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“I told you to get off the computer and take out the trash!”

 

For some of us, that seemed our mom’s favorite catchphrase. But no matter how many times we stayed up past our bedtimes or slacked on our chores because we couldn’t pull ourselves away from our monitors, our mothers were always there for us. Even if our Counter-Strike and StarCraft matches ran up the dial-up bill.

 

If you think about it, most of us probably wouldn’t be the IT pros we are today without our moms. After all, who else would have instilled in us the importance of waiting our turn, which, of course, today helps us properly manage help desk tickets? And who would have taught us that, “Patience is a virtue”? Is that life lesson anywhere more important than in IT? OK, probably so, but it’s still really valuable when it comes to dealing with the issues we do every day, whether they be technology or ID10T-related. Maybe even more than a few of us wouldn’t even be in IT if not for the wisdom, encouragement and support we got from our mothers.

 

Let’s face it, moms are pretty great.

 

So, with Mother’s Day fast approaching, we’d like to hear from you about how your mom helped you on your journey to becoming the IT pro you are today. Were you her right hand, teaching her everything from using email to programming the VCR? Was she a tech early adopter who jump started you into the Internet Age? Maybe it’s all about the good genes you got from your dear old mom?

 

Use the comments section below to tell us the most important thing your mom did for you to help you on your path to becoming an IT pro by Monday, May 4, and we’ll be sure to give you 250 thwack points to say thanks.

 

Oh, and be sure to take some time on May 10 to say thanks to your mom for everything she’s done for you. And for any of you who are moms, happy Mother’s Day from SolarWinds!

Do you use the Customer Portal? If so, the User Experience team needs your help to make the portal easier to use! Right now, our team is looking at ways to reorganize things so that it's easier for you to find what you need. Unfortunately, we don't have a magical sorting hat to do this work for us (unlike some famous wizards), and that's where you come in.

 

We've created a short card sorting exercise that will allow us to get everyone's input. Not familiar with card sorting? It's a quick, easy, and fun way to help us understand how you think about the Customer Portal. Take a look at the example below - this card sort is pretty simple, but we're curious to see how you would respond to ours.

 

example sort.png

 

Of course, you'll also receive 500 thwack points for your response!* Give us your feedback using the link below and use your new points in the thwack store, where you can buy t-shirts, caps, and other SolarWinds swag.

 

Click here to start the card sort!

 

*Points will be awarded once the survey has closed.

Whew... It's already April folks. It had me thinking about just how long we've been running monthly missions on thwack.  Quick history lesson, the first thwack monthly mission kicked off in January 2013 and we've had once every month since.  That's a total of 28 missions (if you include this month) and somehow we've yet to cover one of SolarWinds oldest and most widely used products.  It hit me like a wall of bricks during the planning phase of this mission when I realized we've never covered SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (and the crowd goes wild). So here it is... I now present you with this month's mission, Configure This.

 

April Mission

This month we're shaking things up and partnering with the GNS3 Jungle community for the April mission.  If you haven't heard of them yet, you will soon.  The GNS3 Jungle was launched a mere 8 months ago, has a community of more than 200k IT pros, and offers a free solution that can eliminate expensive physical hardware by utilizing their network emulator/virtual lab.  So, how does this relate to SolarWinds NCM?  Glad you asked.  We have integrated GNS3 and NCM so that you have the ability to quickly setup your virtual network and utilize the compliance reports in NCM to ensure your network is secured, without the expensive hardware.  We've split this mission into two parts.  The first part will focus on best practices and tips & tricks to use with NCM.  For the second part, we want you to put NCM to the test within the GNS3 software and show us the results.  Pay attention to the rules below, there are some HUGE prizes hanging in the balance!

 

Mission Rules:

  • Mission Part 1 - April 6 through April 19
    1. A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on April 6th.
    2. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until April 19th.
    3. Correctly answer a daily question and you will be entered to win a 6-month subscription to Loot Crate!
      • There will a total of 10 winners since there are 10 daily questions.
      • Daily drawings will happen each day (exception on the weekends). See example schedule below.
    4. Correctly answer all 10 daily questions before April 19th and you will be entered to win an Apple MacBook Pro!
      • Grand prize drawing will take place on April 20th.
    5. 300 thwack points will be awarded for each correctly answered question.
      • Points and the mission badge will be applied to profiles once the mission has closed.
  • Mission Part 2 - April 20 through May 1
    1. This part of the mission will be hosted in the GNS3 Jungle. We want you to put NCM to the test within the GNS3 software and show us the results. To help you on your way we have developed a step-by-step integration guide.
      • Step I: If you haven't done so already make sure to download the latest version of GNS3. Click Here.
      • Step II: Follow the steps in the Solarwinds' NCM / GNS3 Integration Guide. We have added a configuration file as an attachment to the integration guide to make the process easy to spin up the virtual network. Feel free to use the template topology or build your own virtual network. Note: A requirement as part of this step is that you must download a FREE trial of the Solarwinds NCM Tool if you do not already own the product.
      • Step III: Once you have the virtual network setup in GNS3 and NCM integrated + run a compliance report within NCM to show that the network is secure to best practices.
      • Step IV: Submit a screenshot of BOTH the topology (within GNS3) and the Solarwinds NCM compliance report here. Note: thwack Users will be required to create a separate GNS3 Jungle user account in order to participate in Part 2 of the mission.

          2.   Everyone who submits both sets of screenshots before May 1st, 2015 will be entered to win one of three 2-Year Ultimate All-Access Passes from INE (Valued at $5000).

 

Good luck everyone!

1503_Thwack_Mission_banner_900x300.pngApril Mission Schedule

 

Prizes

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Mission Part 1:


Daily Prize: 6-month subscription to Loot Crate

April 6 - Q1

Grand Prize: Apple MacBook Pro

April 13 - Q6

Mission Part 2:


Grand Prize: One of three 2-Year Ultimate All-Access Pass from INE

April 20 - May 1

Put NCM to the test within the GNS3 software and show us the results. Submit both screenshots on the GNS3 Jungle before May 1st to be entered to win!

As SolarWinds grows, so do our partners! And this year we have decided it is time to officially recognize all of the hard work that our partners put into connecting IT pros everywhere with the SolarWinds products they need. With this in mind, we are excited to announce the launch of our first ever SolarWinds (Commercial/State, Local & Education) Partner of the Year award! This award will be presented to one partner every year as a recognition of their success with SolarWinds and for the inaugural award we looked for the partner who exhibited superior performance in 2014.

 

Our 2014 winner is SHI!

 

SHI did a stellar job expanding SolarWinds channel business through collaborative marketing and strong interaction with our internal team. They have been a pleasure to work with and are constantly looking to establish themselves as a trusted advisor for their customers and all IT pros.

 

Congratulations, SHI! Thank you for your continued commitment to SolarWinds and we are excited to see what you will do in 2015.

 

SHI.jpg

 

The SolarWinds Partner of the Year award is based on the following criteria:

  • Business Growth – Finding new business and routinely connecting with the Channel team on opportunities
  • Partner Enablement – Participating in SolarWinds monthly partner trainings
  • Partner Agility – Cooperatively working with SolarWinds inside channel sales model
  • Partner Commitment – Striving to be the customer’s trusted advisor on IT Management with SolarWinds product offerings


*Only SolarWinds Commercial, State, Local and Education Partners that continually participate in our Channel programs are eligible for this particular award.

 

 

Javier Molina  |  Director of Sales, Channel | SolarWinds

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