We're making things a bit more interesting this month and it's going to take a little more dedication than usual to complete (it is called a "mission" after all, right?).  I've been working with you all for the past 2 years and if there's anything I've figured out, it's that we have some of the most dedicated users and when faced with a challenge, you accept.  Be sure to pay attention to the rules, they'll save you this month.


August's Mission

Think you've mastered your virtual environment?  Show us what you know!  Complete the What's Your Virtual IQ quiz.  Correctly answer all 22 questions over the course of 22 (business) days and be entered to win a Xbox 360 Limited Edition Kinect Star Wars Bundle!  Points are being awarded at 100pts/question.  We're also going to be putting out 1 bonus question per week which will earn you 200 points and 1 extra entry to the drawing for each bonus question correctly answered.  Let me break it down a little more.


Mission Rules

  1. Each "daily" question will open at midnight on the corresponding day and remain open until the end of the mission on August 30.
    • Earn 100 points for each correctly answered "daily" question.
    • All 22 questions must be answered correctly in order to receive 1 entry in the drawing for the grand prize.
  2. Each "bonus" question will open at midnight on a randomly selected day of the week and will only be open for 24 hours.
    • For each correctly answered "bonus" question, you will earn 200 points.  There will be 1 bonus question per week starting the week of August 5th.
    • There are 2 ways to catch when bonus questions are available.  Check this blog post every day to make sure you aren't missing out (which hopefully you'll be doing anyway to answer the "daily" question) and/or follow our thwack Twitter handle for updates.
    • VERY IMPORTANT - Participants who correctly answer all 22 "daily" questions will receive 1 additional entry in the drawing for each bonus question answered correctly.
  3. As always, only your first attempt at each question will be counted.
  4. Points/badges/entries will be added and accounted for at the end of the mission.  If you have an inquiry as to your progress throughout the month, feel free to reach out to me and I'll look into the request. 
  5. The grand prize drawing will be held on September 3rd (Terms & Conditions).


So, all-in-all, you can earn up to 3,000 thwack points and put your name in the drawing up to 5 times to better your chances at winning.  My advice?  Make sure you're keeping tabs on when bonus questions open - that is where the time restraint lies.  Daily questions will open each business day and remain open until the end of August.  Simply pay close attention to the resources provided on each question to ensure you'll get it right the first time.  The charts below should help keep you on track.


Good luck everyone!

Daily Questions - 100 pts/question - max 2,200 points

Aug 1 - Day 1Aug 2 - Day 2
Aug 5 - Day 3Aug 6 - Day 4Aug 7 - Day 5Aug 8 - Day 6Aug 9 - Day 7
Aug 12 - Day 8Aug 13 - Day 9Aug 14 - Day 10Aug 15 - Day 11Aug 16 - Day 12
Aug 19 - Day 13Aug 20 - Day 14Aug 21 - Day 15Aug 22 - Day 16Aug 23 - Day 17
Aug 26 - Day 18Aug 27 - Day 19Aug 28 - Day 20Aug 29 - Day 21Aug 30 - Day 22


Bonus Questions - 200pts/question - max 800 points

Bonus 1Bonus 2Bonus 3Bonus 4






Questions + Answers


1.  What all elements of your virtualized infrastructure can you explore on Virtualization Manager’s Environment Map functionality?

(multiple answer selection – 4 answers)

  1. VMs
  2. Hosts
  3. Datastores
  4. Network devices
  5. Clusters
  6. Servers

Video: http://www.solarwinds.com/resources/videos/find-virtual-resource-contention-with-mapping.html




2.  How is SolarWinds Virtualization Manager available for installation?

    1. Virtual appliance
    2. Physical appliance
    3. Separate software

Online Admin Guide: http://www.solarwinds.com/documentation/vMan/docs/html/en-US/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm




3.  How can you identify zombie or idle VMs using SolarWinds Virtualization Manager?

    1. By finding VMs with lower CPU, Memory, Network Throughput, and Disk IOPS
    2. By finding VMs with higher CPU, Memory, Network Throughput, and Disk IOPS

Video: http://www.solarwinds.com/resources/videos/how-to-identify-zombie-vms.html




4.  What hypervisors does Virtualization Manager monitor?

(multiple answer selection – 2 answers)

  1. VMware vSphere
  2. Red Hat
  3. Citrix XenServer
  4. Microsoft Hyper-V

Feature page: http://www.solarwinds.com/virtualization-manager.aspx

5.  How is Virtualization Manager licensed?

    1. Per number of powered on VMs
    2. Per number of sockets
    3. Per number of OS instance

Feature Page: http://www.solarwinds.com/virtualization-manager/resources.aspx#ProductFAQ




6.  What “Top-N” dashboard widgets are provided in the out-of-the-box “Adminstrator: All” dashboard?

(multiple answer selection – 4 answers)

    1. Cluster CPU Utilization
    2. VM Memory Ballooning
    3. Cluster Memory Depletion
    4. VM Network I/O
    5. Host VM Capacity
    6. Datastore I/O Latency

Demo: http://virtualization.demo.solarwinds.com/




7.  What is the optimum VM kernel I/O Latency level measured on an ESX host?

    1. 0 to 1 millisecond
    2. 0 to 5 milliseconds
    3. 5-10 milliseconds

Video: http://www.solarwinds.com/resources/videos/vm-host-i-o-latency-troubleshooting.html




8.  What does Virtualization Manager allow you to monitor for the VMs accessing a storage array from the out-of-the-box “Storage” dashboard?

