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131 Posts authored by: DanielleH Administrator

First off, I'd like to personally welcome you to THWACK.  I'll start off with a brief introduction of who we are then we'll jump right in.

 

Maybe you've heard rumblings of thwack or perhaps this is your first time hearing of us.  Whichever the case may be, I'm sure there is one question that stands out in your mind; What is thwack and why does it benefit me?    Simply put, THWACK connects you with more than 130,000 community members who have contributed to help us make superior products, provide educational IT content, and most importantly, help IT professionals do their jobs better.  Here we put you in direct contact with the people who manage and develop our products, here is where you have a say in the direction of our products, and here is where you get support and answers on the fly without having to pick up the phone.  Crazy, huh?  A company that actually listens to their customers.  And you're just now getting here!  Without further ado, allow me to show you what you've been missing.

 

With almost 10 years of content, thwack can appear daunting to a first-comer.  To ease the learning curve, we're going quickly to guide you through some of the most important pieces of the site.  Along the way you'll earn  points and a bonus 500 points for completing the mission.  You do not need to complete these tasks in one sitting.  Feel free to come back at your convenience.

 

Have a customer portal account? Link your THWACK & Customer portal accounts to earn an additional 2,000 THWACK points! Plus you'll get great benefits like seeing the products you own on your THWACK profile, see your renewal dates, renew licenses, open support tickets, review existing support tickets, & gain more visibility and access to beta's for the products you own.

 

 

Task 1 - How do you create an account?

No, we won't spam your inbox or add you to any marketing list.  Having an account simply allows you to contribute and take advantage of all the features on the site.  This should take less than a 5 minutes of your time.  To create an account, find the "Register" link on the top right hand corner of your screen. If you already have a THWACK account, you do not need to create another one.  You will need to be logged in in order to complete the rest of the tasks.

 

Task 2 - Where can you find content to extend your product's capabilities?

Here on thwack, you'll find thousands of downloadable templates, reports, scripts and more that allow you to customize and extend our products.  Some content in this area is created by SW employees and the rest has been created and shared with the community by our members.

 

For this task, navigate to the Content Exchange.  To get there, you first need to go to the Product Forums button in the top navigation bar, choose the product that you're familiar with, and then feel free to pick a section of content that suits your needs.  From there, browse through the documents until you find something that sparks interest.

 

 

Next, download the template, report, script, etc. that you've chosen.  You can then plug this item into the product which ultimately extends the functionality that is provided out-of-the-box (plugging the downloaded item into the product is not required to complete this task - however, we do recommend you check it out when time becomes available).

 

Task 3 - How can you influence the direction of a product?

As mentioned earlier, we greatly value customer input and will gladly review requests for new features.  Here on thwack you can submit an idea or feature request for future implementation.  Product Managers pay special attention to this concept of "ideation" and to gauge interest, we allow community members to vote on feature requests.  Let me quickly explain how the process works before I give you the task at hand.  There are 5 stages in which an idea can be slated for.  When a user creates an idea, it is placed into the "Recent" stage.  The Product Manager then reviews the request and will move the idea into 1 of 3 stages - Open for Voting, What We're Working On, or Closed.  If an idea is placed in the "Closed" stage, it means the request is either unfeasible or doesn't fit with the direction of the product.  The last stage is "Implemented" which means the feature has been added to the product.  You can read more here about the recent features that were added to our products because of the crowd-sourcing feature on thwack.

 

For this task, navigate to a product feature request forum.  Choose a product you are familiar with from the Product Forums in the top navigation bar, and then click on Feature requests.

 

 

You'll then be dropped on a page which showcases the "top ideas" for that product (choose "show all" at the bottom of the list to see all ideas).  Find a feature request that would bring value to your environment and vote for it.

 

Task 4 - Where can you get support while troubleshooting an issue?

The product forums are where you will get most of your support, from either other community members or a SolarWinds employee.  There are developers, product managers, community staff, and others that are here to answer your questions and help resolve issues.

