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7 Habits of Successful SolarWinds Customers

Level 14

Here are some activities to consider to help you become more successful using SolarWinds products. Bookmark these 7 habits in your favorites!

1. Wait, you don’t know the answer? ASK the THWACK community!

Join THWACK™, the SolarWinds Community of over 150,000 IT Pros!

2. Get Access to the Customer Portal!

What is so great about your Customer Portal? You will have access to free, instructor-led training, you can view the status of support cases and gain knowledge and insight into what’s next with SolarWinds.  Don’t be left out when it’s time to upgrade, renew or add more licensing. See it all here at your fingertips.  Request your *Customer Portal Login if you don’t have access. If you are the Customer Portal Administrator, you can simply add your co-workers. Here are the instructions on how to set up a new user in the Customer Portal.

a) Start taking Free Training Now: No budget required for training offered by SolarWinds!  Use the Virtual Classrooms calendar view in your Customer Portal so you can see all the upcoming live classes that are offered. Can’t make it to live training? Check out the latest recorded on-demand videos.

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b) Keep up to date on recent product releases:  Get the current feature releases for current product enhancements and updates at your fingertips, even easier.

c) Download FREE trials for products:Download FREE Trials of any SolarWinds products (we have over 30 to choose from) without having to fill out a form. NO FORM just PICK-CLICK- DOWNLOAD! Try other SolarWinds products to boost your productivity. If you do have questions or need assistance with your evaluation, contact customersales@solarwinds.com.

PRO TIP* - Link your Customer Portal account with your THWACK account to automatically earn 2000 THWACK points – Learn How  One of the benefits of linking your THWACK & Customer Portal accounts is you can get up to 2,000 THWACK points for every live customer training course attended.

3. Understand how to open a support case and get the right visibility

Please take a look at this article on how to check the status of your support case and increase visibility. To check the health of your Orion Platform, you can now simply open the Orion Health page if you're on Orion Platform version 2018.2 and above. We've also provided a video for you on how to use the Active Diagnostics feature of Orion Platform products if you are running an older version of the Orion Platform.

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4.   Learn how to prepare your system for a stress free upgrade

If you are under active maintenance, you can upgrade to the latest version free of charge. Take advantage of new features and performance improvements and upgrade to the latest version. Be sure that your current version of software is supported – we’ve announced end of life for some versions recently. Here are the top resources to help you successfully upgrade:

  • Back Up SolarWinds - Be sure you have a current back up of your Orion Platform database (you should be doing this already!)
  • Use Upgrade Resources:

a) Product Upgrade Advisor – The product upgrade advisor will help you establish steps for upgrading. If you need help upgrading to the latest releases of your SolarWinds software, contact support.

b) Upgrade Guides – Go to the Success Center homepage, simply choose your product, select the documentation tab and then select the “UPGRADE GUIDE”. Some guides also include step-by-step videos so you can follow along.

c) SolarWinds Academy Watch this recorded training - Tips & Tricks for Upgrading NPM​ (and any Orion Platform product).

d) Get help from an expert: If you would like an upgrade expert to be with you every step of the way, learn more about our Smart Start - Orion Upgrade offering.

5. Customization – Take your monitoring to the next level!

  • Get the basics down first by leveraging concepts outlined in our Getting Started Guides.
  • Use Community-Contributed Reports & Templates. We know that creating custom reports and templates can be time-consuming. That's why SolarWinds created aContent Exchange on THWACK, where engineers like you can share the custom reports, network config templates and application templates they have built.
  • Learn how to customize your environment with free training and documentation in the Success Center. Check out these guides on how to create custom templates, use custom properties, create custom alerts, and how to create custom reports.
  • Join or create groups to collaborate with like-minded members. Here you can find and meet the THWACK MVP’s, SolarWinds employees, and Technology Partners that can help you find scripts, custom reports and even find an Alert Guru or two!

6. Share your Story – No ordinary campfire tales here!

SolarWinds prides itself on the amount of sharing of knowledge and feedback we are able to present on an ongoing basis. Customers are always looking for ways to find the best practices, latest tips & tricks that others are using. We offer multiple ways to interact with fellow customers. You can attend a local SWUG (SolarWinds User Group), read testimonials, write and read a product review or refer a colleague.

  • SWUG - Cost to attend SWUG is FREE & these are onsite, in-person events. Locations for these events are currently based on demand for a particular area.

You can request your area here. If you are interested, you can also sign up to apply to be host for a SWUG in your area. Apply Now!.

7.  Keep IT fun and informative!

Learning IT best practices doesn’t have to be dull. Who doesn’t enjoy playing a game or finding a mission to gain insight and knowledge to get the job done. Check out the latest THWACK contest or mission, our customer’s favorite way to learn and earn THWACK points for exclusive Solarwinds SWAG! Or visit the Geek Speak™ blog to learn what's currently going on in the world of IT Management. Save these into your favorites so you can stay engaged and informed.

What is your favorite habit? Any others you would add? Please comment below. Best of 2017 to you!

15 Comments

I have done all of these steps and agree, they make for a successful and stable Solarwinds install.

RT

I'm not aware of any other site that offers as much as Thwack does--for free!

Use it, grow, shine.

Show off your best there, and learn from others.

MVP
MVP

I've been a part of the Solarwinds family for about 4 years now and have found most of those ideas an resources along the way. Nice article to bring them all together.

That article should be a "welcome to Solarwinds" letter to every new user.

MVP
MVP

Oh, yes, you asked favorite habit.

I try to spend at least 15 minutes a day on Thwack interacting with the community. It has been extremely valuable to my position and company.

MVP
MVP

yep, same here. I try to dedicate time each day to stay in touch

Level 11

wow thack in simple terms.. super write up

Level 10
Level 7

Love it. To the point and practical. Will definitely be using this.

Level 10

Very nice, great write up!

One small critique...

Under Step #1 I would put the 2nd bullet point first. This ties back to the Word-A-Day Challenge, "Ask".

"In my career I have been in many situation where I have had to ask. What I have learned is that there is value in HOW you ask. You get more with tact, grace, humility, and appreciation than treating someone like a search engine. Social interaction skills are required."

In other words... As a newbie, make the token effort to research how to add a node into NPM before posting a question onto Thwack.  😉

Level 11

Nice post...I didn't do a lot of this stuff in the beginning....but I do now.  I'm a slow learner...

Level 13

I agree...people think that asking is a weakness...it actually shows intelligence and wisdom...

Great post, keep it on the front page!

Level 12

Ditto, to your comment Richard.

However I have now been using SolarWinds Orion on and off since November 2009.

Over that time I have seen the new versions of SolarWinds Orion just get better and better at showing us what we need to know to fix problems or ideally pro-actively make the necessary changes to keep the network connectivity working.

Level 14

Absolutely right!
And chasing the points every morning makes sure that I get a fresh view of the world of Thwack at least once a day & it normally puts a smile on my face as well. That can only be a good thing.

About the Author
Like SolarWinds, I have roots in Oklahoma and have been fond of land grant schools as I went from Oklahoma State University, moving South to Texas A&M University.  Like my college career (accounting, political science, Russian language and then MBA), I have suffered ADD in my professional career moving from finance to strategy to product management and marketing.  I have, however, settled on the broad niche of systems management and have acquired knowledge in this space over the last 11 years. I was very happy to join the SolarWinds team in January 2012 and have been very impressed with the technology.  I look forward to engaging with this community.