The age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” has long been answered with occupations such as: firefighter, ballerina, doctor, or princess. Why, you may wonder, does systems administrator rarely make the cut? As a critical member of the organization they support, surely a more rewarding and interesting career than SysAdmin can’t possibly exist!
While we know how exciting, versatile, and important our jobs truly are, do the people closest to us understand? When you get a text message from your remote monitoring system during a soccer game or dance recital, what do you tell your kids? If you break from analyzing system logs to enjoy a family dinner, how do you explain that a log is more than a chopped up tree trunk? Even with all your tireless explaining, how many times have you heard a version of this phrase: “My mom does something with computers…I think”?
In honor of Systems Administrator Day this year, we want to know what your family thinks you do 24/7, rain or shine, day or night. Whether it’s “Stuff on a computer,” “Emails their friends,” “Fixes problems,” or “Uhh…technology?”, let us know by July 18, and we’ll give you 250 THWACK points—and, if necessary, moral support from your fellow techies who do understand that you have the coolest job in the world.
Please join us in congratulating 12 community members who have reached the ranks of the elite THWACK MVPs! Also deserving of recognition are the 53 existing MVPs who renewed their MVP status for yet another year, some of which have maintained their MVP status for 6+ years!
In case you haven't already come across these folks in your conversations here on THWACK, below is a brief introduction for our 12 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. To learn more about the THWACK MVP program and how you can join, see here.
Celebrations are in order! From all of us here at SolarWinds and the THWACK Community - THANK YOU for your contributions and continued support making THWACK the best community to do IT!
|2018 THWACK MVPs||Location|
Name IRL: Adam Timberley
Professional Title: Infrastructure Monitoring Engineer
|Newthorpe, Nottinghamshire, UK|
Name IRL: Antonis Marios Athanasiou
Professional Title: Senior Systems Engineer
|Worthing, West Sussex, UK|
Name IRL: Chris Dodds
Professional Title: Monitoring & Alerting Specialist
|Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK|
Name IRL: Donald Heinzen
Professional Title: Senior Systems Administrator
|Montgomery, Alabama, US|
Name IRL: Felix Forbes
Professional Title: Solutions Architect
|North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia|
Name IRL: Jake Muszynski
Professional Title: Senior Systems Engineer
|Columbus, Ohio, US|
Name IRL: Jared Speer
Professional Title: Systems Administrator
|Cuyahoga, Ohio, US|
Name IRL: Jennifer Aguilar
Professional Title: Network Adminstrator
|El Paso, Texas, US|
Name IRL: Marc Netterfield
Professional Title: Field Systems Engineer III
|Las Vegas, Nevada, US|
Name IRL: Marcin Kazmierczak
Professional Title: IT Solutions Architect
|Warsaw, MZ, Poland|
Name IRL: Pete Garyga
Professional Title: ICT Change & Projects Team Manager
|Ripley, DE, UK|
Name IRL: Richard Phillips
Professional Title: Senior Network Engineer
|Rutland, Vermont, US|
Congratulations are also in order for the rest of our THWACK MVP roster who have maintained their status through 2018!
NPM won for Network Management Product of the year!
Thank you so much for all your support that made this possible.
NPM 12.1 has been named a finalist for Network Management Product of the Year by Network Computing UK!
We are calling on the THWACK community to help us nab this award - please cast your vote for NPM under the category "Network Management Product of the Year".
VOTE NOW! Voting closes on March 13th. Winners will be announced at their awards ceremony on March 22nd in London.
After you cast your vote, you will receive an email confirmation. If you forward this email confirmation along with your THWACK username to email@example.com we will award you 750 THWACK points!
Thank you in advance for your help! Go NPM, go!
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's one question standing out in your mind: What is THWACK, and how does it benefit me?
Simply put, THWACK connects you with more than 130,000 IT professionals and community members, who've 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. THWACK is a place where you have a say in the direction of those products, and 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. We can't believe you're just now getting here! Without further ado, allow me to show you what you've been missing.
With almost 15 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, including a quick 1500 bonus points for completing this onboarding mission. You don't need to complete these tasks in one sitting, or in any specific order. Feel free to come back at your convenience.
Have a customer portal account? Link your THWACK and Customer portal accounts to earn an additional 2,000 THWACK points to spend in the THWACK store! Plus, you'll get great benefits like seeing the products you own on your THWACK profile, seeing your renewal dates, renew licenses, open support tickets, reviewing existing support tickets, and you'll gain more visibility and access to betas for the products you own.
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 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.
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 SolarWinds 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 (under "Product Forums"), choose the product you're familiar with, and select 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).
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 a 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, 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.
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 with 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.
In the top navigation, look for "Resources". Within that parent, you'll see the Blogs category. SolarWinds has many blogs, and we'll talk about them more in-depth in Task 6.
Select the "Community Announcements" blog.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, which can be found by clicking the magnifying glass in the navigation menu, and selecing "Bookmarks".
We have several blogging areas here on THWACK, but four main blogs. For this task, let's focus on three specific blogging areas: Product Blog, Monitoring Central, and Geek Speak.
First, navigate to the Product Blog. You can get there by hovering over "Resources" in the nagigation and, under the "Blogs" category, selecting "Product Blog".
You can also reach the product blog for any specific product by going to their product forum and selecting their Product Blog option in their list of buttons.
Some of these blog posts may look familiar because they're streamed into our products. The rumors are true. They come directly 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, hover over "Resources" in the nagigation and, under the "Blogs" category, selecting "Geek Speak". Again, choose a post to read.
Make sure you click on the blog subject line for the action to be recorded.
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 1,500 points to be used in the THWACK Store! Below are a few other good resources to check out. If you have any THWACK related questions, feel free to reach out to myself or wabbott or brett.holzhauer
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!
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!
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) with email@example.com on BCC no later than Thursday, March 16 23 (deadline extended!).
As a token of our gratitude for submitting your favorite SolarWinds products, we’ll give you 2,000 THWACK points. Please remember to BCC firstname.lastname@example.org (or forward your submission to email@example.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!
2017 SolarWinds THWACK MVPs
Name IRL: Thomas Iannelli
Professional Title: Information Services Manager
|Iowa, United States|
Name IRL: Michael Gale
Professional Title: Systems Administrator
|Alabama, United States|
Name IRL: Robert Browning
Professional Title: Consultant
Name IRL: Matthew Reingold
Professional Title: Network Engineer
|Illinois, United States|
Name IRL: Mark Freeman
Professional Title: DBA
|Ohio, United States|
Name IRL: Nick Zourdos
Professional Title: Network Administrator
|Michigan, United States|
Name IRL: Kurt Hashbarger
Professional Title: Network Engineering Chief
|Virginia, United States|
Name IRL: Peter Monaghan
Professional Title: Availability & Production Manager
|Maryland, United States|
Name IRL: Michael Kent
Professional Title: Head of Infrastructure
Name IRL: Damien Solodow
Professional Title: IT Engineering Lead
|Indiana, United States|
Name IRL: Mark Roberts
Professional Title: Technical Director
Name IRL: Sean Cosgrove
Professional Title: Systems Engineer
|Washington, United States|
Name IRL: Steven Khan
Professional Title: Monitoring Engineer
|New Jersey, United States|
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!
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!
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