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Community Vibe

110 posts

Very recently I interviewed Jason Jones, CTO at OSSI-IT, an IT consulting firm.  Jason provides IT services for Commonwealth Orthopaedics, an orthopaedic surgery group practice.

 

JK: Tell us a little bit about the size of the environment and applications you consider critical at Commonwealth Orthopaedics?

Jason: We have a total of 7 IT staff supporting about 600 people in 10 offices. Our environment consists of about 120 VMs all running on a Windows platform. In terms of the applications that Commonwealth Orthopedic uses are an Electronic Health Record (EHR), practice management systems, Exchange server, a number of SQL installations, accounting packages and systems, and handful of very critical applications that tie the systems together. For example, smaller, lesser known applications like Charge Capture that ties the EHR to the Practice Management system for the billing cycle. Although such applications may not mean much to a lot of people, we consider them as critical applications and rely on a handful of similar applications like that.


JK: Tell us how your journey began with Commonwealth Orthopedic?

Jason: We’ve been working with Commonwealth Orthopedic for at least 12 to 15 years. It started with maintaining their ambulatory surgery software. The software vendor partnered with OSSI-IT to help ensure that the ambulatory surgery software was running correctly. 


JK: When did you help them figure out that Commonwealth Orthopaedics needed a monitoring solution?

Jason: I think Commonwealth has used SolarWinds for 8 or more years. It was originally brought in to really just look at up/down status for nodes. It was tied in with our Cisco routers so we can monitor our Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network. At that point everything was a physical server, so we didn’t have any virtualization when we were originally using it.

What brought them to monitoring was they needed something to monitor their new MPLS network after they switched from their point to point V1S system.  They needed to understand what was going across the circuit, and what the response time was so we could manage their line of business application experience.

 

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) was brought into the mix shortly after it was made available, about 5 years ago.  But we were using a hodge podge of monitoring solutions. We’ve had asset management, various states of Dell OpenManage and it was very clumsy. We had a handful of applications where we had no proactive visibility.  We bought SAM to give a single pane of glass of application performance. Seemed like a no brainer shortly after we bought it. Without the single pane of glass, it took time to work between apps, and we had almost no proactive monitoring.

 

JK: After implementing SAM, did you see the service levels improve? How did you see the efficiencies of the IT shop improve?

Jason: The service levels improved overall. I think a couple of the biggest advantages to the service levels was we had less reactive instances, we could see when disk space was getting low, we could see when processes had high utilization, and could respond to issues faster. Also, when we deal with a number of hardware and software vendors, SAM has allowed us to cut through finger pointing and much more efficiently determine whose issue it was – whether it is a SQL server issue, or a query, or a hardware problem – we could tie everything together with SAM. We didn’t have to chase down everybody and were able to determine where the problem was.

 

It definitely also helped us to better plan for software and hardware upgrades, so we could get a better view of user experience. We could see where the deficiencies and performance issues were across our hardware and software assets and make educated decisions about where to spend our money in the future.

 

JK: Can you give a more specific example of the finger pointing aspect you’re talking about?

Jason: We had an instance a few years ago where we had done an upgrade with our practice management software and it was dreadfully slow. We were still new to using SAM and we had reached out to our practice management vendor and they were pointing to hardware, and then it was a Microsoft issue, then a SQL issue, and we literally went through about six months of going back and forth and trying different things. Only when we sat back and properly started monitoring our environment using SAM, we noticed all the different processes, and could nail down the issue which had to do with the way the SQL database was setup. In using SAM, we were able to absolve hardware of the issue, and narrow down the problem quickly.

 

Another instance that was more recent -  we have a charge capture system that gets information fed from the practice management system.  The charge capture system is used to generate information that goes back into the practice management system, and it also goes back into the EHR. So there is this three way (six way total), communication between all these systems. We use SAM to monitor all the integration pieces and all the application components.   For example, for each of the 3 pieces of software -  2 have database components, 2 have SQL servers, 2 have IIS web based components. For the integration pieces, some of them are TCP ports, and shared bio folders where HL7 data passes back and forth. We use SAM to monitor the availability of the ports, application components (like SQL server, IIS), and whether or not information is getting backed up. We also look at SQL database tables using the AppInsight for SQL feature and custom user experience monitors in SAM.

