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We are currently looking for users of Virtualization Manager to help us gather some vital, real world information from your Vman database. This data is being used for our development team to do testing with the recommendations engine. In exchange for your help, we will send you a $25 Amazon gift card and 1,000 thwack points.  Below is a breakout of what information we are looking to capture and how to export this data.

 

What information are we looking to gather from these database tables?

  • Virtual environment topology/hierarchy (relationships between VMs and Hosts, VMs and datastores, etc.)
  • Basic information about their VMs, Hosts, Clusters, Datastores, Datacenters, VCenters (such as CPU/memory usage and assignment, storage capacity, free space, number of network interfaces, etc.)
  • Historical statistics over last 30 days for VMs, Hosts, Clusters, Datastores
  • Data may contain IP addresses, MAC addresses and hostnames of VMs and Hosts in the environment
  • We do not collect any node data
  • We do not collect any credentials, passwords and/or certificates

 

How can I grab this data?

  1. Save the file to the VIM installation folder (by default: c:\Program Files (x86)\SolarWinds\Orion\VIM\)
  2. Start Orion Diagnostics tool
  3. Uncheck everything except VIM Data Gatherer (not entirely necessary, but it will significantly decrease size of the output package)
  4. Click on the Start button and choose location where the output archive should be stored
  5. Once the tool is done exporting, upload the archive to <insert upload location>

 

Thank you in advance for your help! The gift card and points will be sent and applied to your thwack account within a few days of receiving your information.

Hi, we are looking for 3-5 customers who purchased Web Help Desk in the last 30 days to 3 months to participate in a feedback session on proposed changes to training resources. Sessions should run around 30 minutes. In exchange for your help, we will offer you 2000 thwack points.

 

Take our survey

Dear Network,

 

You know we have always been close; in fact, you are as much a part of me as I am you. I want you to know that the next couple years are going to be challenging for us. We’re going to face ups, downs, IoTs, SDNs and a host of other things that will make our life together even more complex. I’ll always have time for you, of course, but you might not get the same attention you’re used to.

 

Sincerely,

NetAdmin

 

As network administrators, we all write letters to our networks, right? Right!? Well, even if you’re not accustomed to these heart-to-hearts with your network, we’d like you to dig deep for us and tell us what wisdom you would offer your network as if it were your own child preparing for the year ahead, which is sure to be filled with disruption and change.

 

Please use the comments section below to share the words of advice, predictions or confessions you have for your network to ensure it’s ready to take on the brave new world in the year ahead by Friday, November 5 and we’ll give you 250 thwack points in return.

The Pain-free Way to Evaluate SolarWinds Products

 

     Believe me, I get it. More than you know. Evaluating SolarWinds products, as a current customer, can be, well, downright unpleasant. And, of course, it has to be done Saturday at midnight. Am I right?! The process doesn’t have to be as difficult as it is now, which is why I wanted to open up this conversation. The following should help you evaluate SolarWinds tools and features without pain, failures, or mishaps.

 

First, let’s go over some of the common eval issues customers have been less than stellar about in the past.

  1. There’s no downtime allowed.
    1. Risk of issue and causing monitoring downtime.
    2. Configuration wizard causes services to stop and start.
    3. Floods of alerts.
  2. Evaluations are not allowed in the production environment.
  3. Bad experience in the past with upgrades.
    1. Left behind components.
    2. Issues with adding modules.
  4. Not understanding the compatibility matrix of existing products.
    1. This causes evals to be disallowed on the existing setup.
    2. This creates issues with legacy components that you didn’t know were there.
  5. Support states that evals should not be placed on customer production environment.

 

That’s a pretty daunting list, which is exactly why I wanted to get this conversation started. As a company made by and for geeks, we owe it to our customers to listen to their concerns and help them by talking through their issues. It’s the best way for us to improve this process.

 

Okay, now I’d like to walk you through the steps that will guide you to happily evaluating our products while regaining your confidence along the way.

