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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

 

MISSION STATUS: COMPLETED

 

That's a wrap, THWACKstonians!

 

THWACKcamp 2018 is NOW officially over. For those who missed out during the live event, we hope you had an amazing time reviewing each session recording during this mission.

 

Two days of IT goodness recapped in a month long mission. What more could an IT professional ask for? As we cruise into the end of the year, we hope you're ready for the next mission.

 

Mission Recap & Survey Questions:

MISSION WINNERS

 

While all of you handled this mission with amazing precision, a few of you managed to pull away with some amazing prizes. We'd like to recognize those who won this month's amazing giveaways.

 

Week 1: jdeakin1

 

Week 2: whitebd@andersonhospital.org

 

Week 3: goofykc

 

Week 4: rhrohde

 

Grand Prize: rwagner

 

Shortcut: pgaryga

 

THWACKcamp 2019

Pre-Register for THWACKcamp 2019

PRE-REGISTER HERE

 

* The newest Monthly Mission goes live December 3rd, 2018

The SolarWinds Product team wants to understand how IT and Security Professionals address the problems of password and identity management within their organizations.  Our survey takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.

 

First 50 North American THWACK User's to complete this survey will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

 

TAKE SURVEY HERE

As we get ramped up to launch the GNS3 Certification (GNS3A) in December we are excited to launch the official training course to get everyone prepared for the upcoming exam. 

For the next two weeks, as part of our Black Friday specials on GNS3 Academy, we are offering up the full-course from David Bombal for only $9 (82% OFF). Get started today!

Let us know if you have any questions on the upcoming certification.

 

----

 

 

The GNS3 Certified Associate (GNS3A) program is a multi-vendor, next generation network engineer certification that focuses on the core skills that network engineers need 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
  • Troubleshoot basic network issues

‘Tis the season… for the best shopping deals! From managing more distributed environments, working with more software-defined and automated solutions, to perhaps even experimenting with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics, technology needs are constantly changing. We know most enterprise IT hardware and software don’t get the Black Friday treatment (2-for-1 routers, anyone?) but as we approach two of the biggest shopping days of the year, and in the spirit of great holiday deals, we want to know: what’s on your must-have technology list?

 

We want to know the hottest tech picks of 2019. What do you have your eye on for the year ahead? Maybe you’re exploring API proxy services, cloud-hosted databases, or a 400GbE network. Alternatively, if you’re not in the market for anything new, what technology is getting the upgrade treatment or being retired altogether (on-prem file server—gone but never forgotten)?

 

Tell us your Top Tech Picks by November 16, 2018, and we’ll give you 250 THWACK® points in exchange.



Inside vulnerabilities… external threats? Today’s security risks come at you from every direction—and managing it all can get tricky when you have to consider both sides of the equation. Let’s face it, security is hard to lock down, no matter how many users or how much infrastructure you manage.

This month, we are introducing a security-focused bonus mission that doubles down on solutions that can help you take on threats, no matter which side of the firewall they’re on. We’ll look at helpful new product capabilities and quiz you on the essentials you need to watch your threats—inside and out.

Two essential security products. One prize-packed mission. Let’s get started!



NOVEMBER MINI 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 10 questions over the course of the month and you'll be entered for a chance to win the grand prize: Echo Dot


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

PRIZES

Weekly Prizes & Drawing Dates:

November 12, 2018: Roku Ultra

November 19, 2018: Retro Game Console


Grand Prize

November 19 2018: Echo Dot

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.



MISSION SHORTCUT

 

Complete either of the mission shortcuts to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win a Microsoft XBOX One S 500 GB! (Up to 2 Entries)

 

Shortcut #1:

  1. Start your FREE trial of Access Rights Manager
  2. Take a screenshot of your Dashboard with your number of User's.
  3. Submit your screenshot below.

 

DOWNLOAD FREE TRIAL  SUBMIT SCREENSHOT

Shortcut #2:

  1. Request your demo of Threat Monitor
  2. Click on the Alarms Button from the Threat Monitor UI
  3. In the Alarms UI, click on the “Mass Account Deletion” option in the Simulation selection drop down menu.
  4. Click on the “Multiple AD Login Failures” option in the Simulation selection drop down menu.
  5. Scroll down to the “Latest Alarms” section of the UI and take a screenshot
  6. Submit your screenshot below.

 

 

DOWNLOAD FREE TRIAL  SUBMIT SCREENSHOT

 

MISSION RULES

A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on November 5, 2018. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until November 18, 2018. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.



Weekly PrizesMonTueWedThuFriWinners
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by November 11, 2018 to be entered to win: Roku Ultra
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by November 18, 2018 to be entered to win: Retro Game Console

Correctly answer all 10 questions by November 18, 2018 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Echo Spot



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

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

 

MISSION STATUS: COMPLETED

Great dueling, THWACKsters!

 

Your showdown was a tough one, but we told you we'd have your back. No one goes alone when you've got great security products behind you.

 

You may have scared off those pesky black hats this time, but mark my words...they'll certainly try to have another pass at you. Good thing you'll be ready for them!