 

For this task, navigate to a product forum.  There is a shortcut to this area at the top of your screen, look for the tab that reads "Product Forums".  Choose a product you are familiar within the drop-down menu, then click on Content.  There is an exceptional amount of content in most of our forums so please take a minute to click around.

 

Find a discussion thread that sparks your interest and "like" it.

 

Task 5 - Where can you find product roadmaps?

You can find the "What We're Working On" in the global navigation, look for "Blogs & Groups", then "Announcements", and you'll see it in the Featured Content.  This post stands as a guide to what the teams are working on for each of our products. Once you've found the guide, bookmark it. 

 

Bookmarking a piece of content will place it in your bookmarks.

 

Task 6 - Where can you read blogs about SolarWinds products and other general IT topics?

We have several blogging areas here on thwack, 6 to be exact.  For this task, let's focus on 2 specific blogging areas: Product Blog and Geek Speak.

 

First, navigate to the Product Blog.  You can get there by clicking on Product Forums in the top navigation bar, pick a product, and then go to Product Blog. Some of these blogs may look familiar because they're actually streamed into our products, but I'll bet you didn't know they came from thwack.  Click on a blog that interests you and take a minute to read.  Make sure you click on the blog subject line for the action to be recorded.

 

Second, navigate to Geek Speak. To get there, go to the Geek Speak featured content further down on the homepage.

Choose a blog that interests you and take a minute to read.  Make sure you click on the blog subject line for the action to be recorded.

 

Extra - How to track your progress

 

You want to see which tasks you still need to complete? No problem! Go to your Profile - More - Reputation - Missions, and just look for this particular mission. Once you click on the wheel in right corner, you'll be able to track your progress, based on the bars displayed in the same order as listed in the onboarding mission. Depending on the completion of a certain task, you'll see either a blue bar (complete) or a white bar (to complete).

 

That's it!  You've completed your first mission and earned 1500 points to be used in the thwack Store! Below are a few other good resources to check out.  If you have questions on anything thwack, feel free to reach out to myself or wabbott .

Attention everyone who lives in the U.K. or Germany - SolarWinds is bringing a SolarWinds User Group (SWUG) your way soon! We had an amazing time with those of you who attended the London SWUG last year and we're coming back in full-force later this year. SWUG is also looking to make a stop in Germany for our first time.

 

Registration for London is now open: November 14, 2017 - London, U.K. SWUG

 

Registration for Berlin is now open: November 10, 2017 - Berlin, DE SWUG

SolarWinds is developing an interactive network monitoring assessment tool that is intended to assist IT pros in assessing the state of their IT monitoring as compared to peers in their industry.  Your participation in this short survey will help us provide a better experience for users.

 

In exchange for your participation you will receive 500 THWACK points.

 

Thanks in advance for your participation!

Take Survey Now

DanielleH

Who Do You Trust?

Posted by DanielleH Administrator Apr 28, 2017

They say trust is like a vase: you can fix it once broken, but it’s never quite the same. According to this year’s SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization, 95 percent of North American organizations have migrated critical applications and IT infrastructure to the cloud over the past 12 months—maybe you have, too. This means the ability to trust our cloud service providers (CSPs) is needed now more than ever before. However, the same report shows that the majority (62 percent) of IT professionals who took the survey only “somewhat trust” their CSP, and nearly one-fifth say they  “somewhat distrust” or “do not trust” their CSP at all. What does this say about the future of the IT professional and CSP relationship?

 

Trust is a fickle thing, but if you think about it, we regularly trust dozens of people in our lives who, more often than not, amount to near strangers: taxi drivers to deliver us to our destinations safely; doctors to keep us healthy (or tell us when we’re not); local meteorologists because how else would we prepare for the day ahead?; hardware and software vendors to deliver quality infrastructure that our businesses run on; and even our local barista to keep us caffeinated. You get the idea.

 

So, we want to know: Who do you trust in your life?

 

In exchange for 200 THWACK points, tell us about the degree to which you trust various people in your life (consider the above examples). Submit your thoughts and comments using the format below here by Wednesday, May 10 to make sure you receive your THWACK points. And please feel free to submit more than one.