 

Eval on a production environment

 

  1. Back up your SolarWinds and NetFlow™ storage (if installed) databases.
    1. The core SolarWinds database is commonly called “NetPerfMon.”
  2. Know your compatibility.
    1. Check the following two locations to assist you. (Evals are latest code).
      1. Upgrade product advisor online interactive tool.
      2. Compatibility matrix chart
  3. Download and install needed evaluation products.
  4. Document.
    1. Document the version of the eval you have installed and when you installed it. It is helpful to have this documented in case any issues occur down the road after uninstalling, etc. You can use this information for any support call or ticket you may create.

 

Eval on a virtual environment

 

Imagine you have your very own SolarWinds evaluation lab. Set up a standard VM server and apply the latest and greatest evaluation portion you want to trial. You’re not messing with your production environment at this point, so there is nothing to worry about.

“Wait,” I hear you say. “I want to test with my existing database and not have to rediscover, add custom properties, etc.!”  I have an answer for you as well:

 

Eval on a virtual environment with a production database

  1. Back up your SolarWinds and NetFlow™ storage (if installed) databases.
    1. The core SolarWinds database is commonly called “NetPerfMon.”
  2. You’ll have to move your backup to a new database name and reinstate it.
  • RESTORE FILELISTONLY FROM DISK='c:\NetPerfMon.bak'
      1. note the logical names of the .mdf & .ldf from the results, then;

RESTORE DATABASE NPMEval FROM DISK='c:\NetPerfMon.bak'

WITH

MOVE 'LogicalNameForTheMDF' TO 'c:\NPMEval.mdf',

MOVE 'LogicalNameForTheLDF' TO 'c:\NPMEval_log.ldf'

 

  • To restore the backup to the new database NPMEval.
      1. Example (restores a backup of a db called 'NetPerfMon' to 'NPMEval';

RESTORE FILELISTONLY FROM DISK='e:\mssql\backup\NetPerfMon.bak'

 

>LogicalName

>--------------

>NPMEval

>NPMEval_log

 

RESTORE DATABASE NetPerfMon FROM DISK='e:\mssql\backup\NetPerfMon.bak'

WITH

MOVE 'NetPerfMon' TO 'e:\mssql\NPMEval.mdf',

MOVE 'NetPerfMon_log' TO 'e:\mssql\NPMEval_log.ldf'


3. Know your compatibility. Your database is on your pre-existing version of SolarWinds software.

    1. Check the following locations to assist you. (Evals are latest code.)
      1. Upgrade product advisor online interactive tool.
      2. Compatibility matrix chart.
      3. Proceed to follow the upgrade path to get to your needed upgraded versions.


4. Download and install your evaluation copies.

5. Run your SolarWinds configuration wizard and point to the new “NPMEval” database that was created.

6. Evaluate with all your saved settings, etc.

 

Let me know about any cool tips and tricks you may have!  I’m sure there are awesome snapshots with VMs that will come out and play, as well.  My goal is to throw some options out there to get the discussion going. Evaluating the products and discovering how they work within your environment is a great way to test upgrade times and changes. It also helps with onboarding with your team.

 

 

Happy evaluating! And, as always, thank you for your time.

 

~ Dez ~

Last week, SolarWinds announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by leading private equity technology investment firms Silver Lake Partners and Thoma Bravo, LLC.

 

Becoming a private company simply means that we can better fulfill our mission to provide superior, purpose-built products that make IT and DevOps professionals’ jobs easier across the globe. This transaction is good for SolarWinds, our customers, employees and partners because we now have more freedom and flexibility to make the necessary R&D investments that allow us to extend our value in networking, storage, virtualization, database, and security.

