I'm Rick Schroeder, a Network Analyst for the last 28 years for public education and health care systems. I support a network that spans across three north-central states and contains 100 hospitals, clinics, and business sites. I've been a member of THWACK® since 2004 and have attended most THWACKcamp events since.


THWACKcamp is a great resource for finding things that help me have better days—things that leverage new powers and features (or things I’d missed) in SolarWinds products. I enjoy sharing ideas during THWACKcamp in the chat window, and I get a kick out of the great camaraderie and notions from other attendees in that same chat window during each session. And who doesn’t enjoy getting points for attending? Points that can go towards a swell THWACK Pack or a Bluetooth speaker or any number of other fun toys!


Some of the favorite moments have been "Aha!" instances during the presentations. The times when I learned something new, a different way of getting a job done, or something that helped me solve problems or improve my efficiency. And of course, the other chat window participants and their fun comments are great entertainment, too!


I'm most looking forward to "There's an API for That:  Introduction to the SolarWinds Orion SDK." We need more out of our dollars spent on monitoring, and this session might just include the information I need to better automate actions from alerts, reduce alert noise, and talk about how I can tie more things into SolarWinds products via the API. One example of the latter:

This year I was able to get our in-house CMDB tied into the Orion® SQL Database so it can mine UDT information to let our support staff know where a device is located on the network—via the CMDB. It gives Help Desk staff a good idea of which users and devices will be affected by any given hardware outage, since they can tie dependencies of end devices directly to the switches and routers and circuits those devices rely on. This information is great during an outage, but even more so when planning scheduled maintenance. Now we know who to contact when scheduling a maintenance window, and who's impacted by the failure of any given piece of network infrastructure.


Even better, I’ll likely have more knowledge of which Select and Call and Query options are valid, plus resources to help me learn the syntax required to create a valid SDK query. Maybe I’ll even learn how to tie SDK into an API that can be leveraged with my other non-SolarWinds products. With the THWACKcamp experts, you just KNOW something great is just around the corner that will address these needs!


Maybe best of all, THWACKcamp lets me attend remotely without any cost higher than an hour of my time per session. No need to try to get approval from the finance department for travel expenses and hotel and meals—it’s right in my cube! Who could ask for better convenience and lower-cost knowledge share than that?


It doesn’t take much to persuade me to tune in for the events. Patrick Hubbard’s always in a good mood and consistently teaches me something new and useful. Joe Kim is going to share information in the Day 1 Keynote, and he’s the Executive Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technical Officer for SolarWinds. What cool stuff will HE share that I can use to help make my network team shine?



The great knowledge shared, and the friendly and fun environment, are worth registering to see. Have you registered yet? If not, join me in attending the event October 17-18, 2018. Register now.