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THWACK Monthly Mission - January 2020

Community Manager

You ever heard the saying “the future is now?” If you haven’t before, let me be the first to introduce you to it. We’re the front line of preparing you for the future. We’re the little guys in the machine, providing visibility into the cracks and crevices of your IT environment of which you aren’t even aware. We’re the Orion® Platform.

Our mission is simple. Create a responsive, intuitive environment to let you—the expert—get a better view under the hood of your own machines.

Join us in our quest to secure the future. Start your mission.


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.

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.

Want to join the mission, but not a member? Sign up FREE now!


Weekly Prizes & Drawing Dates:
January 13, 2020:  Divoom Tivoo Smart Portable LED Speaker

January 20, 2020:  Specdrums Musical Rings w/ Play Pad

January 27, 2020:  Vinyl Record Player

February 3, 2020:  Apple Airpods

Grand Prize:
February 3, 2020:  Sony Soundbar


A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on January 6, 2020. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until February 2, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.


Complete the mission shortcut between January 6, 2020 and February 2, 2020 to be entered to win a Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones w/Alexa Voice Control!

Shortcut Steps:

    1. Go to the SolarWinds Product Upgrade Advisor.

          a. Note: If you're a SolarWinds customer, logging in to the Customer Portal may give you a slightly different experience.


    2. Enter information about your current environment by answering questions 1-4.

          a. If you are not a current SolarWinds customer

                    i. For question #2, select No

                  ii. For question #3, select Network Performance Monitor as the product, and 12.3 for the version

                  iii. For question #4, select Network Performance Monitor as the product, and 2019.4 for the version

          b. If you are a current SolarWinds customer

                    i. For question #4, choose the same product you selected in question #3 and select 2019.4 for the version

    3. Check compatibility.

    4. Submit a screenshot of the results.


Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by January 12, 2020 to be entered to win: Divoom Tivoo Smart Portable LED Speaker
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by January 19, 2020 to be entered to win: Specdrums Musical Rings w/ Play Pad
Week 3: Complete questions 11-15 by January 26, 2020 to be entered to win: Vinyl Record Player
Week 4: Complete questions 16-20 by February 2, 2020 to be entered to win: Apple Airpods

Correctly answer all 20 questions by February 2, 2020 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Sony Soundbar

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

January Mission Shortcut Terms & Conditions: US, UK, and Canada | Germany | Australia

Level 20

Coming down to PHX SWUG 3.0 next week?  Baby Yoda is!!!


Get there early for breakfast and coffee or tea on Wednesday morning!

Do or do not... there is no try!

Mind what you have learned. Save you it can.

Level 14

Did anybody ever find the Cisco 2960 subview that was shown in question 16?

Level 8

no still missing for me

Level 10

Another Awesome Mission! Good, relevant information, presented in a FUN and entertaining way. KEEP THEM COMING!

Congratulations, to all the winners!

Level 9

yeah, great mission it is

I'm really looking forward to another great SWUG!  I'll be presenting a session on being "that guy" that comes into an organization and is handed a large SolarWinds environment and having to take control of the beast.

Level 10

"So here you go."

"What am I supposed to do with it?"

" and stuff."

Gee.  Thanks.


Been there...

Actually it is more like:

We are on this tool and between the time we interviewed you and your start we decided to migrate to that tool.

The last person didn't document anything (Cliff Notes - this page intentionally left blank)...

Good Luck!


I'll be there, ecklerwr1​, as long as travel plans don't change in the next few days. Sounds like this one will be packed, and I'm sure it will be a great SWUG!

Level 10

I have absolutely been in that spot.

But what I thought was going to be terrible turned out to actually define my career.  I'm grateful for the blank slate because I was plunged headfirst into Cisco Unified Communications architecture, with a Linux backbone to boot.  Even our vendor of choice hadn't dealt with Linux before, so i wrote our operations book from scratch - from flowcharting the call structure to structuring agent calls in the IPCC.  The vendor asked if they could use the operations book for their other customers.


i went from knowing nada about VoIP to being the go-to within the company when the system had issues.

So there's always a plus side when being handed an unwieldy beast.