 

SolarWinds was created by IT pros for IT pros. Our dedication to offering affordable products that are easy to use and deliver value to your business is core to who we are as a company. This commitment is what has made SolarWinds a great company since 1999, and we believe this acquisition will help us serve you even better going forward. Our pledge to you is simple:

 

  • Our network and systems engineers will continue to build and deliver products with even greater capabilities that solve your problems, are easy to use and maintain, and grow as your needs grow in all key areas of the infrastructure, from on-premises to the Cloud.
  • We will continue to offer a portfolio that disrupts the status quo -- simple to install, intuitive to use, and flexible enough to meet your needs.
  • We will continue to improve our software to give you more powerful features that are affordable and competitive.
  • We will continue to be rooted in our deep connection to the IT professionals who rely on our products to do their job every day, and to keep thousands of companies running. The thwack® community will continue to be the place to share ideas and best practices, contribute your expertise, and directly participate in our product development process.

 

With more than 150,000 customers and 1,500 employees, we are here to help you manage your IT environment with powerful and affordable hybrid IT infrastructure performance management software. There is no better time to be part of the next chapter in the SolarWinds story.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Kevin

 

 

 

Additional Information and Where to Find It

In connection with the merger, SolarWinds, Inc. (the “Company”) intends to file relevant materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including a preliminary proxy statement on Schedule 14A. Promptly after filing its definitive proxy statement with the SEC, the Company will mail the definitive proxy statement and a proxy card to each stockholder entitled to vote at the special meeting relating to the merger. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF THE COMPANY ARE URGED TO READ THESE MATERIALS (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE MERGER THAT THE COMPANY WILL FILE WITH THE SEC WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANY AND THE MERGER. The definitive proxy statement, the preliminary proxy statement and other relevant materials in connection with the merger (when they become available), and any other documents filed by the Company with the SEC, may be obtained free of charge at the SEC’s website (http://www.sec.gov) or at the Company’s website www.solarwinds.com or by writing to the Company’s Secretary at 7171 Southwest Parkway, Building 400, Austin, TX 78735.

 

Participants in the Solicitation

The Company and its directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the Company’s stockholders with respect to the merger. Information about the Company’s directors and executive officers and their ownership of the Company’s common stock is set forth in the proxy statement on Schedule 14A filed with the SEC on April 3, 2015 and the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014. Information regarding the identity of the potential participants, and their direct or indirect interests in the merger, by security holdings or otherwise, will be set forth in the proxy statement and other materials to be filed with SEC in connection with the merger.

 

Forward-looking statements

This communication, and the documents to which the Company refers you in this communication, contains not only historical information, but also forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements represent the Company’s expectations or beliefs concerning future events, including the timing of the transaction and other information relating to the transaction. Forward-looking statements include information concerning possible or assumed future results of operations of the Company, the expected completion and timing of the transaction and other information relating to the transaction. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “forecasts,” “should,” “estimates,” “contemplate,” “future,” “goal,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “projection,” “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “assuming” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. You should read statements that contain these words carefully. They discuss the Company’s future expectations or state other forward-looking information and may involve known and unknown risks over which the Company has no control. Those risks include, (I) the risk that the transaction may not be completed in a timely manner or at all, which may adversely affect the Company’s business and the price of the common stock of the Company, (ii) the failure to satisfy of the conditions to the consummation of the transaction, including the adoption of the merger agreement by the stockholders of the Company and the receipt of regulatory approvals from various domestic and foreign governmental entities (including any conditions, limitations or restrictions placed on these approvals) and the risk that one or more governmental entities may deny approval, (iii) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give  rise to the termination of the merger agreement, (iv) the risk that the definitive merger agreement may be terminated in circumstances that require the Company to pay a termination fee and/or reimbursement of their expenses; (v) risks regarding the failure to obtain the necessary financing to complete the merger, (vi) the effect of the announcement or pendency of the transaction on the Company’s business relationships, operating results and business generally, (vii) risks that the proposed transaction disrupts current plans and operations, (viii) risks related to diverting management’s attention from the Company’s ongoing business operations, and (ix) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against the Company related to the merger agreement or the transaction. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this communication or the date of any document incorporated by reference in this document. Further risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those matters expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements are described in the Company’s SEC reports, including but not limited to the risks described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended December 31, 2014 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarters ended March 31, 2015 and June 30, 2015. Except as required by applicable law or regulation, the Company does not undertake to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.

