Announcements

December 2018 Previous month Next month

Anyone who has worked in IT for more than 15 minutes – especially in decent-sized environments where there's a level of rigor and control – can tell you that upgrades are a pain in the TCP socket. Even when the upgrades themselves are easy, the process of getting them approved and completed in production is not. There's the testing (which must be done to satisfy the change control committee), the publishing of results, as well as crafting the deployment plan, validation plan, and backout plan should things go wrong. Then there’s the change control request meeting where you have to justify the upgrade to all stakeholders. And finally, the upgrade itself, often performed at a time window that would make vampires happy: 2 a.m. on a Sunday, with all work required to complete before 8 a.m. It's no wonder folks aren't eager to keep their software up to date.

 

The reality is that when I’m out at user groups (SWUGs) and working at conventions, I encounter customers who haven’t upgraded all the time. These folks are (somehow) living without the latest and greatest performance improvements, security updates, and let's not forget new features in our current stable of products. It's enough to make this old Geek weep in both pity and regret for those lost souls. And what's worse is that upgrading doesn’t cost a thing! That's right, moving to the latest version is 100%, true-blue, legal-even-let-me-say-this-eff-arr-ee-ee FREE.

 

As I was pondering this injustice, it occurred to me that, outside the gilded walls of SolarWinds HQ, it may not be as clear just how many updates we release each year, or what is contained in them. The fact is that our developers are some of the best in the world, and on top of it, our entire team keeps our fingers on the pulse of customer needs as we attend conventions, user groups (SWUGs), participate in UX sessions (you can join in here), and of course, via the "feature request" forum for each product on THWACK®. With all of that input, SolarWinds updates are rarely just a collection of bug fixes and security patches. Of course, every update DOES have those things, but there's almost always an extra nugget (or two, or more) of goodness to make it worth your while.

 

For example, on November 20, SolarWinds released new versions of Network Performance Monitor (NPM) , NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA), Network Configuration Manager (NCM), and IP Address Manager (IPAM). Along with performance improvements, security updates, and bug fixes, those versions also included:

  • Network Performance Monitor (NPM 12.4) – Support for monitoring Cisco ACI devices, as well as SAML 2.0 support.
  • NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA 4.5) – Expanded alerting on a variety of NetFlow-specific conditions such as traffic increases, decreases, or disappearances.
  • Network Configuration Manager (NCM 7.9) – Compare one device’s configuration to other devices, as well as point-in-time configurations.
  • IP Address Manager (IPAM 4.8) – Integrated management of Infoblox devices for both DHCP and DNS.
  • AppMap: Context-aware automated mapping, which shows device relationships based on the data flowing across your network Support for monitoring Kubernetes, Docker, Docker Swarm, and Mesos containers
  • Virtualization Manager (VMAN 8.3)
  • Support for VMware vSANs
  • Support for monitoring Docker, Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, and Mesos containers
  • Support for custom properties applied to VMs, hosts, datastores, and clusters
  • Storage Resource Monitor (SRM 6.7)
  • Support for Huawei storage devices
  • Support for GPT disks
  • Hardware health information collected from EMC Isilon v8 and NetApp devices
  • Application Performance Monitor (APM 1.0), which can provide deeper insight through integration with Server & Application Monitor into your custom .NET applications on Microsoft IIS.

 

But those are just a few samples of what has come out recently. The truth is that SolarWinds updated 28 different products on 13 separate days.

 

Now maybe you might argue that this update or that feature isn't compelling for you. That's fair. But hopefully you can see how these updates would be important to more than a few folks. And if you look closely not just at what these updates contain, but at the progression of improvements over the years, you'll see a pattern emerge: a pattern of SolarWinds taking releasing a new technology or technique (such as NetPath network path analysis or PerfStack performance analysis dashboard) and then incrementally improving it over the course of subsequent months, and integrating it into other tools and modules (such as when NetPath was integrated into Pingdom® website performance monitoring; or the inclusion of database, container, and log data in PerfStack,).

 

This picture becomes even more clear if you take a moment to look at the "what we're working on now" section of each product forum on THWACK.com. This is where you can see the road ahead. When combined with the historic view I just offered, it becomes a powerful testimony to the SolarWinds commitment to continued improvement and excellence for every product we produce.

 

What's my point? Hopefully by now you can see the real value that these releases have for your company, or team, and your monitoring. Value that should make the relatively small discomfort of upgrading pale by comparison.

 

If you'd like to see a comprehensive list of exactly which features and improvements were released for each product, check out this document. You can also check out the detailed release notes for each product by visiting this page in our Customer Success Center.


 

Share your most interesting IT struggles, pet peeves, day-to-day annoyances, exasperations, troubleshooting tribulations, or any other work-related stuff you’d rather not carry into the New Year, and we’ll joyfully toss the best ones into our festive, flickering holiday hearth of happiness.

 

Suggestions will be accepted through December 10th.

 

Check back on December 17th to watch our heart-warming holiday video—certain to set your IT spirit aglow.

We are excited today to launch a new certification program (GNS3 Certified Associate) for the next generation network engineer that focuses on the core skills needed today for the new era of rapidly changing, programmable, automated and intelligent networks.

 

In today's rapidly changing networking environment where billions of IoT devices are being added to the Internet every year, it is no longer enough for network engineers to simply configure network devices manually via a Command Line Interface (CLI). Network engineer skill-sets need to diversify to include network programmability and automation skills such as Ansible and Python, programmable APIs, Open Networking technologies, virtualization, Linux and support of multi-vendor environments.

