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My name is Leon Adato, and I'm a SolarWinds Head Geek

Level 18

head_geek2.png

I can't believe I get to say that.

I have been using SolarWinds products since 2003, and a member of Thwack for almost as long. But until this week, I hadn't thought about how it would feel to write a blog post like this.

It's been an interesting journey to this point

I started out 25 years ago as a classroom trainer teaching WordPerfect 5.1 and DOS basics. After 5 years and more applications than I can count, I made the leap to desktop support, and then server admin. And then, during a project where we rolled out standard PC and server images to about 10,000 systems, I had the chance to work with an inventory and software distribution tool called “Tivoli”. As it turned out, Tivoli did other things too. Like monitoring and event correlation. I was hooked.

That was about 12 years ago. Since then, I've had a chance to work in small environments (dozens of systems) as well as large ones (10,000 devices in 150 locations) and even gargantuan ones (250,000 systems in 5,000 locations). I've had the chance to work not just with Tivoli, but also NetIQ, Patrol, OpenView, Sitescope, Zenoss, Nagios, and a few others. I've had the chance to learn about monitoring AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, various flavors of Linux, routers, switches, load balancers, wireless devices, storage systems, UPS and environment controls, virtualization platforms, and every flavor of Windows except Microsoft Bob.

In all that time and all those tools, three things stood out about SolarWinds

First is how easy it is to accomplish so many things. It's not that you can't do certain things with other tools. Let's be honest: Given enough time and expertise, you can set up monitoring using nothing more than Perl, Cron, and a few well-designed shell scripts. But with SolarWinds you can do more in less time, and that translates to having more sophisticated solutions implemented in the time it takes just to get other tools  up and running.

Second, the level of development across the entire suite of SolarWinds tools is nothing short of astonishing. It's not an exaggeration to say that, if you have more than 2 products, you will probably upgrade something once every quarter. And even though each upgrade comes with the usual hassle of testing, coordinating change control windows, and late nights, it's hard to justify NOT doing it because each new version comes with features that are innovative, compelling, and just flat-out slick as snot.

But what really sticks with me is the dedication and insight of the folks who graciously share their expertise on these forums. Like I said, I've been using SolarWinds (and hanging out on Thwack) since 2003. I'm here to tell you that the forums for “the other guys” don't have this level of ongoing interest, communication, and engagement (both between users and with staff). They don't have “regular folks” who carve out time every week (sometimes every day) just to help other users with questions. They don't nominate MVP's. They certainly don't have a store where people spend hard-won points to get shot glasses, lab coats, and so-bright-you'll-never-misplace-it laptop sleeves.

So when the job posting came my way, I jumped at it. For me, it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

I now have a business card that reads "Leon Adato, SolarWinds Head Geek".  It's hard to imagine anything cooler than that.

Part of this job is to be a technical evangelist: I'm here to evangelize not just SolarWinds tools, but monitoring as a discipline of I.T. My take on that evangelism is that I want to see monitoring design become as consistent and repeatable as network designs. I plan to provide resources – documents, matrixes, case studies, sample RFP's business justifications, ROI models, and more – that help make the business case and overcome purchasing department interia. Most of all, being a technical evangelist means I'm here to show the importance and relevance of monitoring to the challenges companies face, and demonstrate how having a solution is more cost effective than doing nothing.

Another part of the job is to keep my "customer" hat firmly on my head. It means drawing on my experiences over 12 years setting up monitoring for dozens of enterprises and be the voice of the customer in roadmap discussions. To make sure “wouldn't this be a cool looking widget” doesn't trump “we needed this key feature yesterday” during design meetings.

But the best part of the job is that I get to be as excited as you are when monitoring saves the day (or the bottom line) for your organization.

My name is Leon Adato, and I'm a SolarWinds Head Geek.

self_500_20130628-2.jpg

46 Comments
Level 13

Congratulations! I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say. Hopefully it will help us as we push to grow our NOC and better position ourselves as a service provider and value-add to the rest of our department and our company.

Level 13

Cool   

Level 9

Welcome to the SolarWinds family, Leon Adato!

anchorman-celebration-gif.gif

Level 12

Well deserved.  I know how much you have helped me.

Sounds a bit like your in a 12 step program from the post Subject though. LOL

Level 12

Don't forget to put it in your (ME in THREE)

Level 18

Nice!

Level 18

I'm OK with that, You are never a "recovered" geek. You might be in recovery, but it's never gone. As for me, I may have admitted I'm a geek, but I'm not yet ready to address "the problem".

Level 16

CCongrats.  You will make a great addition to the solarwinds family of geeks!

Congratulations Leon!  Well deserved indeed.

Level 12

Wow!!! well deserved Leon Adato

MVP
MVP

Congrats Leon Adato !!!

Level 17

congrats!!

Level 16

Congrats and welcome on board!

