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77 Posts authored by: Wendy Abbott Administrator

All of us had to start somewhere. Whether it was your first computer, a programming class in school, or that job that helped you get your foot in the door—there was a beginning. Origin stories aren’t just for super heroes. Even everyday unsung heroes had to be forged in the fire of greatness and molded to what they are today.

 

Every day is a new chapter. Life in IT never slows down and a new story is always unfolding. It’s not the problem you fixed yesterday or the solution you found today, but the collective IT expertise we gain along the way that keeps us coming back for more, every day. We believe that for every IT pro, there’s a success story waiting to be told, and we want to hear yours.

 

 

In the spirit of reflection that comes with a new year, we’d like you to tell us how your IT story has unfolded. Share your experiences in the comments below and we’ll reward you with 500 THWACK® points. It doesn’t matter if your story is humorous, heroic, or humble—we’re interested in hearing what made you the IT pro you are today!

 

*Post your story by Friday, February 2nd, 2018 to receive credit. Points will be awarded the following week.



Zoinks! Someone is using up all the bandwidth and causing major slowdowns throughout the whole organization. For this mission, we’re going to need to hop into the whodunit wagon and use Network Performance Monitor (NPM), Network Traffic Analyzer (NTA), and User Device Tracker (UDT) to unmask the inconsiderate bandwidth hog. NPM and NTA combine to form Bandwidth Analyzer Pack, which can detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance issues. UDT allows you to locate users and devices on your network. This groovy trio of network tools will make it easier than ever to stop bandwidth hogs in their tracks.

And they would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for you meddling THWACKsters!



JANUARY 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: Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera


PRIZES

Weekly Prizes & Drawing Dates:

January 15: Phillips Smart Bulb Kit

January 22: CORSAIR Gaming Keyboard & Mouse

January 29: Hyper X Gaming Head Set

February 5: Action Back Pack for GoPro

Grand Prize

February 5: Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera

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.



MISSION SHORTCUT

Complete the mission shortcut to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win a LEGO® Scooby-Doo® the Mystery Machine Building Kit!

The shortcut is simple:
    1. Download Bandwidth Analyzer Pack.
    2. Take a screenshot of the Application Summary Page. (My dashboards> Netflow> Apps)
    3. Submit your screenshot below.

 





*Bonus round* Earn up to an additional 500 THWACK points for screenshots showing all UDT Nodes - Submit bonus screenshots here


MISSION RULES

A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on January 8, 2018. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until February 4, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.



Weekly PrizesMonTueWedThuFriWinners
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by January 14 to be entered to win: Phillips Smart Bulb Kit
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by January 21 to be entered to win: CORSAIR Gaming Keyboard & Mouse
Week 3: Complete questions 11-15 by January 28 to be entered to win: Hyper X Gaming Head Set
Week 4: Complete questions 16-20 by February 4 to be entered to win: Action Back Pack for GoPro

Correctly answer all 20 questions by February 4 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera



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

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

Thwacksters, we’re home.

You have successfully built a team of indomitable monitoring solutions and defeated the evil Empire of End-Users.

You have restored order to your IT galaxy and saved us all from the clutches of poor performance.

The Force is strong in this community, congrats on another mission accomplished!

 

THWACK Monthly Mission - December 2017

 

Mission Recap Survey & Questions:



Server & Application Monitor

Find and resolve application problems before they become incidents.

 

Happy Holidays from SolarWinds!

 

We hope you all enjoy an extra helping of cached potatoes & Raspberry Pi ala node this season. 

 

Hopefully you're all getting some well deserved vacation time in. 

 

What are your plans for the break?

 

By now you’ve learned how to harness the power of SolarWinds® Network Insight™ for Cisco® ASA and you’re equipped with the tools you need to become an all-seeing network professional.

Now that firewall failures are a thing of the past, you have time to focus on more important things, like what gifts you’re going to buy yourself your friends and family this holiday season.

Good work on another mission accomplished, THWACKsters!