 

Any time there is an issue with information missing from one application, we go into SAM. Just this morning, there was an issue, we looked at SAM and could instantly see that the integration systems were working well. We could then narrow down the problem to the charge capture application - it wasn’t sending out the information.  We can notify the vendor and do this all before anyone notices there is problem with the system.

 

JK: Did you look at any other vendors before looking at SolarWinds?

Jason: We’ve been using SolarWinds for a while so it kind of made sense to continue adding components. We use Server & Application Monitor (SAM), Network Performance Monitor (NPM), Network Configuration Manager (NCM), NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA), VoIP & Network Quality Manager (VNQM), and Virtualization Manager (VMAN). We’ve got a pretty thorough suite.

 

The only time we shopped around was when we were looking for a virtualization component. We looked at using Veeam once to monitor our virtual environment. We ended up settling on Virtualzation Manager because we knew at that time there would eventually be integration with the rest of the Orion portfolio so we could have a single pane of glass.  Now that the integration is in place, the product is much better.

 

JK: Any other benefits or use cases you would like to discuss with regard to other SolarWinds products you use?

Jason: We really like (Network Configuration Manager) NCM because we have customized it to work with our Cisco routers, Dell switches, and varying hardware vendors. We really like using NCM because we’ve got it tied together and know that our configurations are safe, which can be a pain because there is no native or automated backup processes for any of those systems.

 

With Virtualization Manager, we like the consolidated alerts view. Going into vCenter, it’s obviously very robust for management, but it doesn’t do a good job of showing alarms in a manageable view. So we like Virtualization Manager for that.

 

We also like NetFlow because when we are troubleshooting an issue with intersite connectivity like we’re on a Metro Ethernet (Metro E) system, we can very easily go on and determine where different problems lie and we can almost instantly isolate who is chewing up what amount of bandwidth.  So if we need to perform an upgrade, or if we are looking at upgrading circuits, or of we need to slap someone on the hand, we’ve got all that information available to us instantly.

 

For example, we had one site that was consistently slow – all apps were slow.  From Network Performance Monitor we could see utilization was high.  This always happened at certain times of the year. After we installed NetFlow, we found out it was one of the physicians watching the Tour de France.  Because of that, we were able to put in QoS policies in place which has benefited us many times over.

DanielleH

IT Tickets from Hell

Posted by DanielleH Oct 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!  We are excited to share with you a new series hot off the press from the amazing SolarWinds video team.  I present to you, IT Tickets from Hell.


IT Tickets from Hell: Bug Report

SolarWinds presents stories so scary, so maddening that they can only come from one place. Professor Acula, architect of your nightmares, hosts IT Tickets from Hell. The first horror story comes straight from the help desk. One sysadmin will find out there is more to his ticket beneath the surface in Bug Report.


 

IT Tickets from Hell: Inbox of the Undead

Professor Acula in this fiendishly frightening tale of ‘IT Tickets from Hell’ tells the story of the sysadmin who is haunted by the zombie army of end-users whose email is down. How can he track, manage and resolve all these tickets from so many users? How can he put an end to this email eeriness?


 

 

IT Tickets from Hell: Margins of Madness

Another uncanny tale from the mysterious Professor Acula. There is no paper in the printer. But the printer shows the ‘Paper Jam’ error message. This could happen to you on All Hallows Eve or just any day of the year. When strange and spooky IT tickets surface, what can a sysadmin do? How to manage these tickets and troubleshoot the devilish printer and other IT equipment?

 

glenn gray

Help Desk Horror Stories

Posted by glenn gray Oct 29, 2014

It was a dark and stormy day. The kind of day you just knew something bad—no, something evil—was going to happen. That’s when the help desk ticket came in. There was something different about this one, though. Something…eerie.

 

“Oh, no! It sounds like VoIP might be down,” shouted an admin.

 

In a mad dash, the IT team turned to their trusty VoIP & Network Quality Manager to determine the cause of the problem. They looked up from their flickering monitors with dismay.

 

In a low, shaky voice, the admin announced, “Everything looks normal, though.”

 

“But that can’t be!” Shouted another. “We’ve got the helpdesk ticket right here to prove it. Could there be…a ghost in the machine?”

