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Level 15


Listen up, THWACKsters: our database fugitive has allegedly been running an expensive query for over ninety minutes. Wait time is well above average and application performance is grinding to a halt. What we need from each and every one of you is a search of every database instance, active session, and query—search on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments. Your fugitive's name is X.E. Dental DBA. Your job is to vindicate him and set him free.

You will have the assistance of SolarWinds® Database Performance Analyzer to help you prove DBA’s innocence, which will provide you with response-time analysis, historical trending, Multi-Dimensional Performance Analysis, and more.

The race for proof is on! Good luck!


Use the mission’s resources to complete the tasks and answer the questions for a chance to win!

  • Correctly answer each question during the week and you'll be entered for a chance to win the weekly prize
  • Correctly answer all 20 questions over the course of the month and you'll be entered for a chance to win the grand prize: Nintendo Switch


A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on April 3, 2017.

Once a question has opened, it will remain open until April 30, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.

Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.

Correctly answer all five questions within a given week and you’ll be entered to win the weekly prize:

150 points are being awarded for each correctly answered question. There are 20 questions, which means you can earn a maximum of 3,000 points for this mission.


Complete the mission shortcut to earn up to an additional 1,000 THWACK points & enter to win a set of Samsung Gear IconX Cordfree Fitness Earbuds with Activity Tracker!

The shortcut is simple:

1.    Download Database Performance Analyzer

2.    Upload a screenshot after install of the Register Instance Wizard

3.    Earn 1,000 THWACK points per product & enter to win a set of Samsung Gear IconX Cordfree Fitness Earbuds with Activity Tracker!

4.    Check out the Getting started guide for DPA to learn about the latest features.

Mission shortcut Terms & Conditions: US, UK, & Canada | Germany | Australia

Database Performance Analyzer

Performance Monitoring, Analysis, and Tuning software.

Weekly PrizesMon
Week 1: Echo Dot 2nd generation

Complete questions 1-5 by April 9th to be entered to win

Week 2: Puma digital sports watch

Complete questions 6-10 by April 16th to be entered to win

Week 3: Go Pro Hero

Complete questions 11-15 by April 23rd to be entered to win

Week 4: Jpilis Fitness Tracker

Complete questions 16-20 by April 30th to be entered to win

Correctly answer all 20 questions by April 30th and get entered to win the Grand Prize!
Nintendo switch

Monthly Mission Terms & Conditions: US, UK, & Canada | Germany | Australia


Thanks for choosing a fun selection of prizes.  This mission is timely for me; I've got three DBA's interested in DPA.  Plus I've learned it's not to be used "on its own", but requires SAM or SRM--I'd no idea!  This will be a fun one to learn from.

Level 10

Awesome! A DPA Mission. I live in the product for hours every day, i wonder if this will teach me something i didnt know.

To rschroeder​, let your DBA's get it! its an amazing tool. One my companies Database Instances had average daily wait times of ~300 hours+. Using DPA ive been able to get this under 50 consistently day in day out and can see when anything is slightly abnormal now.

Level 10

This month's mission comes at a great time for us as well. A new Senior DBA and they are already asking for the information DPA provides. And we have SAM, so we are already 1/2 way there!

Level 9

+1 to the timing!  We were just approved licensing for DPA, and I will be going through the installation and configuration this week or next.

You're funny:  "Let your DBA's get it."  I don't have control over whether they get it, and I wish I did--Management and Budget control that choice.

I'm an advocate of all things Orion, and I'd be happier with DPA and SAM and SRM added to our pane of glass.

Level 17

Yes! MOAR DPA MISSIONS! Let me know if you ever have questions regarding data, databases, or DPA!

Be sure to check out the DPA Getting Started Guide after you install DPA. While its got a lot of great information for every level of user, it is designed to help you get up and running, and seeing immediate value with DPA in a very short time using real world use cases.

Awesome looking mission! I could use some fun facts about DPA


I was in the same boat for a long time... SAM is really good.  I'm adding SRM next.  I'd get SAM before anything else as it along with NPM is really powerful.

Level 9

Hey rshroeder, I've been using DPA since it was Ignite by Confio (bought by SolarWinds a few years back).  I'm a DBA, and I use it independently of other SolarWinds products, so I'm not sure where you heard you needed SAM or SRM, but that's not the case.  It's probably the best database monitoring tools I've used in my career, and I've worked with several.


Nice we are using DPA here, maybe this will get the DBAs excited.


Level 10

DPA is amazing (Confio Ignite formerly, iirc), used by a bunch of people at my company and they may melt without it some days (this needs to be tested). It's definitely worth a purchase, even if it's just one instance, it lets you have taste of what the product can do.

I would _love_ to have every module added into the single platform, but capex cuts decide other things have higher priority. It's funny how many times I have to tell people I cannot tell them what our I/O looks like with our file based storage and that SRM was cut from capex. I need it on repeat and recorded. I wish SRM wasn't based on disk, but more of an array based license. I'm at or around the 1,000 disk mark with 4 arrays right now.

