Announcements

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On the heels of the SolarWinds Service Desk announcement, we thought it was only appropriate to formally introduce a new member to the THWACK® team who is joining us from the recent Samanage acquisition: yumdarling!

 

Yum’s new role is focused primarily on Community Management of both the THWACK and ITSM communities. If you haven’t already, you’ll start seeing her name pop up all over the boards, but until then, here’s some getting-to-know-you facts about her.

 

I can’t say I’ve ever come across the name Yum before. Is there a story behind it?

 

Yes! My name means "beach" in Hebrew. I was born in Israel. When my parents moved us abroad (the first time), they had to decide how to spell my name in English. The options were Yum and Yam. Yam would have made more sense to Hebrew speakers, but thank goodness my parents both knew a little bit about English and knew that Yum would be closer to the correct sound. (Yam... could you imagine?). The name Darling... well, I married into that one.

 

How did you get into community management?

 

Well... I was always the "forum mom" even before I knew what community management was. I went to college for something completely different (ask me about bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology). I got a job out of college doing marketing for a small IT MSP, and then found out that people are actually doing community management for work! My whole life changed in an instant (or, like a year-ish) where I was in charge of a small community of IT business owners. The rest is history (or it will be one day, when I'm famous).

 

Can you tell us a little bit about why you love your job as a community manager?

 

The best thing about life is connection. The best thing about working is making a difference in someone else's day. Community lets me do both! I can meet and talk to a bunch of people and make a difference in their day (hopefully an awesome difference).

 

I’ve heard you speak in several tongues. How many languages do you know and actively practice?

 

I love languages! Hebrew, English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic are my best languages. I'm actively learning Chinese, Japanese, and ASL. I've got a couple more that I can have get by with if I have to (and understand what people are saying if they feel the need to talk about me) and I've attempted to learn French. Maybe I'll go back to it one day, who knows?

 

What are you most excited about joining and supporting the THWACK community?

 

I have to pick one thing?! I love how active this community is. There is so much going on at all times and so many people to chat with... I can't wait!

 

What are some hobbies you enjoy?

 

Oh man, so many. I love reading and writing, driving down long winding roads, cooking and baking for my friends, and watching movies with my family. (In the last week, my 2.5-year-old son and I have watched “Frozen” approximately 12 times.)

 

Speaking of reading – what are you reading now?

 

Overdeliver by Brian Kurtz, and I’m rereading the fourth Harry Potter book (Goblet of Fire) on the side.

 

Are you a dog, cat, or neither person?

 

Both! I have a dog and four cats at home and I used to run an animal rescue.

 

Life highlight from the past 30 days?

 

Other than "became THWACK's community manager?" I fed a giraffe and watched it eat my mom's glasses.

 

Have a question for Yum? Or just want to shed light on this “little” community thing we’ve been doing on THWACK to get her up to speed? Comment below!

 

How do you know if your voice, video, or collaboration services aren’t performing? Are you proactively monitoring or do you only find out when users start complaining?

 

We want to hear from you! 

 

Help us understand how, or even if, you are monitoring your voice, video, and collaboration services for availability and performance. If you are one of the first 50 respondents you will win a $25 Amazon gift card. Even if you don’t win, you will receive 1000 Thwack points for your response.

 

You can find the survey here.

The secret is in the data. You’re sure of it. Running the test was supposed to give you the information you need. But as the test ends, you realize…this is going to have to be done in person. You load the crash test dummies and send them in—so you can figure out if things are going as well as you think they are.

 

Numbers appear on your screen, hundreds of lines of raw data. Amazed, you reload your synthetic users into the car, laughing quietly to yourself as more and more real performance data accumulates. Slapping on a caffeine patch, you slide your chair close to your desk. Cracking your knuckles, your mission begins. What secrets will this data reveal?

 

Start the mission!



JUNE MINI 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 10 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 10 questions, which means you can earn a maximum of 1,500 points for this mission.

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

PRIZES

Weekly Prizes & Drawing Dates:
June 24th, 2019: Wireless Qi-Certified Fast Charger with Mug Warmer/Drink Cooler

July 1st, 2019: JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Portable Stereo Speaker


Grand Prize:
July 1st, 2019: Silvox Massage Chair Recliner



 

MISSION RULES

A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on June 17th, 2019. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until June 30th, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.



MISSION SHORTCUT

Complete the mission shortcut between June 17, 2019 and June 30, 2019 to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win a August Smart Lock Pro

Hit us with your best shot! Provide us one screenshot that shows a transaction that you have built in Web Performance Monitor. Use the following instruction to submit your screenshot:

 

1. Download a free trial of Web Performance Monitor.

2. Build a transaction and take a screenshot

3. Upload your screenshot for a chance to win!

DOWNLOAD FREE TRIAL  SUBMIT SCREENSHOT

WEEKLY PRIZESMONTUEWEDTHUFRIWINNERS
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by June 24th 2019 to be entered to win: Wireless Qi-Certified Fast Charger with Mug Warmer/Drink Cooler
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by June 30th 2019 to be entered to win: JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Portable Stereo Speaker

Correctly answer all 10 questions by June 30th 2019 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Silvox Massage Chair Recliner



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

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

THWACKnation - Are any of you monitoring Windows workloads in AWS? Or even just the OS? Please comment below, we have a team that would like to speak with you!

