THWACK® community is – and always has been – the diversity of its members. That diversity, coupled with everyone’s different IT specialties, makes for an engaging and, frequently, entertaining place to spend your time. In 2015, we began with an experiment: what would happen if we brought some THWACK members and some SolarWinds staff into a room and got them to interact with each other in real life? It seemed like a success. Like all scientists, we expanded on our hypothesis and tested it again.
This little experiment became the SolarWinds User Group, or SWUG. In 2016, we traveled to nine locations around these United States doing the same experiment. For a period of a half a day, we got everyone together and spoke with them about monitoring things better with SolarWinds. And what’s the purpose of having excellent monitoring? Finding the root cause quickly, helping you diagnose issues rapidly, which is key to giving you your weekends back.
Taking our cue from the scientific method, we took our results, analyzed what we found, and determined the next steps for our experimentation. In 2017, we moved from half-days to full days and extended the reach—both in scope and in locations. We traveled all over the world, meeting people who ranged in title from monitoring professionals, to network engineers, to systems administrators, to security professionals, and more. Building relationships among the community has been my favorite part of being with SolarWinds. Meeting more people and hearing your stories has been a highlight of my career.
In 2018, we scaled up once again and visited eleven cities around the world, hosting SWUGs to get to know the community better. One thing that we realized in our whirlwind tour over the last four years was that high technology people actually like talking to other high technology people. The THWACK community is more than just an online community, it is a community in the truest sense—made up of individuals, each with their own experiences, skills, and knowledge.
In previous years, we’ve heard that we weren’t talking enough about this or we skipped that other thing entirely. Much of that was because we didn’t have the time. The next logical step was to get more of the community together and tailor the content to your requests.
It’s now 2019, and it’s time to take the results of the last four years, refine our hypothesis, and test it again. This year, we will be moving to two days of content with more people, more sessions, more interaction, and more—basically—everything.
SWUG 2019 by the numbers:
Register now to join me and other SolarWinds professionals in a city near you for a great 2019.
We are excited to announce that once again, SolarWinds® Log & Event Manager™ is being considered for a Gartner Peer Insights Annual Customers’ Choice Award! Gartner will recognize 7 software vendors who have more than 50 total reviews in the last 12 months with an average review rating higher than 4.2 stars.
We need your help!
If you’re a user of Log & Event Manager now and or in the past, and would like to help us win, please consider writing a review today - it won’t take more than 2 minutes! The deadline is quickly approaching so reviews must be submitted by March 31, 2019.
The process is simple. Here’s what we need you to do:
That’s it! As a thank you, we will deposit 750 THWACK points into your account.
Thank you for being a LEM customer!
The Log & Event Manager Team