I attended DevOpsDays last week, and have had time to get my head around what’s going on with SolarWinds customers. And this being thwack, (my safe place), I want to brag on you all a bit. Something amazing is happening, and you, the members of thwack, are at the center of it. Sharp IT admins, from very small companies all the way to our largest multinational corporate users, are actually making the move to DevOps.



You’re not doing it because someone like me told you it can help. You’re doing it because it’s helping you get a handle on production, the crazy-complexity you didn’t ask for, and  reducing breakage. It’s letting you test- scratch that- QA changes before you make them. For some of you, it’s even enabling the holy grail of IT we all dream about: business-hours production changes (without the need for maintenance windows) using continuous delivery processes.


Speaking to you on the phone, or meeting with you at tradeshows, gives me hints that the movement is growing. But DevOpsDays Austin gave me a chance to experience a full immersion class in what you’re actually doing in the field. First, and this seems to be the same everywhere, more than half of the attendees were current customers or former users working to bring SolarWinds to their new gig. And while that was a little surprising at the cloud mothership show, (AWS Re:Invent), DevOpsDays engineers didn’t materialize out of thin air into Linux and Scrum. They got the DevOps religion while keeping the lights blinking on all the same gorp that everyone else deals with.


Tuesday I gave a presentation about using our SWIS API to turn Orion into an IT automation platform, which is not something we normally talk about from the stage. SolarWinds’ primary and eternal internal design requirement is to be easy to use, right out of the box. It’s a secret – okay, an open secret – that  Orion is also hugely customizable, and you regularly stun us with how powerfully you’re integrating it into your operations. I concluded my remarks by inviting customers interested in integrating SolarWinds into their DevOps processes to visit our table, and – wow – did you take me up on it.


DevOpsDaysConnie.jpgYou often start with inventory management-driven discovery and automated monitoring, followed by network config change automation using NCM. The third step seems to be split between integration with your helpdesk systems and sophisticated alert suppression and report customization based on customer properties updated via the API. Most amazing is how many of you are doing this integration and customization solely by thwack threads and a little bit of Tim Danner magic.


My takeaway is to ask the community if this is something we should talk about more. Should we surface more of the amazing customizations you advanced users are doing, or will that confuse new users who, like you once did, are starting out of the box and just want to get going quickly?  Let me know what you think. Keep your comments coming in the SolarWinds Lab live chat, or say hello at a live event like SWUG, Cisco Live, VMworld, or Microsoft Ignite. You are advancing the future of IT by embracing your internal programmers. Let me know how I can help.