One month ago (May 7), I got up at an ungodly hour, spent about four hours in a metal tube hurtling through the air, and landed feeling tired. Getting from the airport to the hotel is all a heavy-eyed blur. However, my lethargy didn’t last long, because I was in Seattle for a free SolarWinds User Group (SWUG).

 

Hosting a SWUG frequently requires late nights and, occasionally, early mornings. Those sacrifices are small, because these events are some of the things I love most about this job. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, SWUGs are a labor of love. I won’t wax philosophical again here because I’ve already done so.

 

Some of us SWUG veterans still get a rush meeting with everyone and putting (user)names to faces. Your experiences fuel us and our desire to make great SolarWinds products. In addition, this year we went from a single-day event to a two-day event. Even though it’s two days of technical content, it’s still 100% free. And, we’ve doubled the number of conversations. For me, this was a welcome change.

 

Day 1

As the emcee, I got to kick off the festivities. I spoke about how your IT problems don’t matter, only your end users do. Yes, they may feel like a plague upon your world, but, at the end of the day, they’re the reason you have your job. This is just one of the multitude of reasons you shouldn’t lose focus.

Brandon told us about everything what’s new for systems administrators and introduced everyone to a new addition to the SolarWinds portfolio. Your environments are constantly changing and expanding, and Brandon told the crowd about all the ways SolarWinds solutions help you do your job better.

Next up was Joe, who told us all about the new releases aimed at helping the network manager. He introduced the room to the newest Network Insight and spoke about how NetFlow can be used to isolate problems on your network. If you want to talk about network traffic flow, Joe’s your man.

After a lunch break, we threw it back to a Seattle local, Nicole, who told everyone about how SolarWinds is trying to help everyone stay on top of their security and compliance with on-premises and cloud offerings from SolarWinds. Security threats are constantly morphing and changing and it’s our job to help you be best prepared for whatever lies in your future.

After Nicole’s presentation, we were off to our separate sessions. In the main auditorium, Joe took back to the stage and Kristin joined him. The two of them spoke about how User Experience (UX) and Product Management (PM) makes the sausage software at SolarWinds. Specifically, they wanted to make sure everyone knew how critical it was to have frequent input from the community, be it through UX sessions, beta participation, or early adoption of release candidates. Our goal is to make software that’s delightful to use. We can’t do so without the involvement of the community.

In another room, Rich talked about how you can make sure your IT infrastructure is compliant based on your specific needs. Just because your organization doesn’t operate in healthcare, finance, or government, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have standards. Deviation from those standards can lead to configuration drift (both on network devices and servers) and make everyone’s life more complicated when something goes awry. With his expertise, Rich showed you how to navigate those waters and how best to wrangle these issues with SolarWinds products.

In the final room, it was my turn to tell everyone why they should feel bad because their dashboards are bad. I provided a methodology for building good dashboards and introduced everyone to the people and places to find more information. I also showed an example of how to craft the excellent, yet elusive, “executive” dashboard.

And so, we all retired for dinner and drinks. Another SWUG in the books, right? Not so fast. We still have another whole day left and there was some work to do in the interim.

 

Overnight, we opened a forum for people to submit questions to the SolarWinds AMA (Ask Me Anything) for the following day, but more on that later. For most of us, we grabbed some seafood, had a drink, and did some prep work and got ready for the second day.

Day 2

To kick off the second day, Head Geek Thomas LaRock told us all about how bad job postings are and are not our own fault. The logical progression of your career has ramifications on what you think of as your job description. Think about it this way: even if your title doesn’t change, the job you do today is very different from your job last year. As you take on more responsibilities, new lines appear in your job description. That bad description might be your fault, but at least you’ll enjoy the ride.

Then I came back on stage for a tried and true session about alert tuning. I spoke a little bit about how monitoring is not the same as alerting and although monitoring everything is a good thing, alerting on everything is a very, very, very bad thing. The elements of a “good” alert can be elusive. I provided some tips and tricks on moving from alerting to good alerting.

Following me to the stage, in her first ever SWUG appearance, we had Ashelena share all the resources available to SolarWinds customers. Everyone already knows about THWACK®, but how many people knew about the Customer Success Center or Orange Matter or the SolarWinds Academy? Ashelena clued everyone into the resources we, as a company, offer our customers. Growing in your knowledge shouldn’t be a solo journey, so allow us to help.