 

The GNS3A program will prepare you to have the knowledge and training to:

  • Install and build virtual networks using GNS3 with knowledge of multiple vendors and protocols
  • Explain and describe GNS3 core functions and architecture
  • Identify and troubleshoot GNS3 installation and configuration issues
  • Program networks using Python network automation scripts
  • Implement OpenFlow based SDN networks within GNS3 topologies
  • Implement Docker based appliances within GNS3 topologies
  • Describe DevOps terms such as Data Formats, APIs, REST, NETCONF and others
  • Program networks using Ansible network automation scripts
  • Install and configure Linux based virtual machines and core Linux functions
  • Install, configure and troubleshoot hypervisors such as VMware Workstation, ESXi, QEMU and VirtualBox

 

Exam Details (70 questions with 80% Passing Grade)

 

Core GNS3 skills - 50%

  • Explaining GNS3 architecture
  • Explain, configure and troubleshoot GNS3 hypervisor options
  • Explain and contrast GNS3 device support

 

SDN and Network Programmability - 40%

  • Describe SDN terms and definitions
  • Describe and contrast SDN visions
  • Explain virtualization concepts such as nested virtualization, host virtualization, network NIC virtualization, network device sizing and scaling

 

Linux - 10%

  • Describe Linux distributions (Red Hat, CentOS, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, Mint)
  • Configure, verify and troubleshoot IPv6 addressing, default gateways and static routes (Ubuntu)
  • Describe file copying, moving and deleting (Ubuntu)

 

How To Train For Exam?

 

We recently launched the official GNS3 Certified Associate training program on GNS3 Academy. We are offering up a 50% discount on the training program from David Bombal. Get started here.

 

What Is the Cost?

 

The exam price will be US$129 and will expire after three years.

 

What Are GNS3 Certified Associates Saying About The Program?

 

GNS3A certifications offers well-structured curriculum and hands-on oriented. The certification proves you have the requisite knowledge in GNS3 architecture, multi-vendor networks, network automation, and programmability.

- TAK MEM, LOY, Senior Network Engineer (AT&T)

 

I've learnt a hell of a lot going through the process to gain my GNS3A certification, i went in with 15 years of Network Engineering skills. I completed David Bombal's GNS3A Certification course in the GNS3 Academy, which is full of practical hands on learning and came out with a an excellent working knowledge of all things automation. Our job as network engineers is changing, and in order to stay ahead of the rest, we need to change too, this course gives you the exposure to just about everything you need to know about where this industry is heading. Absolutely thrilled about what this certification will do for our industry.

- WARREN SULLIVAN,  Senior Network & Security Engineer (Queensland Government)

 

 

Houses United for the Holidays

 

Winter is here. IT is your watch and monitoring is your great battle. Threats live beyond the firewall. End users are out there and…hold up. Actually, we’re thinking you just skip all the toils, anguish, and revenge, and get straight to ruling your environment with a unified solution.

 

Arm yourself for a storm of slowdowns, an ambush of alerts, or even a dance with downtime—but let’s not drag this out for another season, shall we? Wield the power of an integrated solution this winter and use your alliances to help with improved performance across your networks, systems, and applications.

 

Start the mission, triumph, and make this your crowning achievement.



DECEMBER MONTHLY MISSION

Use the mission’s resources to complete the tasks and answer the questions for a chance to win!

Correctly answer each question during the week and you'll be entered for a chance to win the weekly prize.

Correctly answer all 20 questions over the course of the month and you'll be entered for a chance to win the grand prize.

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.

Want to join the mission, but not a member? Sign up FREE now!

PRIZES

Weekly Prizes & Drawing Dates:
December 10th 2018: Risk Game of Thrones

December 17th 2018: Game of Thrones Ugly Christmas Sweater & Game of Thrones Sigil Tankard

December 24th 2018: 6-Month Subscription to Game of Thrones Pop-in-a-Box

December 31st 2018: Game of Thrones King's Landing Messenger Bag

Grand Prize:
December 31st: Apple TV 4k w/ Total Mount Apple TV Mount & $100 HBO Now Gift Card



 

MISSION RULES

A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on December 3rd, 2018. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until December 30th, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.



MISSION SHORTCUTS

Complete the mission shortcut between December 3, 2018 and December 30, 2018 to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win a 1-year Culture Fly Game of Thrones Subscription & Game of Thrones Set of Leather Bound Books

The shortcut is simple:

  1. Download a free trial and/or demo of any products found here.
  2. Take a screenshot of the trial/demo or the e-mail confirmation for signing up.
  3. Submit screenshot here

DOWNLOAD TRIAL/DEMO  SUBMIT SCREENSHOT

Weekly PrizesMonTueWedThuFriWinners
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by December 9th 2018 to be entered to win: Risk Game of Thrones
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by December 16th 2018 to be entered to win: Game of Thrones Ugly Christmas Sweater & Game of Thrones Sigil Tankard
Week 3: Complete questions 11-15 by December 23rd 2018 to be entered to win: 6-Month Subscription to Game of Thrones Pop-in-a-Box
Week 4: Complete questions 16-20 by December 30th 2018 to be entered to win: Game of Thrones King's Landing Messenger Bag

Correctly answer all 20 questions by December 30th 2018 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Apple TV 4K w/ Total Mount Apple TV Mount & $100 HBO Now Gift Card



Monthly Mission Terms and Conditions: US, UK, and Canada | Germany | Australia

Mission Shortcut Terms and Conditions: US, UK, and Canada | Germany | Australia

Filter Blog

By date: By tag:

SolarWinds uses cookies on its websites to make your online experience easier and better. By using our website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies, see our cookie policy.