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








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!