Then it was time for the SolarWinds AMA (Ask Me Anything). Taking questions posed the night before and taking questions live in the room, the SolarWinds staff spoke about anything. Why was this thing included in that feature? Why doesn’t this thing support my device? How would you recommend doing this thing my company needs? Long story short, it was a great session and we’ll be including it in future SWUGs.

When we broke for lunch the questions didn’t stop, which is just one of the things that’s great about attending a SolarWinds User Group. You get the chance to ask the questions most important to you of the decisionmakers at SolarWinds. It’s like a big red phone directly to the top.

 

Like day 1, the second day’s afternoon was broken up for individual sessions.

 

In the main auditorium, we were once again entranced as Tom spoke about the best way to cut through the noise in your monitoring data. Is this something I should be concerned by, or is this just a small blip in the status quo? Understanding and identifying the difference can help you stop chasing the red herring.

Chris is one of our most experienced Technical Advisors and spoke in multiple sessions about how to scale your monitoring solution from a proof-of-concept install to a global monitoring solution. As your environment grows and evolves, your monitoring solution needs to scale with you. In recent years, migrating to a hybrid-cloud or adopting a cloud-first methodology are just a few of the ways environments grow. Chris has been helping customers scale up and out for years, so he was a logical pick for speaking with customers about all the details on how to best scale for their needs.

One of the highlights of the event was a presentation by THWACK MVP Liam Luther. Although camera-shy, Liam showed attendees how he got into hacking the Orion® Platform for his own fun and profit, including examples he’s made over the years. In the two weeks since the event, he hasn’t slowed down and added ways to bring even more customizations to the Orion Platform. It was such a hit, we’ll be having other THWACK MVPs proctor their own sessions at more SWUGs this year.

If you asked me the morning I left, if SWUG is worth the long hours and lack of sleep, I might have said “no.”  If you asked me the same question after greeting the first attendee, I would have laughed in your face. For me, it’s always worth it to get in touch with our customers.

 

For those of you who were able to join us at the Seattle SolarWinds User Group, thank you for attending. We had a great time meeting with everyone and look forward to speaking with you again. If you missed us in Seattle, then the good news is we’ll be traveling to San Diego for a Customer Appreciation Event at Cisco Live on June 11, New York on July 10-11, and Chicago on October 23-24. Sign up now for any of these free events and encourage your colleagues to do the same. One thing I’ve heard most often in the post-SWUG days is people wish they’d brought their coworkers with them.

 

The SolarWinds User Group is what community is all about. Collectively we’re smarter than any of us individually.

 

Now it’s time for this SWUG attendee to catch up on some sleep.

Upon glancing around the world, everything appears tranquil and peaceful. Data packets are moving quietly behind the scenes and all is well, from the hardware to the presentation. A calm permeates your landscape.

 

However, there are anomalies, seen just past the corner of your eye. A few artifacts appear on a video call. There’s a subtle shift in audio during a conversation. A hiccough in a data transfer happened one moment and was gone the next. None of these are immediate cause for alarm… or are they? The surface might appear serene, but what insights lie under the façade? Begin our mission to uncover the insights within your NetWorld.



JUNE 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:

June 10, 2019: Miposaur Robot Dino

 

June 17,  2019: Heimvision Smart Alarm Clock

 

June 24, 2019: Sphero BOLT App-Enabled Robot

 

July 1, 2019: Honeywell Home Thermostat

 

Grand Prize:

July 1, 2019: Yale Assure Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt and Amazon Cloud Cam



 

MISSION RULES

A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on June 3, 2019. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until June 30, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.



Complete the mission shortcut to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win a Vector ® Robot by Anki

The shortcut is simple and you have two choices:


Shortcut #1:
1. Upgrade to 2019.2, or download NPM or NCM

2. Take a screenshot of Network Insight™ for Palo Alto in your environment (Node details or site-to-site in NPM, Policy details in NCM)

3. Submit screenshot

Shortcut #2:

Don’t have a Palo Alto firewall? Take the alternate route.

1. Upgrade to 2019.2, or download NPM or NCM

Navigate to My Dashboards -> Home -> Orion Maps

2. Take a screenshot of a map you created or edited yourself!

3. Submit screenshot

WEEKLY PRIZESMONDAYTUESDAYWEDNESDAYTHURSDAYFRIDAYWINNERS
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by June 9, 2019 to be entered to win: Miposaur Robot Dino
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by June 16, 2019 to be entered to win: Heimvision Smart Alarm Clock
Week 3: Complete questions 11-15 by June 23, 2019 to be entered to win: Sphero BOLT App-Enabled Robot
Week 4: Complete questions 16-20 by June 30, 2019 to be entered to win: Honeywell Home Thermostat

Correctly answer all 20 questions by June 30, 2019 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Yale Assure Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt and Amazon Cloud Cam



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

 

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

 

 

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