 

Saddle up, we'll see you in the next mission!

 

Mission Recap & Survey Questions:

MISSION WINNERS

While all of you handled this mission with amazing precision, a few of you managed to pull away with some amazing prizes. We'd like to recognize those who won this month's amazing giveaways.

 

Week 1: jschneck1

 

Week 2: imayroam

 

Week 3: shaneo

 

Week 4: sierra1011

 

Grand Prize: dkatsanis

 

 

Loggly, Log & Event Manager, & Risk Intelligence

Unified log analysis and log monitoring

Log management software for security, compliance, and troubleshooting

Locate Sensitive Data across Networks and Workstations

 

* The newest Monthly Mission can be found here: THWACK Monthly Mission - November 2018

THWACKcamp "The Mission"

 

When you throw a two-day, worldwide virtual IT learning event, you’d better have some interesting material to cover. This year, to satisfy thousands of attendees, we pushed ourselves to find those IT hot buttons, engaged in valuable conversations with industry experts (including our own), swizzled in some thought leadership, and showcased new product introductions—all the stuff we hoped technology pros like you would find interesting.

 

Now, if you happened to miss this year’s THWACKcamp™, or even if you attended, we’ve built this month’s mission around all 18 sessions worth of IT goodness. Sample each session, answer the weekly questions, and you could walk away with one of our latest prizes.

 

Time for all you THWACKademics to get busy. Let’s get this mission started!



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.

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:
November 5th 2018: Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera

November 12th 2018: Keurig K55 Coffee Maker

November 19th 2018: Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug

November 26th 2018: Anker Qi-Ceritifed Ultra-Slim Wireless Charger

Grand Prize:
November 26th 2018: VIVO 36" Stand Up Desk Converter



 

MISSION RULES

A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on October 29th, 2018. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until November 25th, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.



MISSION SHORTCUTS

Complete the mission shortcuts between October 29, 2018 and November 25, 2018 to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win a Nanoleaf Light Panels Rhythm Edition!

Shortcut One:

  1. Take a screenshot of your Orion Health Check page
    • What is the Orion Heath Check page?
    • Not on the latest version(s)? Upgrade your products and then take a screenshot of your Orion Health Check page!
  2. Submit screenshot here

SUBMIT SCREENSHOT

Shortcut Two:
  1. Pre-Register for THWACKcamp 2019

PRE-REGISTER

Weekly PrizesMonTueWedThuFriWinners
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by November 4th, 2018 to be entered to win: Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by November 11th, 2018 to be entered to win: Keurig K55 Coffee Maker
Week 3: Complete questions 11-15 by November 18th, 2018 to be entered to win: Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug
Week 4: Complete questions 16-20 by November 25th, 2018 to be entered to win: Anker Qi-Ceritifed Ultra-Slim Wireless Charger

Correctly answer all 20 questions by November 25th, 2018 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! VIVO 36" Stand Up Desk Converter



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

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

In case you missed the announcements during THWACKcamp, our 2018 THWACK award winners are:

 

Innovation-ize-alyzer Award - rschroeder

Carmen Sandiego Award - CourtesyIT

The Domo-arigato Award - mesverrum

Zero to 100 - jeremymayfield

The SolarWinds Boomerang Award - jbiggley

Keeping it Real - rschroeder

I'm Going to Let You Finish, But... - mesverrum

Class Valedictorian - frankmuhlstadt

Monthly Mission Master - wfordham, ecklerwr1, cisherwood, dealton.lyman, jasonstak2079, steven.crabtree, femiodejide, doberhol, sierra1011

 

 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the nomination process, our esteemed judges, and all of the great contributors who have won our metric-based award.

Web Help Desk® is featured on Gartner®, a business software review site. If you’re a Web Help Desk user, please consider writing us a review to help others evaluate if our software is the right IT Service Management Tool for their organization.

 

Writing a review will only take about five minutes, and to thank you for your time, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $25 Visa® gift card from Gartner!

It just takes one easy step:

Thank you for your help!

**Offer expires on 10/31/18**

I'm Rick Schroeder, a Network Analyst for the last 28 years for public education and health care systems. I support a network that spans across three north-central states and contains 100 hospitals, clinics, and business sites. I've been a member of THWACK® since 2004 and have attended most THWACKcamp events since.

 

THWACKcamp is a great resource for finding things that help me have better days—things that leverage new powers and features (or things I’d missed) in SolarWinds products. I enjoy sharing ideas during THWACKcamp in the chat window, and I get a kick out of the great camaraderie and notions from other attendees in that same chat window during each session. And who doesn’t enjoy getting points for attending? Points that can go towards a swell THWACK Pack or a Bluetooth speaker or any number of other fun toys!

 

Some of the favorite moments have been "Aha!" instances during the presentations. The times when I learned something new, a different way of getting a job done, or something that helped me solve problems or improve my efficiency. And of course, the other chat window participants and their fun comments are great entertainment, too!