We have been paying close attention to the feature requests submitted in the thwack Community, and we want you to know that we hear you! So guess what??? We will be deploying a new Global Navigation tonight that will encompass a couple of the Feature Requests you've submitted to us.

 

For example, you asked us for an easier way to find SolarWinds Lab. You also asked us to provide navigation tabs for some of our unadvertised areas, and while we couldn't add all of them (because, let's face it, our navigation would be miles long at that point), we have brought back some areas we have heard you mention!

 

We are working on our 2016 roadmap and there are many of the Feature Requests that are being discussed and prioritized, so please keep submitting your ideas! They are so incredibly beneficial, and we greatly appreciate the feedback (good or bad)!

 

Here is a sneak peak of the new global navigation. We will send out a system announcement shortly informing you of the time we plan to start this update tonight, but in the meantime, feel free to leave us your comments or feedback on the below updates!

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 10.32.49 AM.png

The drop down for the Product Forums will remain the same, but we added a new tab to encompass many of the Blogs and Groups you have missed!

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 11.16.14 AM.png

*Note: thwack Talk has been renamed to Community Conversations to make it easier for our new members to know what this forum is all about.

 

We hope you are as excited about these changes as the thwack Community Team, and we hope this will help you find what you want more easily in our community!

Today, many objects in Orion have a status, and Orion has different kinds of statuses. We’re kicking around the idea of streamlining status so that you can use status to determine one thing:  How concerned should I be about this object?


We’d like to hear your thoughts on statuses. Please click here to take our 10 minute survey, and you'll get in return 250 thwack points.


The survey closes on November 3rd.

 

TAKE OUR SURVEY!

10.14.2015- UPDATE: ISSUE HAS BEEN RESOLVED. If you have any issues uploading your scripts, templates, reports, etc. to the Content Exchange from the product, please don't hesitate to DM me.

 

If you are attempting to upload files to the Content Exchange from a SolarWinds product, you will encounter a 500 error. We had some of our servers upgraded over the weekend (October 10-11), and we ran into a few hiccups. We are diligently working on getting this resolved, and I will post an update as soon as we are back online. In the meantime, you can upload your files directly to the Content Exchange within thwack and should not run into any problems. We apologize for the inconvenience; if you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly.

 

Thanks,

Rachel Morrill

The SolarWinds UX (User Experience) team is interested in learning more about other tools you use in addition to/to supplement SolarWinds. Do you use other monitoring products in addition to SolarWinds? We want to see how you use those and understand use cases!  Do you use other IT products you wish integrated better with SolarWinds? We want to see that, too! Please comment below or email Kellie Mecham directly at kellie.mecham@solarwinds.com for more details.

This month we’re counting on you, the guardians of security.  Each day we'll release a new question focusing on SolarWinds SIEM: Log & Event Manager and it's your job to get out there and take down all the nasty IT threats.

 

October Mission

Calling all threat hunters! Do you think you have what it takes? Grab your gear, it’s threat hunting season! Join this month’s mission to win 1 of 5 LTD Edition Xbox One!  Make it through the entire mission and you could also win a Samsung 40" 4K TV!

 

Mission Rules

  1. A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on October 5.
  2. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until November 1 @ 11:59pm CDT. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.
  3. Questions are a mixture of multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank.
    • Multiple choice - Only your first attempt counts. Double check your answers!
    • Fill-in-the-blank - If you answer correctly, the page will take you on to enter your thwack username. If you answer incorrectly, the page will simply refresh for you to try again.
  4. Correctly answer all 5 questions within a given week and be entered to win a Xbox One Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition console!
    • Week 1 - Drawing on October 12
    • Week 2 - Drawing on October 19
    • Week 3 - Drawing on October 26
    • Week 4 - Drawing on November 2
  5. Correctly answer all 20 questions over the course of the month to be entered to win our grand prize: Samsung 40" 4k TV + Xbox One Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition console!
    • Grand Prize - Drawing on November 2
  6. 150 points are being awarded for each correctly answered question.  There are 20 questions which means you can earn a maximum of 3,000 points for this mission.
    • Points/badges will be added to profiles once the mission has closed.