 

THWACK Monthly Mission - November 2017

 

Mission Recap Survey & Questions:



Network Performance Monitor

Reduce network outages and improve performance with advanced network monitoring software

 



I was doing some routine monitoring when I saw... I saw systems in the cloud! Before I could drill down and get a closer look, the administrator issued an alert that the evil Empire of End-Users was threatening the health of the whole system.

THWACKsters, we have no choice but to go on an emergency mission to rescue as many applications, servers, and VMs that we can. We’ll take our upgraded ship, the SolarWinds® S.A.M., that will allow us to have visibility across cloud environments, so we won’t be flying blind.

I am no SysAdmin, but I know IT. It moves through and surrounds every living thing. Close your eyes... feel it... the light... IT has always been there... IT will guide you.

It’s THE LAST MISSION of the year. Use your new abilities and battle beyond your data center!



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: Star Wars Jedi Challenges!

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

PRIZES

Weekly Prizes &  Drawing Dates:

December 11: R2D2 Charging Hub
December 18: Storm Trooper Bluetooth Speaker
December 25: X-Wing vs. Death Star Rebel Assault Drones
January 1: Sphero BB-9W App-Enabled Droid

Grand Prize

January 1: Star Wars Jedi Challenges

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.



MISSION SHORTCUT

Complete the mission shortcut to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win Death Star Legos!
The shortcut is simple:
    1. Download Server & Application Monitor
    2. Take a screenshot of the cloud summary page populated by either AWS or Azure instances/VMs
    3. Submit your screenshot below

 







MISSION RULES

A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on December 4, 2017. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until December 31, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.



Weekly PrizesMonTueWedThuFriWinners
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by December 10 to be entered to win: R2D2 Charging Hub
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by December 17 to be entered to win: Storm Trooper Bluetooth Speaker
Week 3: Complete questions 11-15 by December 24 to be entered to win:X-Wing vs. Death Star Rebel Assault Drones
Week 4: Complete questions 16-20 by December 31 to be entered to win: Sphero BB-9E App-Enabled Droid

Correctly answer all 20 questions by December 31 to be entered to win the Grand Prize! Star Wars Jedi Challenges



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

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

The ghosts and ghouls of Halloween are behind us, and the beginning of November means that Thanksgiving is fast approaching. As the leaves continue to change and the holiday season ramps up, shopping is at the top of everyone’s to-do list. And what better way to take advantage of the holiday sales than from the comfort of your own home on Cyber Monday?

 

The rise in online activity stemming from these sales, however, will certainly create costly bottlenecks and downtime, and an increased need for optimized application performance. How can we best handle and manage this increase in demand and activity to provide end users with the best holiday shopping experience?

 

We want to hear your post-Thanksgiving advice for peers and colleagues managing the Cyber Monday madness. Help us all prepare this year by sharing your best practices for application performance management and maintaining uptime by Thursday, November 16, and we’ll give you 250 THWACK points in exchange.



Firewall failures result in lost connectivity and increased security vulnerability. Not on your watch!

Introducing SolarWinds® Network Insight™ for Cisco® ASA, your secret weapon to automate the monitoring and management of your ASA infrastructure in a single unified platform. Enjoy complete visibility into the health and performance of your firewall environment with filtering, searching, and viewing of ACLs through the new Firewall Rule Browser.

Your mission this month: Become an all-seeing network professional with the help of Network Insight for Cisco ASA.

Can’t get enough of Network Insight for Cisco ASA?

Watch the latest episode of SolarWinds Lab™. It’s our Cisco ASA Firewall Special: VPN, ACL, HA, Multi-context, and more. Watch Recording.

And check our new eBook, Thou Shalt Not Pass… I Think? This eBook will show you how to be a Cisco ASA ace. Get the eBook today!



NOVEMBER 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: A Fire Tablet!


PRIZES

Weekly Prizes & Drawing Dates:

November 13: Long range Walkie talkies
November 20: Giant Jenga Game
November 27: Fire stick + THWAMMOCK
December 4: Tile Mate & Slim Combo Pack

Grand Prize

December 4: Fire Tablet

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.