 

BOO!

 

As it turned out, what really happened was that the end-user who reported the problem unknowingly pulled the cord out of their handset. A little less spooky perhaps, but no less frustrating.

 

How often do end-users bombard help desks demanding their technology issues be addressed—passing blame on to the IT department in the process—when in reality, it was a simple problem they caused and could have easily solved themselves? Pretty often!

 

Just in time for Halloween, we recently polled you, our venerable thwack community, on the simple end-user-caused problems masquerading as IT catastrophes you’ve encountered. The results—while hilarious—show that managing a help desk can be a real nightmare. Here are a few of the best stories we can all relate to:

 

  • An end-user was standing at the printer impatiently waiting for their print job to come through. After storming out of the room then returning to the printer, they declared that there was an issue with the network that was preventing his job from printing! Turns out, they were standing in front of the wrong printer.

 

  • Every day at about noon, there would be an office-wide network outage. IT tried troubleshooting with the local exchange carrier, the technology vendor and company management, but couldn’t resolve the issue. It was soon discovered that an employee was unplugging the power to the network box at the same time every day to plug in the microwave for heating lunches.

 

  • An end-user complained that he was unable to burn his presentation onto a DVD, the problem was easily solved by trading out the CD he was trying to use for an actual DVD.

 

  • While conducting an inventory check of the server room, the hardware custodian casually began pulling pieces of hardware out from the racks, causing major system crashes in the process. IT had to quickly swoop in and inform the custodian to kindly stop yanking on the hardware.

 

  • An end-user submitted a ticket asking, “How do I reply to an email? Do I copy the whole email and then open up a new email and paste it into the new email?” Uh, nope, just click on “Reply.”

 

  • More than once end-users have called the help desk to complain that the VPN is not working and that they’re getting strange errors message they’ve never seen before. More often than not, their laptops’ Wireless Network Interface Controllers were turned off.

 

  • It was a particularly cold day in the office, so an end-user in the branch office plugged a space heater into the uninterruptible power supply unit used to support the network. This caused a power overload, shutting down the entire network.

 

If you’re looking for ways to improve your help desk, check out this whitepaper. You can also find other SolarWinds resources here.

 

Oh, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

MTorok

π day ...

Posted by MTorok Mar 14, 2014

Hi everyone and happy π day.

 

It is not without regret that I also have to share with you my departure from the realms of thwack. I am off to wander new roads. Some of you know and have seen many of the twists and turns in my career of 7.5 years here at SolarWinds. Many of you have born witness to some of the greatest successes and some of the less than successful switchbacks... a 4 hour outage of thwack comes to mind as one of the later. Though, introducing ideation and gamification to the community I like to think of as some of the former.

 

There have been some incredible strides made here on thwack over the last few years and I am very proud of how the community has taken shape and the incredibly cool things you have done for us at SolarWinds. You have helped us with your feedback through polls, feature requests, and discussions to shape better product and give you what you want. I want to personally thank you for your contributions... so, Thank you. Thank you to all our MVPs, our Ambassadors, and our incredibly active internal folks, like aLTeReGo and that guy in the postscript below. adatole, it was one of the highlights of my time at SolarWinds to meet such a genuine advocate and all-around great gentleman.

 

I leave you in the capable hands of DanielleH. She has proven herself more than capable in her role of community manager here on thwack. I have also heard a rumor that our head geek friend, patrick.hubbard is going to lend a hand in my absence. I know the future holds great things for the growth of thwack and a green field of opportunities for the community. I will watch, you can be sure.

 

Thank you for your interaction and your help. You make the community.

 

Keep in touch...I'll probably be on here often. It's a difficult habit to break.

 

Be careful out there and keep your knees in the wind.

 

Michael

 

PS

Here you go Bronx, I mentioned you.

It was a glorious and dangerous idea… integrate products with thwack they said. It’s going to be great, they said. And so, what can I say, we did it.