1509_thwack_October-mission_851x315.png

All questions open at 12AM CDT on their respective day.

Once a question has opened it will remain open until November 1st @ 11:59PM CDT.


Weekly Prizes

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Week 1: Xbox One Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition

Complete questions 1-5 by October 11 to be entered to win

Oct 5 - Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Question 4

Question 5

Week 2: Xbox One Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition

Complete questions 6-10 by October 18 to be entered to win

Oct 12 - Question 6

Question 7

Question 8

Question 9

Question 10

Week 3: Xbox One Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition

Complete questions 11 - 15 by October 25 to be entered to win

Oct 19 - Question 11

Question 12

Question 13

Question 14

Question 15

Week 4: Xbox One Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition

Complete questions 15 - 20 by November 1 to be entered to win

Oct 26 - Question 16

Question 17

Question 18

Question 19

Question 20

Correctly answer all 20 questions before November 1 @ 11:59PM CDT to be entered to win the GRAND PRIZE!

SAMSUNG 40" 4K TV + XBOX ONE HALO 5: GUARDIANS LIMITED EDITION

I was working in the data center, late one night

When my eyes beheld an eerie sight

For my SIEM began to screech

And suddenly there was a breach…

 

Ok, ok—that was a bit cheesy. But hey, it’s October, which means two things:

 

  1. It’s Cyber Security Awareness Month
  2. It’s almost Halloween

 

So how could we not take advantage of the opportunity for a little SolarWinds-style “Monster Mash”? You know, one thing security incidents have in common with the “Monster Mash” is that they both certainly catch on in a flash (more top-grade cheddar!).

 

But seriously, what better time of year than spooky ‘ol October to focus on cyber security? After all, security incidents have a tendency to create real-life nightmares. And so, in honor of both Cyber Security Awareness Month and Halloween, we’d like to hear your craziest, scariest security tales from the crypt…err data center.

 

Using the comments section below, please share your spookiest IT security stories—big or small, truly scary or a little funny—and how you were able to get out of the nightmare alive, or at least what lessons you learned.

 

Share your thoughts with us by October 16, and we’ll give you 250 thwack points (sorry, no candy).

The cloud needs no introduction. It’s perhaps one of, if not the most, pervasive topics in IT today, and the pace of adoption of cloud-based technologies is rapidly increasing. However, in almost all environments, there are workloads that have and will most likely remain on-premises for the foreseeable future. This reality has become known as hybrid IT: migrating some infrastructure to the cloud, while continuing to maintain some critical services on site.

 

This journey towards hybrid IT is changing the face of the IT profession. IT professionals in the hybrid IT era must transcend traditional roles, possessing not only deep understanding of enterprise networks, data centers and application delivery, but also the ability to manage infrastructures, integrate cloud services and ensure quality-of-service that meet business performance needs for any given service delivered via a cloud provider.

 

We’d like to learn more about your perspective on and experiences with hybrid IT thus far. Please click here to take our short two to three minute survey.

 

The survey closes on October 18. Take it before then and receive 250 thwack points.

 

TAKE OUR SURVEY!

We are working to improve the onboarding process for NPM and SAM. As such, we are looking for real world examples of every-day practical ways our customers can use custom properties. We would like your real world examples of using custom properties to:

  • Set up alerts
  • Customize reports
  • Customize views

 

Please describe how you use custom properties and add a screenshot of how you are using custom properties in reports, alerts or views (a picture is worth 1000 words). As a thank you, we’ll get you 500 thwack points.

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