 

I (choose one: completely trust, somewhat trust, somewhat distrust, do not trust) my __________ because __________.

The SolarWinds Security Team is seeking the assistance of five Log & Event Manager (LEM) Customers to participate in an online survey by Gartner regarding their experience with LEM. Participants must be active users of LEM and knowledgeable regarding the SIEM marketplace. Participants must also commit to issuing a response to Gartner within 3 weeks of the first receipt of the survey or by any other deadline specified by Gartner.

 

If you are a willing and able to assist with this request, please comment below and I will reach out directly.  2,500 points to everyone who signs up to participate!

 

Information needed:

Company Name

First Name

Last Name

Title

Email

Phone

Time Zone

Country

 

Thanks in advance for your support of LEM and SolarWinds.

Do you have a favorite SolarWinds product? Is there one that you just can’t live without? Well, we hope so, because that means we’re delivering the value we set out to create every day.

 

It also means that you’re probably a great candidate to participate in Network World’s upcoming 2017 “Fave Raves,” an annual roundup of the best IT products as nominated by IT pros themselves. We’d be ever so grateful if you would take five minutes or so to send the following information about your favorite SolarWinds product to Ann Bednarz at Network World (abednarz@nww.com) with pr@solarwinds.com on BCC no later than Thursday, March 16 23 (deadline extended!).

 

Questionnaire:

  • Please provide your name, title and employer.
  • What’s your favorite product? (vendor name and product name)
  • Why do you like it?
  • How has it helped you and/or your company?
  • How many years have you worked in IT?
  • What upcoming IT projects are you most excited about and why?
  • Please include a picture of yourself.

 

As a token of our gratitude for submitting your favorite SolarWinds products, we’ll give you 2,000 THWACK points. Please remember to BCC pr@solarwinds.com (or forward your submission to pr@solarwinds.com after you’ve sent it to Network World) so we know who to allocate points to.

 

Thanks for being our customer!

The SolarWinds Team

If your company is anything like SolarWinds, you’ve probably been going through the annual goal-setting process with your management team.  In many functions, this is relatively straight forward.  Sales sets goals based on quota, marketing based on creating demand, engineering based on product development and delivery, etc…  But, how do you in IT quantify the value you provide to the organization and therefore determine your goals?  Is it reliability, SLAs, cost control, customer satisfaction, something else?  Or, are you in such a firefighter mode that you never actually get to set goals and objectives?  Share with us some of your goals for the upcoming year and how you measure your value to your company.

Please join us in congratulating 14 community members who have reached the ranks of the elite SolarWinds THWACK MVPs!  Also deserving of recognition are the 47 folks who renewed their MVP status for yet another year, some of which have been apart of the MVPs for 5+ years!

 

In case you haven't already come across these folks in your conversations here on THWACK, below is a brief introduction for our 14 new MVPs.  Be sure to connect with them and the rest of our MVP roster, they are a power house of knowledge and SolarWinds how-to, best practices, etc.  You can find the full list of MVPs and learn more about how you can join the program here.

 

Celebrations are in order! Congratulations from all of us here at SolarWinds and the THWACK Community!