 

Now, you all know how integrations and custom code and custom-much-of-anything works out during an upgrade, never mind a migration. When things lived outside the cloud and my developer had access to all the integration points, this was when the idea was floated. And so, it was done with only minor pain and a thought toward a future where all was still on premise and able to be debugged. Oh, there were times, both in the distant and not so distant past, I was so jealous of my former self. I wanted to walk upstairs … wait this is my nostalgia… even better…

 

I wanted to walk over to my dev friends when I once shared their glorious home (now two floors above me). I wanted to tell them, “friends, the community has stated there is breakage on the Bifrost rainbow bridge twixt Asgard and Midgard.  I know this cannot be the case, so please lend eyes to correcting Loki’s meddling, and then we shall continue our tipping of drinking horn and feasting.” With Hermod’s speed this would spread and before hour done a fix would be implemented and the products would blaze again with glorious upload-to and download-from-community integration.  A mere wart to be found and removed from the sight (site?) of the ever-vigilant community.

yggdrasil.png

  (source: Map of Yggdrasil (Nine Worlds) by solaroid on deviantART)

 

Alas, such was not the case. Community came with fiery torch lit and shining Logi’s light down upon the error did gather and let it be known – “I want much to give you the content you desire, why vex my righteous intentions?” And to this, we turned to Odin asking, why have you caused such broken to occur? This, the glorious integration you promised us would always flawlessly flow twixt single pane of glass and community of network naiads, application nymphs, storage sylphs, database sprites, and IT giants? And soon, he spoke of new REST APIs, deliciously simple code transport, easy base64 encoding, and tagged content that would magic its way through the clouds… all these glorious things were promised.

 

The cloud was embraced, the heavens parted, carrying us away with said clouds into glorious future.

 

But the cloud sometimes comes with the hidden lightning of unknown change… and upon thundering feet, the proto giants – delayed and kept at bay for such short time, nary a year – did once again throw pitch fork with glee into well-wrought machinations, unleashing bent cogs and broken toothed gears. Again, the great integration, much coveted gem, object of envy, lay cracked upon the road.  But, Ragnarok was not upon us. With knowledge befitting Ull, and also a taste for the duel, our coder set himself to coding and not 48 hours from knowledge and time did we find fix.

 

And so, I want to thank you, the community – our Heimdallr – for once again keeping us aware and keen to the double-edged blade of change. We shall always heed your call, but hope also to get ahead of these issues.

 

** Upload from the product to thwack and download to the product from thwack (without leaving your products, if so-enabled) are both fixed. Bring on the next challenge, friends. **

 

And, yes... I got a little carried away.

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

MTorok

Bring on the job posts...

Posted by MTorok Feb 5, 2014

Hi everyone,

I'm not sure if this is actually true or not (Job Postings on Here?), that is, I don't ever remember seeing a consolidated job board here on thwack. It has taken some time, but I have not forgotten the request: Job Postings.

 

The job board/employment opportunity/job request board is here: GOT A JOB? NEED A JOB? GET A JOB. Please feel free to post openings in the IT realm and offer your services, also. As with all enterprises of this type, please show discretion. Don't share your private info with the world, message people directly when it gets to that point. But, we wanted you to have a new place to look and a new place to find like-minded talented people for your next IT project.

banner920x175_thwack_job_board.jpg

As I state in the overview, this is site we'd like to see you populate with your needs, be they for a DBA, a systems engineer, an applications engineer, a network engineer, a help desk person... whatever you need to get your IT infrastructure where you need it to be.

 

We put a feed of our job ops in the page... because that makes sense? But, I think it goes without saying, but please, do not post jobs outside the IT realm... no software engineering jobs. Please don't tempt our folks away .

 

Thank you for asking for this and let's make it a great place to help one another out, draw talent, and provide cool opportunities.

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

Hi everyone,

 

The new year is right around the corner here and we thought, well, a solid year of iPods Nanos was enough... at least for now. So, we're changing it up a bit for 2014.

 

The rules are the same, comment on an Ambassador's post and score 50 points for each comment. Each comment also enters you into the monthly drawing for a chance to win the prize. We thought we'd go for an auditory add-on for our bluetooth-enabled brothers and sisters out there (who isn't these days?). So, here goes, to kick out 2013 and bring in 2014 with some boom, to encourage your participation and interaction with our most excellent of blogger commentators, and just because we think they're rather cool and fun (and we could get them in our colors)...