MISSION SHORTCUT

Complete the mission shortcut to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win a Nest Thermostat! 
The shortcut is simple:
    1. Download Network Performance Monitor (NPM) OR Network Configuration Manager (NCM)
    2. Take a screenshot:
      For NPM take a screenshot of all interfaces on a selected node (status/type/interface)
      For NCM take a screenshot that includes a running config in the config list
    3. Submit a screenshot of your chosen view



*Bonus round* Earn up to an additional 500 THWACK points for screenshots showing NPM or NCM with ASA - Submit bonus screenshots here


MISSION RULES

A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on November 6, 2017. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until December 3, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.



Weekly PrizesMonTueWedThuFriWinners
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by November 12 to be entered to win: Long range Walkie talkies
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by November 19 to be entered to win: Giant Jenga Game
Week 3: Complete questions 11-15 by November 26 to be entered to win: Fire stick + THWAMMOCK
Week 4: Complete questions 16-20 by December 3 to be entered to win: Tile Mate & Slim Combo Pack

Correctly answer all 20 questions by December 3 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Fire Tablet



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

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

Congratulations, you have defeated the Query Blocker, Performance Hog, and Blame Shifter disruptors and you are well on your way to a happy database!

We hope you can take what you learned from this mission as you continue on your conquest of eliminating any and all disruptors in your way!

Now, don’t eat too much of your Halloween candy as there are many treats to come during our November mission (launching November 6th).

 

THWACK Monthly Mission - October 2017

 

Mission Recap Survey & Questions:

 

Database Performance Analyzer

Database and SQL query performance monitoring, analysis, and tuning

 

 

Young THWACK®-hoppers, your monthly mission is complete.

You now have the skills you need to master the art of Security Kung Fu.

We hope you take the wisdom from this journey to help you defeat any cyber security threats that may lie ahead.

 

THWACK MONTHLY MISSION - SEPTEMBER 2017

 

Mission Recap Survey & Questions:

 

Content Resources:

 

Log & Event Manager

A SIEM that makes it easy to use logs for security, compliance, and troubleshooting

 



When there is no more room in the database, the disruptors will walk the earth!

Your database is your sanctuary, and you must defend it against the disruptors. Your mission this month is to defeat each disruptor in your path. Along the way you will encounter Performance Hog, Blame Shifter, and Query Blocker.

SolarWinds® Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) has your back by monitoring all of your databases from SQL Server® to the cloud in one installation and gives second-by-second analysis. Time is key in any battle against database disruptors (or trick-or-treaters). We have you covered in the ongoing battle against poor database performance!

Good luck on your October Mission THWACKsters, and enjoy your Halloween candy!



OCTOBER 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: A Xbox One X!


PRIZES

Weekly Prizes & Drawing Dates:

October 9: Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy Krueger Bread Toaster
October 16: Halloween Window Projector
October 23: Stranger things vinyl + Stranger things travel mug
October 30: Alfred Hitchcock Collection Blu-Ray

Grand Prize

October 30: Xbox One X

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.



MISSION SHORTCUT

Complete the mission shortcut to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win 1 of 10 sets of DBA Disruptors! disruptors
The shortcut is simple:
    1. Download Database Performance Analyzer
    2. Give us a view that represents your favorite disruptor (Performance Hog, Blame Shifter, or Query Blocker)
      • Performance Hog: He’s the process that just keeps consuming. Yeah, he’s that guy that will take the last chicken wing off your plate and say “you weren’t going to eat that were you?” This would be the SQL statement you see consistently popping up as the most impactful in the charts. Think of a select with numerous joins without a where clause (nothing to filter by).

      • Query Blocker: He’s the guy with the broken down 1984 lemon in your lane! Your stuck. You are going to be late for work. Look for the SQL transaction in your database that doesn’t commit or rollback – yeah, that’s the guy. He causes all kinds of blocking waits. He may even have rolled an external dependency into the transaction.

      • Blame Shifter: He’s subtle. He makes his appearance when applications slow down, but no one knows what the issue is. This when everyone starts pointing fingers! No one wins the blame game, except Blame Shifter. Is it the query itself? Is it the database configuration? Is it the data model? Is it the infrastructure? Where do you even begin?!

    3. Submit a screenshot of your chosen view

 







MISSION RULES

A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on October 2, 2017. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until October 29, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CDT. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.