giphy.gif

2017 SolarWinds THWACK MVPs

Location

Username: tomiannelli

Name IRL: Thomas Iannelli

Professional Title: Information Services Manager

Iowa, United States

Username: mikegale

Name IRL: Michael Gale

Professional Title: Systems Administrator

Alabama, United States

Username: robertcbrowning

Name IRL: Robert Browning

Professional Title: Consultant

United Kingdom

Username: designerfx

Name IRL: Matthew Reingold

Professional Title: Network Engineer

Illinois, United States

Username: m60freeman

Name IRL: Mark Freeman

Professional Title: DBA

Ohio, United States

Username: nickzourdos

Name IRL: Nick Zourdos

Professional Title: Network Administrator

Michigan, United States

Username: kurtrh

Name IRL: Kurt Hashbarger

Professional Title: Network Engineering Chief

Virginia, United States

Username: tinmann0715

Name IRL: Peter Monaghan

Professional Title: Availability & Production Manager

Maryland, United States

Username: michael.kent

Name IRL: Michael Kent

Professional Title: Head of Infrastructure

United Kingdom

Username: damien.solodow

Name IRL: Damien Solodow

Professional Title: IT Engineering Lead

Indiana, United States

Username: m_roberts

Name IRL: Mark Roberts

Professional Title: Technical Director

United Kingdom

Username: sacosgrove

Name IRL: Sean Cosgrove

Professional Title: Systems Engineer

Washington, United States

Username: skhan

Name IRL: Steven Khan

Professional Title: Monitoring Engineer

New Jersey, United States

Username: mprobus

Name IRL: Michael Probus

Professional Title: Technical Architect

Kentucky, United States

The User Experience and NPM team is interested in learning about your Cisco ASAs. If you have a spare 5 minutes, please fill out this survey to receive 250 thwack points. Thank you!

 

Take Survey

We are currently experiencing issues with our phone systems. We apologize for any inconvenience caused. Please create an online case at www.solarwinds.com/support/ticket and a support representative will contact you.

 

This post will be updated when we have another update.

 

11:40 AM CDT - Phones are back up and running. Thank you for your patience.

We are pulling together the agendas, venues, and confirmed dates but below you will find where SolarWinds User Groups (SWUG) are going next!

 

January - Austin, Texas (SolarWinds Headquarters)

  • If you don't live in the region, you could win an all expenses paid trip to Austin to attend this meetup and meet all 5 of the Head Geeks! Learn more: Template Hunter

February - Denver, Colorado

March - Melbourne, Australia

 

Please look for the events to start popping up on the Community Events, Webcasts & Training calendar soon, start your planning!

 

We will also be reaching out to the many of you who have offered to host and be a SWUG Leader.  If you haven't applied yet, check out the SolarWinds User Groups (SWUG) page.

The User Experience team wants to hear from you! Please take our survey for a cool 250 points: Start Survey

SolarWinds will be there! Booth 535, be sure to come see us! 

 

Also, since we're in town, we will be hosting a SolarWinds User Groups (SWUG) on Wednesday evening, September 28th from 6:30 - 10:30pm EDT.  Make sure to RSVP and save your seat!

 

Agenda

Session Time (EDT)

Session Overview

Presenter(s)

6:30pm – 7:15pmRuth's Chris Dinner Served (see below for menu)
7:15pm – 7:30pmWelcome / Introductions / Ice Breaker & PRIZES

patrick.hubbard, Head Geek

7:30pm – 8:00pmOn The Horizon for Systems Management

stevenwhunt, Principal, Product Strategy (Systems)

8:00pm 8:30pm
What's New with NPMmavturner, Sr. Director, Product Strategy (Networks)
8:45pm – 9:30pmSolarWinds Best Practices & Thinking Outside of the Box

Dez, Head Geek

KMSigma, Product Manager

9:30pm – 10:30pmHappy Hour

 

 

Dinner

menu.JPG

 

RSVP now!

1606_thwack_August-mission_728x90.jpg Welcome to THWACK Awards 2016!

We are thrilled to introduce the first annual THWACK Awards! Over the years your stories have inspired us and fueled our passion to continue to build our community and products into what our customers need to achieve incredible feats of IT on a daily basis. We decided it was high time we gave official recognition to individuals & teams who have gone above & beyond. This is your chance to show off a little bit & take a bow in front of your peers.

 

Submit your awe-inspiring IT story (or stories, we know you have them!) and our esteemed judging panel of SolarWinds Head Geeks will choose 4 finalists and 1 winner in each of our 6 categories! Winners will receive a customized trophy, THWACK badge, bragging rights, and maybe even a promotion once management finds out.

 

Everyone who submits a story will receive 500 THWACK points (to be awarded after the mission closes).