 

We're giving away JAMBOXes:

12-26-2013 8-46-08 AM.png

These should solve that problem where your car tunes outblast your phone's GPS (or vice versa)... If the tunes and the GPS are both on the phone... we have synergy... Is this only my 1st world problem?

 

In any case, have a fantastic new year, start it off with a blast, and I look forward to seeing you on the boards.

 

Cheers!

 

Michael

 

P.S.

As with our previous year's contest, winners will be announced in the comments section of this blog.

Hey Everyone... Here’s the deal: we’re torn.

 

There are a bunch of us here that are embroiled in creating a new bracket for you to check out during Free Throws in March (or even instead?). But the gauntlet is about to be thrown and we want you to weigh in on the first and ultimate decision…

 

Hold everything, what's a bracket battle you ask? Take a look at last year's battle here:  Sci-Fi Bracket Battle.


Is it Gandalf versus Elric of Melnibone? Or, would you be more interested in a Noctis Lucis Caelum versus Hawke? A bracket with John Snow or one with Sergeant Logan Walker?

 

This is what is keeping us up at night right now… what do you want to see us put our heads together on? Do you want a Fantasy genre bracket or a video game driven bracket? Do you want to debate Kirby over Pac-Man or Shea Ohmsford over Ben Holiday?

 

Bring your opinion to the feast hall here: For the upcoming March 2014 Bracket Battle... what shall it be?

 

And may you walk with the Light Warriors, no matter your choice.

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

MTorok

Holidays come early...

Posted by MTorok Dec 16, 2013

We're on a mission

 

We have really not been slacking over here at thwack central, though I can't believe any of you would think so anyway. Our missions have really picked up traction through the year and we are thrilled at the participation and the response. Make sure you check out the 12 days of SolarWinds mission and bring your knowledge of the product to the table for the chance to score $500.

 

Ask Widgets

 

But... that's not really what I wanted to talk about. Okay, it must have been, since I spent a paragraph on it... but, again I digress.

 

If you look at the product forums, you'll see a new cool feature: Ask <forumNameHere> widgets. We've inserted them above the featured content.

When you start typing your question, this widget will search the forum for your answer and if it isn't located, you can immediately pose the question.

Check this out: 12-13-2013 4-52-07 PM.png

 

And...a video for the holiday

 

Okay... since the holidays are right around the corner, last but not least, here's a bit of a silly treat.

 

 

Happy Holidays and see you on the boards,

Michael

Hi everyone,

I wanted to point out a couple of changes that will arrive with the upgrade beginning in the wee hours tomorrow and continuing possibly until 10 or 11am CST.

 

First, I do apologize, but you have all been so active over the last year and a half that our database itself is taking 6 hours to port and upgrade... so, I'm not sorry, I'm thankful.

 

Thank you.

 

At the same time, I know this will cut into some work time for many of you and that just was not avoidable. We expect things to go smooth... okay, no we don't, but wouldn't it be great if it did go super smoothly? As any good software/hardware/tech guy, I expect things to break. But, I hope they go super smooth. I could then stand in awe and feel strangely touched by the FSM instead of feeling like I might have let down an FSM community member.

 

Okay, barring major issues, here are some of the more noticeable changes you'll see.

 

Where'd my bookmarks go?

 

Your bookmarks are safe.

They have moved from here:

bookmarksThen.png

To the spotlight search bar, here:

bookmarksNow.png

 

How does this affect content creation?

 

If anything, I think the upgrade will make it a bit more intuitive for you to create content. After selecting the type, you get to the editor. If you are already in the forum you want to post in, the new content editor defaults to post there. You can change it, but you don't have to pick a location after a content type anymore.

discussion.png

By the way, don't pick a blog. Right now, we are still only allowing employees to blog on thwack. If you select a blog, you'll need to cancel your content creation as there will be nowhere to post it.

 

What about my calendar? My inbox?

 

If you were using the calendar icon next to search to lead you to your calendar, no worries. We just moved it to the profile menu:

Inbox&Calendar.png

When you have a new item in your inbox, you'll see a clickable orange notification button next to your name:

Welcome   thwack.png

 

Need to use a quote in your reply?