 

I'm most looking forward to "There's an API for That:  Introduction to the SolarWinds Orion SDK." We need more out of our dollars spent on monitoring, and this session might just include the information I need to better automate actions from alerts, reduce alert noise, and talk about how I can tie more things into SolarWinds products via the API. One example of the latter:

This year I was able to get our in-house CMDB tied into the Orion® SQL Database so it can mine UDT information to let our support staff know where a device is located on the network—via the CMDB. It gives Help Desk staff a good idea of which users and devices will be affected by any given hardware outage, since they can tie dependencies of end devices directly to the switches and routers and circuits those devices rely on. This information is great during an outage, but even more so when planning scheduled maintenance. Now we know who to contact when scheduling a maintenance window, and who's impacted by the failure of any given piece of network infrastructure.

 

Even better, I’ll likely have more knowledge of which Select and Call and Query options are valid, plus resources to help me learn the syntax required to create a valid SDK query. Maybe I’ll even learn how to tie SDK into an API that can be leveraged with my other non-SolarWinds products. With the THWACKcamp experts, you just KNOW something great is just around the corner that will address these needs!

 

Maybe best of all, THWACKcamp lets me attend remotely without any cost higher than an hour of my time per session. No need to try to get approval from the finance department for travel expenses and hotel and meals—it’s right in my cube! Who could ask for better convenience and lower-cost knowledge share than that?

 

It doesn’t take much to persuade me to tune in for the events. Patrick Hubbard’s always in a good mood and consistently teaches me something new and useful. Joe Kim is going to share information in the Day 1 Keynote, and he’s the Executive Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technical Officer for SolarWinds. What cool stuff will HE share that I can use to help make my network team shine?

 

 

The great knowledge shared, and the friendly and fun environment, are worth registering to see. Have you registered yet? If not, join me in attending the event October 17-18, 2018. Register now.

 

The beginning of October means it’s time to start stocking up on candy, carving pumpkins, and picking out the perfect Halloween costume. But it’s also a time to scare yourself silly with cheesy Halloween movies and, of course, stories of times when chaos reigned in your data center.

 

The end user’s ghost haunts us all with innocent mistakes this Hallow’s Eve. From security oversights, to trying to troubleshoot their own issues, to accidentally breaking equipment through an unfortunate potion of liquids and electricity, IT pros have seen it all. With the spookiest day of the year approaching, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the scary stories you’ve experienced (or may have yet to experience!) – and we want to hear them!

 

Help us celebrate Halloween this year by submitting your real-life scary stories or nightmarish fears about end users by Wednesday, October 17 and in exchange, we’ll give you 250 THWACK points.

It's about time that GNS3 users got a major upgrade to their existing PuTTY™ tool! We are excited to launch a brand-new integration into the GNS3® software with the recently launched Solar-PuTTY application—powered by SolarWinds. As part of this launch, we want you to put the new FREE tool to the test in the below mission.

 

Mission Details

 

Now we want you to put Solar-PuTTY and GNS3 to the test in our latest community mission!

 

  • Step I: Install the latest version of GNS3 and Solar-PuTTY. To help get you running with the new Solar-PuTTY application and GNS3 integration check out this video series from David Bombal
  • Step II: Once you have played around with Solar-PuTTY, please head to the GNS3 Community and post, in the comments section a screenshot and short description of how you are using Solar-PuTTY inside GNS3 for your chance to win the prizes outlined below.
  • Step III: For an extra submission, tag #solarputtymission on Twitter®.

 

What is up for grabs?

 

Note: Please make sure to post your submission in the GNS3 Community by Clicking Here

Attached are the Terms & Conditions for the Sweepstakes.

Whats New with Solar-PuTTY?

 

In an effort to provide a more effective command-line interface (CLI), we are excited about the new feature sets of Solar-PuTTY, including:

 

  1. Scripts – Automated login and bulk configuration. Scripts are executed immediately after login. You can use scripts to automatically enter enable/privileged exec. You can also create longer scripts to make configuration changes to a device and then run the script on several sessions. Just like credentials, these are stored and can be referenced by any session.

  2. Session – Export and import. Whether you’re in a classroom or in the office, it’s a pain to share connection information verbally. Instead, use the three dots in the top left of Solar-PuTTY to export your sessions, then you can send it to your colleague or whoever you’d like to share it with, so they can easily import the information. Less talk, more results.

  3. Tags – Better than folders. Tags can be a great way to organize your sessions without having to worry about hierarchy or overlap. We like to use them for location (“Dallas Datacenter”) and roles (“Border Router”), but you can use them for anything you like. Create tags in Settings (Ctrl + s) and apply tags to any session. Plus, tags are searchable!

  4. Session Logging – Know your work. Dreaming of a Cisco® Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE®) Certification? Review your logs after a lab and assess opportunities where you can improve in terms of accuracy, speed, and order of operations—all important for the CCIE. Bad outage caused by a config? Prove exactly what you did or did not do. Better yet, prove how you fixed it! Session logging can be enabled when you create a new session or by editing an existing session.

 

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