THWACK+award+2016.jpg

 

July 25 - August 1st

We need YOU to decide what our "Community Wild Card Award" topic will be. Submit your suggestions on the official THWACK Awards 2016 page and make sure to vote on your favorites! Submission with the most votes will be our Community Wild Card Award.

 

August 1st - 26th

Accepting submission to all award categories.

 

September 14th & 15th, THWACKcamp 2016

Finalists and winners will be announced during our annual 2-day virtual knowledge share event and it's completely FREE!  Register now if you haven't already.

 

Award Categories

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IF YOU 'BUMP' IT, THE DAY WILL COME AWARD

Community voted award- An award for those Thwacknation user ideas out there, that have been bumped over and over, right into the "What we're working on" status. This award would recognize the Thwack users, as well as the SolarWinds employees, working together, towards the same goal, to always make the most current version of SolarWinds the best version.

 

Tell us about some of your notable contributions on THWACK that have been bumped into What we're working on status and or implemented status. Please share any relevant links to posts on THWACK.

Accepting submissions August 1st - 26th.

 

Submit your story>>

1606_thwack_August-mission_75x75_1.png

INNOVATION AWARD

Paper clips, bubble gum, and duct tape are all you really need to solve any monitoring problem, but isn’t it nice to know that SolarWinds has your back when all else fails. This award is for the person that has used SolarWinds products in an innovative way to solve a problem. If you have ever wanted to make a jetpack using a pair of garden hoses, this award is for you!

 

Tell us the story of your most clever IT solution or how you improvised to avoid a catastrophic situation using Solarwinds. Accepting submissions August 1st - 26th.

 

Submit your story>>

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NINJA NODE AWARD

When you don’t have the proper tools in place to monitor with discipline, the dreaded you don’t know what you don’t know happens. What was the craziest thing that you found running on your network using SolarWinds products? Was it a fileserver running a seedy side business? Was it a game server running World of Warcraft instances for a certain department?

 

This award honors the moment you discover the insanity that exists when monitoring runs amok. Share your stories for a chance at glory and this award. Accepting submissions August 1st - 26th.

 

Submit your story>>

1606_thwack_August-mission_75x75_5.pngCARMEN SAN DIEGO AWARD

Size does matter. Does your SolarWinds deployment span the globe? Do you monitor with discipline across multiple time zones and geographical locations using SolarWinds products? If so, this award can be yours.

 

Share your stories about your SolarWinds deployment size and scale for a chance at glory and this award. Accepting submissions August 1st - 26th.

 

Submit your story>>

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SDK SUPERSTAR AWARD

SDK superstar, that is what you are. Coding from afar, SWQL-ing to the stars. API with me to another place. We can Orion on each other, uh huh. From one SWIS-er to another, uh huh.

 

Let us know what awesomeness you have unleashed using the SolarWinds Orion SDK with your SolarWinds products. You just might win this award. Share your stories and reach for this star. Accepting submissions August 1st - 26th.

 

Submit your story>>

1606_thwack_August-mission_75x75_4.png

LEVEL UP AWARD

This award represents the opening of a new opportunity in an IT professional’s career through the use of SolarWinds products. An IT career can be a series of quests spanning IT knowledge and expertise. Completing each quest represents overcoming an IT trial or tribulation and putting it into practice. It represents the changing of the guard from the old you, culminating with a move on up the IT ladder to a new role with more authority and responsibility, and a new you!

 

The winner will be the one that is able to demonstrate how they have grown their IT career with SolarWinds products. Tell us how SolarWinds has helped you get the job that you wanted or the promotion that you deserved. If you have leveraged your career with SolarWinds as your monitoring tool of choice, share it with us and this award could be yours. Accepting submissions August 1st - 26th.

 

Submit your story>>

For more information, visit and bookmark the official THWACK Awards 2016 page.

DanielleH

Happy Father's Day!

Posted by DanielleH Administrator Jun 17, 2016

Happy Father's Day to all the IT Professionals out there! Colton's Dad is a SysAdmin, so we asked him to tell us exactly what he thinks his Dad does at work every day.

 

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