Weekly PrizesMonTueWedThuFriWinners
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by October 8 to be entered to win: Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy Krueger Bread Toaster
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by October 15 to be entered to win: Halloween Window Projector
Week 3: Complete questions 11-15 by October 22 to be entered to win: Stranger things vinyl + Stranger things travel mug
Week 4: Complete questions 16-20 by October 29 to be entered to win: Alfred Hitchcock Collection Blu-Ray

Correctly answer all 20 questions by October 29 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Xbox One X - release date 11/7



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

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

 

Start the SolarWinds Network Management Assessment to help you assess your current network monitoring and management challenges across the three dimensions of Coverage, Tools, and Measurement. 

Then compare your results to your industry peers, and get some recommendation advice to help address any identified shortcomings.

 

Take the assessment now>>

This week, we are hosting a webcast called Five Ways to Reduce Your Network Config Management Stress. This is for all of you who are trying to manage one hundred things all at once. Our presenters, SolarWinds Head Geek, Destiny Bertucci ( Dez ), and SolarWinds Principal Product Manager, Tyler Peterson (tyler.peterson), will go over five easy ways to simplify network configuration management so you can get time back in your day. Register HERE.

 

Webcast: Five Ways to Reduce Your Network Config Management Stress

Date: Thursday, September 14, 2017

Time: 12:00 p.m. CDT

Duration: 50 minutes plus live Q&A

Register NOW.

Helpdesk ticket #8675309

Report date: 8/7/17 8:00 AM

Est Due date: 9/3/17 11:59 PM

Department: Marketing (again)

Status: Closed!

Request type: Helpdesk request > Hardware

Subject: Sending out an S.O.S. (Save our server)

Notes: Congrats THWACKsters! You were able to successfully rescue your end-users from the clutches of downtime, password, resets and most importantly from id10T errors.

 

THWACK MONTHLY MISSION - AUGUST 2017 

 

Mission recap survey & questions:

 

Web Help Desk

AFFORDABLE HELP DESK TICKETING AND ASSET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

 



The supreme art of [cybersecurity] war[fare] is to subdue the enemy without fighting. – Sun Tzu *With added geekiness. 

Young THWACK®-hoppers, your mission this month is to master the art of Security Kung Fu. Those who master this discipline will be better equipped to defeat IT security threats. Enemies you may face on your journey to impenetrable IT security include malware, phishing scams, compliance violations, or even internal threats. However, you will not need to fight your enemies alone. Accompanying you on your journey is SolarWinds® Log & Event Manager (LEM)—a SIEM that makes it easy to use logs for security, compliance, and troubleshooting. LEM is highly skilled in threat intelligence, active response, and real-time event correlation. To complete this mission, you’ll need to work together to move swift as the wind and closely formed as the wood. Attack like the fire and be still as the mountain (– Sun Tzu).

Good luck!



SEPTEMBER 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: A PS4 + Kung Fu Panda Game!


PRIZES

Weekly Prizes & Drawing Dates:

September 11: Home Security Camera
September 18: Aegis Flash Key 8 GB
September 25: Tiny Arcade
October 2: Ninja Turtle RC ATV

Grand Prize

October 2: PS4 + Kung Fu Panda Game

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.



MISSION SHORTCUT

Complete the mission shortcut to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & the first 100 get Kung Fu Security T-shirts!
The shortcut is simple:
    1. Download Log & Event Manager
    2. Set up an action rule to ensure that you receive an email when a new group member is added to the admin group.*Click HERE for hint.
    3. Submit a screenshot of the rule you have set up

 







MISSION RULES

A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on September 4, 2017. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until October 1, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CDT. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.



Weekly PrizesMonTueWedThuFriWinners
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by September 10 to be entered to win: Home Security Camera
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by September 17 to be entered to win: Aegis Flash Key 8 GB
Week 3: Complete questions 11-15 by September 24 to be entered to win:Tiny Arcade
Week 4: Complete questions 16-20 by October 1 to be entered to win: Ninja Turtle RC ATV

Correctly answer all 20 questions by October 1 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! PS4 + Kung Fu Panda Game



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

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

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