If you're willing to wrangle it. 

(And as an aside - using Linux was a huge plus.  I'd watch my friends struggle with their VoIP when Windows would send a KB that'd crash their system.  Linux?  No worries - no downtime.)

I can't imagine being handed Solarwinds and told - "You're in charge.  Good luck."


At least customers have this place and lots of documentation and a good community.

That's a plus! 


I was hired once to migrate from Solarwinds to HP Openview...and then told to make it look like Orion <facepalm>.

The Cliff notes reference is my current place of employment where the role was to migrate from an old unicenter EM Console to Orion.

None of the rules in the EM console were documented nor were any of the resulting events tied back to the source rule.

Level 12

I was nearly that - was in the organization and was handed a Solarwinds environment that our networking team had built without telling me.

Level 12

Q 19 sucked. I don't normally complain.

Two seemingly correct answers and a poorly worded correct one seems to be the way it shakes down.

I just wanted to grumble, that's all I have to say.

I'm glad it's Friday.

Level 10

Page means Template.

Level 14

Not particularly happy about Q18.  If you have used an incorrect work in the question then how is the question supposed to be answered correctly.  There were two answers that wer correct according to the hint but only one answer was permitted.  I believe people guessed at it but I don't work that way.  Very disappointed.

Level 14

In my last place I inherited a Solarwinds solution that no one had looked at for at least 6 months and no one had documented.  It took me a while but I got there thanks to loads of people on here.

Level 10

Really feeling dumb on the January mission. All green checks, but then I forgot to do the last question... Which was most likely just a survey. DOH!


Level 20

That's ironic... the worst would be missing mission master status over that... I've been one before but not this year!


Level 9

I bet there are a few of us supporting the similar t'shirts 😉

Level 12

I've done that multiple times.

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to the GEEKS for another great mission!  See you at the Phoenix SWUG!


petergwilson  wrote:

Not particularly happy about Q18.  If you have used an incorrect work in the question then how is the question supposed to be answered correctly.  There were two answers that wer correct according to the hint but only one answer was permitted.  I believe people guessed at it but I don't work that way.  Very disappointed.

I didn't guess. The question was looking for "new management templates". One of the answer used the word new and management but not the word template. The other 'answer' didn't use any of the 3 words. So I picked the correct answer.


I'm not sure what you mean. You had to select multiple answers so I selected two. It seems you may only have selected 1 answer?


Level 14

Superfly  -  That's not actually true.  Two of the answers were word for word in the hint and both were in the new features section.  Neither referenced the word 'Template' so you would have had to have actual experience of the product in order to know what the two features did.  Sadly I don't have experience of it so was left to guess.  You either had prior experience, misread the question or got lucky. 

Level 10

I had monthly mission master for 2018, I have a nice little award in my cube, I missed it in 2019... And now I'll miss it again in 2020.

Level 11

I know that guy BSI316!!! this is totally unfair there is no justice in this world.  I an green with envy!!!

Level 7

Its ok old man i still care for you

Level 8

Who is this fogie

Level 7

Must be a bot


I just realised I looked and pasted in the wrong question. Here's question 18 and only 1 correct answer.


If you search on the hint link for 'new management', you will see only 1 correct answer pop up.

Yes another one of the answers was in the text but it's not what it was looking for. So no I didn't have prior experience, I didn't misread the question and didn't get lucky. I selected the correct answer based on searching for 'new management'.

Hope that helps.

Level 14

No it doesn't.  You did a partial search and got lucky.  The question was worded incorrectly and led to two possible answers.

About the Author
Retired Senior Noncommissioned Officer, U.S. Army. I have worked with and taught computer and networking technologies, since I was a teen in the 1980s. I have extensive sysadmin, netadmin, and IT Operations Management experience. Recently served as the Network Opreations Center Manager for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and as the Service Desk Manager for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. I am now an Onsite SolarWinds Engineer for a Federal Customer on SHAW Air Force Base in SC. Born and raised in the South Carolina countryside. Traveled the world. Like to play basketball, fish, troubleshoot network problems, and spend quality time with my family.