 

Depending on the type of content you're replying to, you'll either see this:

Community Vibe  When we come back to our regula...   thwack.png

 

Or this:

Edit reply to  Re  Installed rule fails to eval...   thwack.png

 

Don't Let Anyone Else Edit Your Idea

As it spins, if you are signed in, you have the ability to create "ideas" in our feature request forums. These are used, as the name implies, for feature requests.

When you create your idea, please Restrict Authors under the Advanced Options. This will keep others from being able to edit your idea. Not sure why ideas/feature requests would be a collaboration content type, but it seems our platform folks think it should be. I'm asking about defaulting this to restricted, but meanwhile check that box:

Idea.PNG

Oh, Red Bar o' Death

We have another issue we are working on that involves our infamous Red Bar of Death...

RBoD.jpg

If you are receiving an error stating that your content cannot be save and you might possibly be logged out, please go to your profile and fill in a first and last name. The error comes from these fields not being filled out in your profile. You do not have to share these fields, but you do need them filled out. We are working on a fix to this that will copy your username into your first and last name fields... but you can fix this before we get there by supplying something in the first and last name fields.

 

Please feel free to reach out to me (MTorok) or DanielleH with any questions. I hope this is a smooth and easy transition.

 

Thanks!

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

MTorok

Spooktacular October

Posted by MTorok Oct 28, 2013

Hi everyone!

 

Only in October (my favorite month (Happy October... my favorite month for so many reasons)) can I ask you this question: is your boss from h*ll? No, I mean really... you never know.

 

No sales pitch... just fun.

 

There will be a new one daily all week. And, our friends behind the camera (incredibly talented peeps: Rene Lego, Jonathan Pfertner, Andrew Garibay, and Christopher Dirlam) have promised this player will contain each of them as they are released.

 

So, check out these fantastic Halloween- focused Noob's Cube videos, just for you.

 

Spooktacular 1

 

 

Spooktacular 2

 

 

Spooktacular 3

 

 

Happy Halloween!

 

***The survey is closed. Thank you to everyone for participating. Loving the lists...***

 

Hi everyone,

For those of you who don't deal with me walking around the office with Beastie Boys lyrics occasionally slipping into my conversations... I guess I thought I'd share?

 

It just seemed strangely appropriate for this blog on numerous levels... here's the deal. We want to know what you want for the holidays. Whatever holiday you celebrate through the winter solstice, most of y'all are going to embrace the germanic tree tradition in some way, and we are curious. What are you asking Roboclaus for? What are you saving up for or fighting the urge to buy now, so you can blame the holidays for splurging? Has the Xbox One caught your eye? Maybe it's the PlayStation 4? Or maybe it's a new GoPro cam? Let us know.

 

I'm currently fighting the urge to get this:

1381537_10152035212095934_1058446237_n.jpg

 

So, head on over to the survey, tell us what'cha want, and we'll give you 250 points. And, just when you thought you knew exactly where your desires were focused, we'll reveal the top picks in a few weeks... to add choices to the dilemma.

 

And yes, it is early... but it is never to early to figure out how you will avoid all brick and mortar stores during the next 2.5 months...

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

 

 



Hi everyone,

 

Well, here we are, October is here and you can almost make it to the end of your driveway here in Austin without the fear of heat stroke.

 

October brings pumpkins, pumpkin pie, dark beer, autumn home brew... pumpkin spiced ale (yes, currently in the secondary fermentor in the beer closet). And, for once, I'm not digressing, because October has also brought us the SolarWinds thwack pint glass. I just got off the phone with our supplier and approved the coolness... and tonight it shall hold frothy goodness. Yours can too... Nothing makes the logo pop like a good porter background (though I guess you could make them work-friendly and fill it with some caramel-colored soft drink goodness).  Get yours now, friends, in the store.

 

Pints

pintglass[1].png

 

thwackPacks

We've added the thwackpacks, and you know you want one. They are well worth the 10k points. We tested over 5 different backpacks before signing off on these. Appropriately, these are made by Elleven and simply deliver that little bit more than 10 will allow... Nigel and his friends know exactly what I'm talking about. It has a side zip compartment for your laptop (up to 17") and unzips flat for easy scanning at the airport. That little board with the USBs strapped to it in the picture could only be better if it were black on black on black with black lettering. It keeps all your thumb drives, your phone (s), your ipod, what have you, all in one place... strapped in to a friction pad, so they won't move. No, the pictured stuff is not included. You don't want that flip phone.

backpack[1].jpg

 

We asked, we listened, we deliver....  If you could add an item to the Thwack Store what would it be

 

Hoodies

You wanted a hoodie... well, we've a limited quantity of these in the store... when they are gone, they are gone.