WOW!!! Congratulations to you, Leon! I can't think of someone more qualified to inherit this mantle. Enjoy.

Level 10

!!Congrats!! Leon AdatoYou eared every letter of the title/


So are you going to be on the next SolarWinds Lab?

poke-> Patrick Hubbard & Lawrence Garvin

Level 17

Welcome aboard!

Level 9

WELCOME and Congrats Leon! Can't wait to meet you and work with you!

Level 7

Congrats Leon and welcome to the team!

MVP
MVP

This is cool! Congrats Leon!

I have noticed only 4 people have this one... pretty impressive. What do I do to get on this list?

Level 11

Congrats Leon !!

    Okay...anyone else besides me have the urge to just type "Hi, Leon !"    (never mind if you don't get the reference......)

Level 10

Congratulations Leon Adato.

Level 14

Holy smokes it wasn't just a bad dream, Leon Adato really did leave me after 2 weeks of working together to be a Head Geek at Solarwinds.   Our loss, Solarwinds gain!

It couldn't have happened to a nice guy.  I look forward to that same quirky humour and generally geekery that have marked the past two weeks to come through in everything you do.  No pressure.

Way to go Leon!

Level 18

It's not like I'm going FAR - you can still ask all the same questions you would have before. I may even try to make a guest appearance now and then!

Level 10

Congratulations sir!

I had already thought of you as a SolarWinds Head Geek, so it seems you're right where you belong.

Level 9

Congrats Leon. I look forward to working with you. You're certainly a great addition to the team!

Congrats, Leon. 

Level 17

I am a Geek and honestly, I do not have a problem with that. See, no denial, no problem!

Congrats!

Level 12

Congrats, Leon

Level 14

Congratulations!  I get it now!  lol

Level 13

Congratulations! Leon.  Can't wait to read your upcoming post.Leon Adato

Level 7

Very much looking forward to having you in the SWI family Leon!  It's Good to be Geek! 

Level 21

Congrats Leon, it's well deserved!

Level 13

Leon, the entire UX group could not be happier to have you here (except that we still want you as a customer to participate in feedback sessions!).  Perhaps for your first trick, you could clone yourself so you could remain our beloved customer and be head geek, too?

And--for any noobs in particular who come across this thread:  follow Leon.  You will learn tons and be so glad you did.

Congrats, Leon.  🙂

Congratulations Leon!  Thanks for all the help over the years.

MVP
MVP

Why wait... I decided to be one of those as well... anyone else?

Level 15

Congratulations. 

Level 10

Congrats, I am happy for you.  You have always been very helpful on the forums, and I look forward to seeing more of that now!

MVP
MVP

Congrats Leon

Community Manager
Community Manager

Welcome aboard, Leon Adato!  And I could not agree more about the once a quarter updates if you have multiple packages.  I know that I used to have to wait for the end of quarter before I started to upgrade my previous NPM, SAM, IPAM, UDT, NCM, APE, and WS!  $Diety forbid if I hadn't looked at them in six months or more.  The rate of release for SolarWinds is amazing!

Level 10

WTG Leon Adato!  I knew from the moment I met you that you were top of the class of geekdom!  🙂

I *loved* Microsoft Bob!  .....when I was 13.

      I didn't think anyone but me had ever played with it, and certainly didn't think anyone would remember it!

MVP
MVP

Congrats, Leon.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Speech | Out-Null

$Synth = New-Object -TypeName System.Speech.Synthesis.SpeechSynthesizer

$Synth.Speak("PowerShell loves Microsoft Bob")

Level 18

Well don't expect THAT to stop! If anything, I need to up my game now!

Level 18

Loved Bob, huh? that explains SO MUCH about you, Ms. Deal.

Level 12

Congratulations Leon!!! YAY!!!

Level 9

Congrats and well deserved...

About the Author
In my sordid career, I have been an actor, bug exterminator and wild-animal remover (nothing crazy like pumas or wildebeasts. Just skunks and raccoons.), electrician, carpenter, stage-combat instructor, American Sign Language interpreter, and Sunday school teacher. Oh, and I work with computers. Since 1989 (when you got a free copy of Windows 286 on twelve 5¼” floppies when you bought a copy of Excel 1.0) I have worked as a classroom instructor, courseware designer, desktop support tech, server support engineer, and software distribution expert. Then about 14 years ago I got involved with systems monitoring. I've worked with a wide range of tools: Tivoli, Nagios, Patrol, ZenOss, OpenView, SiteScope, and of course SolarWinds. I've designed solutions for companies that were extremely modest (~10 systems) to those that were mind-bogglingly large (250,000 systems in 5,000 locations). During that time, I've had to chance to learn about monitoring all types of systems – routers, switches, load-balancers, and SAN fabric as well as windows, linux, and unix servers running on physical and virtual platforms.