Why am I Excited for "Optimize All the Things?"

Why Am I Excited for “Upgrades Made Easy?”

I’m truly proud of the work the product and development teams have done to improve the upgrade process for the SolarWinds Orion Platform software. As an IT professional, I’ve dealt with painful upgrades and when I encounter one, I generally never upgrade that software again. SolarWinds has doubled down and invested heavily in making upgrading as painless as possible. Historically, the process hasn’t been painful so much as it has been tedious—multiple installers, multiple servers, multiple configurations, but it’s all changing, and upgrades are getting better and better.

Why am I really excited? Because we will be seeing a real upgrade, in real time, with multiple servers.

Why Am I Excited for “The Top 5 Common Problems With SQL Server (And How to Fix Them)?”

Accidental DBA—that’s the title I’ve earned with respect to databases within my career in IT. I like to say I know enough to be dangerous, and I’ve met countless people who are in the same place with me. The problem with having this dangerous level of knowledge without being proficient is sometimes I don’t know what I don’t know. Which is why I take every opportunity to speak to and listen to Tom about databases. It’s cliché to say he’s forgotten more about SQL Server than I’ve learned, but that doesn’t make it untrue.

If five common problems can be fixed, then those five bits of knowledge might be enough to level me up and out of the dangerous classification and up to merely precarious. That’s a step in the right direction and worth my time.

Why Am I Excited for “Service Desk Automation: Level Up?”

There have been so many additions to SolarWinds Service Desk in the last few months, and I feel like I can’t keep up some days. This is an opportunity to catch up about how the software is growing and evolving to help the IT pro and their organization. Look, let’s be blunt: we’re all short on time—a fact 2020 has exacerbated—so many of us are turning to automation in one fashion or another. If I can automate some of my incident and problem management, shouldn’t I be doing so?

I’ve personally spent time working on a service desk, and seen the workflows get complex. Unfortunately, human error is also common on manual workflows. Deciding on a workflow is good, but automating it is great and that’s why I’m tuning in—because Liz and Azunna are experts in this space. You cannot go wrong by listening to the experts.

Why Am I Excited for “Custom Properties Revisited?”

Custom properties are the hidden superpower of the Orion Platform. Chrystal has had a ton of experience working with good, bad, and tragic monitoring deployments. Since she’s seen just about everything when it comes to custom properties, her recommendations will be ones I can count on. If you’re thinking of revamping your custom property schema or if you’ve never used your own custom properties, this is an excellent primer.

I always seem to struggle on how to introduce the concept and various uses of custom properties to people who haven’t used them. I’m sure Chrystal will cover the basics in a way I can easily use for my own discussions with people in the future.

Why Am I Excited for “Custom Properties—The 2020 Edition?”

I’m frequently amazed at how custom properties are used in various organizations. They’ve implemented them in ways that never occurred to me, tracking information on nodes or applications, which staggers my mind and humbles me completely.

Those are the kinds of environments Chrystal and Marc worked with for the past several years. They’ve seen so many deployments in a staggering number of variations, I’d be a fool to skip hearing how those customers were implementing custom properties. I’m modest enough to realize I haven’t thought of every cool way to work with custom properties, so I’m hoping to pick up an idea or two during this session.