(multiple answer selection – 4 answers)

  1. Datastore IOPS Hour
  2. VM Memory Ballooning Latest
  3. Datastore I/O Latency
  4. VM Storage Consumed
  5. Top-N Stale VMs
  6. Cluster CPU Utilization
  7. Datastore Low Free Space

Video: http://virtualization.demo.solarwinds.com/  (Hint: Select “Storage” from the “More Dashboards” drop down menu in the upper right)




9.  How do you detect a capacity bottleneck on your virtual environment using Virtualization Manager?

(multiple answer selection – all 4 answers)

  1. High VM CPU Ready
  2. VM memory ballooning
  3. High Datastore I/O latency
  4. High disk capacity
  5. Low Datastore Disk Capacity

Video: http://www.solarwinds.com/resources/videos/how-to-identify-vm-capacity-bottlenecks.html




10.  Virtualization Manager allows you to identify what’s causing your ______ to run slow on VMs.

    1. Servers
    2. Hosts
    3. Applications

Video: http://www.solarwinds.com/resources/videos/virtualization-manager--the-silent-savior.html

11.  Which of the following is NOT one of Eric Siebert’s Top 5 Storage Enhancements from VMware & Microsoft?

    1. Storage APIs and integration
    2. Virtual Storage Appliances
    3. Storage Command Line Functions
    4. Storage load balancing
    5. Storage resource controls

Blog Post: http://vsphere-land.com/news/top-5-hypervisor-new-storage-enhancement-use-cases.html




12.  What do you gain by using VM capacity planning feature in Virtualization Manager?

(multiple answer selection – 3 answers)

  1. Visibility into when the current virtual infrastructure will run out of resources
  2. VM sprawl – idle and zombie VMs
  3. Forecast to add new VMs onto the current infrastructure
  4. VM storage snapshots
  5. Examine how new resources will increase the capacity of their virtual infrastructure
  6. VM mapping to host and cluster

Online Admin Guide: http://www.solarwinds.com/documentation/vMan/docs/html/en-US/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm



13.  Which is NOT a key new capability in the new release of Virtualization Manager 6.0?

    1. Integration with Network Performance Monitor (NPM)
    2. Integration with Server and Application Monitor for in-context  Application to Datastore visibility
    3. Integration with Log and Event Manager for log-based problem determination
    4. Improved monitoring of Hyper-V cluster shared volumes (CSVs)
    5. GUI enhancements

Video: http://www.solarwinds.com/resources/videos/virtualization-manager-guided-tour.html




14.  Within the SAM Orion Console, which is NOT a new views that Virtualization Manager provides under the “Virtualization” tab?

    1. Storage
    2. Sprawl
    3. Map
    4. Analysis
    5. Dashboards

Hint: View the SAM integration demo at http://systems.demo.solarwinds.com/ under the Virtualization tab




15.  In the Collection Schedules portion of the Virtualization Manager Confirguration Wizard, what are the 2 default collection schedules available in Virtualization Manager for monitoring a VMware environment?

    1. Performance & Mapping
    2. Configuration & Diagnosis
    3. Performance & Connections
    4. Performance & Configuration

Hint: view video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5NsYmJzfVc




16.  What key metric does Virtualization Manager show you to address VDI performance issues during boot/logon storms?

    1. VM Sprawl
    2. Storage IOPS
    3. Cluster Utilization

Solution Finder Page: http://www.solarwinds.com/solutions/vdi-troubleshooting.aspx




17.  With Virtualization Manager 6.0’s SAM and NPM integration, which new resource or link shows the applications related to a datastore in a specific datastore view, along with their status and their associated nodes?

    1. Datastore view
    2. View Performance
    3. Applications on this Datastore
    4. Datastore to Storage Manager Target
    5. View Applications

Blog: Dreams Do Come True: Virtualization Manager Integration With SAM and NPM

18.  What are two GUI or Speed Improvements in the VMan V6.0 release?

    1. Resize widgets
    2. Enable vCenter UI integration
    3. Widget URL export
    4. Improved charting
    5. One click widget delete

Blog: Dreams Do Come True: Virtualization Manager Integration With SAM and NPM




19.  With Virtualization Manager integrated into the SAM Orion console, which view shows the overall IOPs and latency of the datastore alongside the performance of each VM?

    1. IOPs view
    2. VM performance view
    3. Datastore details view
    4. Dashboard view

Video: SolarWinds Virtualization Manager and Server & Application Manager Integration

Demo: http://virtualization.demo.solarwinds.com/




20.  Which is NOT one of Eric Siebert’s Top 5 Tips for monitoring applications in a Virtual Environment

    1. Understand application and virtualization dependencies
    2. Pay attention to the user experience
    3. Leverage open source OS & application heartbeat monitoring
    4. Monitor all the layers
    5. Use the right tool for the job

Blog Post:  http://vsphere-land.com/news/top-5-tips-for-monitoring-applications-in-a-virtual-environment.html


21.  What are the common Storage I/O bottleneck causes?

(multiple answer selection – 3 answers)

  1. VM sprawl
  2. Workload variations
  3. VM memory swap
  4. Improper configurations
  5. Poorly designed storage architectures
  6. Stale VMs

White Paper: http://solarwinds-marketing.s3.amazonaws.com/solarwinds/whitepapers/VM_Whitepaper_Bottlenecks.pdf

22.  Which of the following dashboards does Virtualization Manager not have?

    1. VMware
    2. Hyper-V
    3. VM Sprawl
    4. Capacity Planning
    5. Showback
    6. Storage
    7. All of the above
    8. None of the above

Demo: http://virtualization.demo.solarwinds.