SAM + NPM + NTA is basically core. I can't imagine any customers without those, they won't know what they're missing.


Those were my first three modules too and you're right.


I'm dealing with the same thing with SRM right now... I have a TON of NAS's and SAN's with ridiculous number of disks... some are smaller fast disks or SSD's spread out to make it more parallel.  This also makes licensing an issue.  Seems you'd be better off buying larger disks if this is how it's going to be licensed?

Level 14

We're running NPM, SAM, NTA and a few others, but I recently demo'd vMan to our VMware team. It seemed expensive, but when they started to realise the resource savings it would identify to them, raising the PO came quite quickly. It's up & running & so now I'm demoing SRM to the storage team. And looking good

Level 9

Not happy with today's question, I watched the video and read the information relating to DBA and my answer was incorrect.

I selected answer C (Historical Data) based on the following:

"DPA tracks these blocker sessions backward in time to discover the last known queries that were running within the transaction before it went idle. Armed with that info, the DBA can collaborate with the developer to fix the application code causing the idle blocking."

Sounds like it tracks historical data to me!


Today's question was to outline the new AG feature of DPA 11.0.  Historical charts were pre-existing.

Level 12

Yep, a quick search for key terms yielded the correct answer in seconds.

Level 9

I am glad this month is DPA. I am working on trying to see the benefit in us having this. Thanks!


I will say that I love DPA.  We have owned it longer than Solarwinds has.  I'm not a DBA, but I can find problems inside of DPA.  At that point, I can get a real DBA involved to help resolve it.

The only problem I have with DPA, is I wish Solarwinds would redesign the backend.  The current environment requires a one to one relationship between an app server and SQL server.  Currently, we are at 8 pairs of servers, with future outlook putting us over 20 pairs in order to get all production / qa servers monitored.  That being said, maybe it's too database intensive to connect multiple app servers to a single SQL box.  Like I said, not a DBA.

Level 13

I wanted DPA  back when it was Confio Ignite but we couldn't afford it.  Got it a little over a year ago and it's up all day every day on my desktop.  Absolutely love it.  Great product.

Level 10



Server sprawl - then VM sprawl - now database sprawl - - - Say it ain't so!!!

Level 13

i did the shortcut mission, and I have 5 servers connected to I have to spend some money as I don't want to give it up...

Damn you Solarwinds for creating great products...

The way we're silo'd I couldn't justify SAM, SRM, or DPA; my team does "pure networking" and we only have customers of switches & routers & AP's & firewalls.  No applications, no servers (technically).

But OH, WHAT WE COULD DO if we had those other modules . . .!

Ah, but have you seen the pricing structure per database for DPA?  I could easily spend $1M on DPA licensing alone.  Maybe Opra has some DPA license money for me . . .?

"Captain Jack will get you . . . ."

Level 12

Another video.  Oh well, at least intuition and dumb luck spared me from the dreaded red X. 


Level 8

UGH!  Today's answer is killing me.  I'm so scared to's so vague.  Nobody want's that dreaded red X on their screen.

2017-04-06_07h53_06.jpg Have not seen this one in awhile. Heck of a way to start your day.

Me too.

Level 11

I emphasized, in my head, the "intuition" you mentioned and then played the video again and it all seemed very clear to me.  And it was, no dreaded red X!  Thank you!

Level 10

Today's question about locking and blocking was literally the first question I have ever missed. I honestly don't know why my answer was wrong. Video questions are a challenge anyway since I have no audio at work and have to rely on captions. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that today's failure rate is abnormally high. So much for that Switch, it figures I would miss a question during a month where I actually wanted the monthly prize.

Level 12

And no transcript on the video.

Level 13

I agree, the per node DPA licencing costs make it cost prohibitive to use in our environment. Would love to see SolarWinds throw in a single copy with the Orion Suite so we can proactively monitor the Orion DB.

Level 12

One can point the DPA tool at different instances and let it run, but then you loose history on the orphaned databases. Not a great monitoring model.

Level 13

yep, nothing like a big red x



My video keeps getting stuck at 1:21???


I have no idea about today's answer... they only mention one thing in the video but I also see deadlock button in the video in addition to the root blocking and SQL statements... ugh!

The hint for all you need is in the question....  Use the force...  all will be presented to you.  

Oi! That was a tough one for sure. The answer(s) is/are indeed in the video.

Level 10

Indeed, thanks (got it right!!!)

Level 9

Watch the video carefully and the answer will be clear.

Level 12

Well this time I wasn't able to locate the answer using other methods as I am pressed for time today and since I can't do video at work I ended up getting this one wrong by using my best guess. 

This is exactly what I'm dealing with right now rschroeder​ and it drives my crazy my last org was not like this.

Level 9

I have watched the video multiple times and still can't narrow down the answer.

Level 8

I should have finished my morning coffee before doing this question. I got the bid red X too.