Hoodie-Full[1].jpg

T-shirts with Tude...

 

I've always liked the Geek shirts and they aren't going away, but there is so much attitude to share, no?

Tee-Replace-User-FULL[1].jpg Tee-Network-FULL[1].jpg Tee-Not-Babbling-FULL[1].jpg

 

And why not a mouse?

 

We dropped one of these in the store, too. You can never have too many, right? I know I never lost so many mice (or DVDs for that matter) until my son realized that the cordless mouse could be used as a hover craft, a replacement hot wheels, or any number of other vehicles his imagination concocted.

I've already ordered mine (it will be the one I hide and only take out when the others have all gone missing...)

mouse[1].png

 

 

thwackCamp Limited Edition Gear

 

We've got 2 limited edition thwackCamp options, too. The long sleeve

White-LS-FULL[1].jpg

and the thwackCamp combo (which is a sweet leather embossed notebook and messenger bag).

You can get the points required for these by simply attending thwackCamp and staying tuned for the intermission quizzes. Check out more here thwackCamp 2013... right around the October corner  and here thwackCamp 2013.

 

SolarWinds Lab Limited Edition Shirts

 

And, of course, we've restocked polos, and both of our cup styles, and we're waiting on pics for our other limited edition offering: The SolarWinds Lab shirt. It's a wihte shirt with the SolarWinds Lab logo on the front left and It's Technical on the back.

 

Meanwhile, sit back, enjoy the slightly cooler weather that seems to imply winter might show ups some day, and have an English Porter or an Irish Stout which doesn't care if it's served warm.

 

Cheers and see you on the boards,

Michael

Hey everyone,

It's that wonderful time of the year... no, not Black Friday or Cyber Monday (as if every day wasn't Cyber Monday and you'd catch any of us anywhere but online on Black Friday... but I digress).

 

It's time for thwackCamp 2013.

 

What is thwackCamp?

 

Well, thwackCamp 2013 will be a number of streamed sessions, 4 to 5 per day, given by SolarWinds Product Managers with a live chat option to get your questions answered. You will hear in depth discussion on everything from product features to the SWQL to SWIS.

4 days, 4 main topics, loads of info:

 

Not Enough? How Could That Be?

 

In true thwack style, you get points for participation. So, here's the break out:

  • Join the group to RSVP thwackCamp 2013 (earn 500 pts)
    • For 500 points, you can get a limited edition thwackCamp 2013 long sleeve shirt.
    • For 750 points, you can get a limited edition thwackCamp messenger bag and notebook.
  • During the lunch hour each day, we will open a 5 question quiz. You will have 24 hours to collect 50 points per correct answer... that's a total of 1000 points over the four (4) days. Don't you hate when people put numbers like four in parenthesis, as if you didn't know 4 was spelled four.
  • Every day there will be a drawing amongst quiz participants for a daily prize. Check out the prizes in the group: thwackCamp 2013.


What if I Miss It?


Okay, even though we spread the sessions over 4 days and we would really like to see our chat server nuke with all the activity, we also understand that you all have real day jobs. So, all the sessions will be made available after thwackCamp for viewing at your leisure. We don't want you to miss anything... okay, except the contests. Sorry, those you'll miss.


I think that covers it... If I missed something, I bet you can find it in the group.


See you on the boards and in camp!

Cheers,

Michael




Hi everyone,

 

So, thwack isn't really the place you'll see SolarWinds beat its chest and say how flippin great we are. We tend to be a bit more calm, into the game, down with the man... you know. We're the most social antisocial group we can be.

 

But this is just too cool not to write about... we scored. We hit the top 50 "must read IT blogs" and it is you we need to thank. You voted us up and you got us in.

 

Geek Speak Voted Must-Read IT Blog

Thank you!

 

Cheers and I'll see you on the boards,

 

Michael

 

P.S.

Hats off to some familiar faces:

 

 

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