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THWACK Monthly Mission- November 2016

Level 15


This is one corner… of one IT environment, in one company, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of a virtual universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying and never remaining the same for a single millisecond.

In this month’s mission we challenge you to: analyze the past, fix the present, and prepare for the future of your virtual environment. You won’t be alone, however, accompanying you on your quest will be an arsenal of virtual monitoring tools known as SolarWinds Virtualization Manager v7!

The way we see it, if you’re going to build a virtual time machine, why not do it with some style?

Let’s see what’s out there, THWACKsters!

November Mission

Use the mission’s resources to complete the tasks and answer the questions.

Correctly answer each question during the week and you'll be entered to win the weekly prize.

Correctly answer all 20 questions over the course of the month and you'll be entered to win the Grand Prize: Playstation 4 Pro


A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on November 7th.

Once a question has opened, it will remain open until December 4th @ 11:59pm 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:

Week 1 – Drawing on 11/14 Tardis Lego Set

Week 2 – Drawing on 11/21  Phaser Remote

Week 3 – Drawing on 11/28  Death Star Watch

Week 4 – Drawing on 12/5 Remote Control Delorean

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.

Good luck!

Weekly PrizesMon
Week 1: Tardis Lego Set

Complete questions 1-5 by November 13th to be entered to win

Week 2: Phaser Remote

Complete questions 6-10 by November 20th to be entered to win

Week 3: Death Star Watch

Complete questions 11-15 by November 27th to be entered to win

Week 4: Remote Control Delorean

Complete questions 16-20 by December 4th to be entered to win

Correctly answer all 20 questions before December 4th and get entered to win the Grand Prize!
Playstation 4 Pro
Level 13

Same here.  I wonder why the country changed by itself? 

Level 10

wabbott​, jhensle​ I apologize for my comment about math and counting earlier. I was upset, but that is no excuse. Thanks for the second chance. You guys really are great, and the missions by and large are fun and educational.

Level 11

I'm going to complain about any question I get wrong from now on so I can get my 2nd, 3rd, 10th chance.... Smh

You are?! Cool.

Level 12

LOL,.... imm an and thank you jhensle

Level 11

Why thank you!

Level 11

cool ma friend.. they know what a valid complaint is so they don't revert just like that...

Level 11

Playstation 4 Pro just 11 more questions baby.. hold on then i will grab you with my name and couple of days later grab it in ma hands 🙂

Level 11

Honestly... These contests are free. Most of the complaints that come through here are invalid. I'll leave it at that. Good luck to you all

Level 12

We are all professional and every input is valuable!

Wendy is always fair and making the mission fun  


@kmillerusaf @ZibaK

Absolutely agree. The contest are great fun, educational and the team that develops them are professional, helpful and ready to help. If I complain at all it's in my head - you know those "Really, I missed that? Jumping to conclusions again are we?"

That said that missions are optional and if you decide that they are not your cup of tea just opt out.

Level 9

Thank you so much for all you do

Have a great day

Level 12

First of all, I love the contests. I love my SW swag.

I just thought I would throw in my vote my two cents about the videos.

I can't watch them at work, blocked completely, so I just guess on those questions. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Level 15

Noted. Thanks for the feedback!

Level 11

you are a system engineer and one who monitors everything (i assume using solarwinds)

so you create an exception 🙂

or tell your boss about this thwack 🙂

Level 11

the easiest question so far in this month contest..

50% of the sea i swim through.. another 50% just 10 question. Fingers crossed


It's not always that easy.  When you work for a company that has over 200 people in Security and you aren't one of them, you don't get to pick the rules on what you monitor and what you don't.

Level 11

ill pray for you bro..

Level 12

Well I missed out on the Lego set and the PS4 because I rushed last Fridays question due to Veterans day holiday and got it wrong. But I'm still in the running for the Phaser Remote which I really want but if I miss that I could get the Remote Delorean and give it to my wife for Christmas.  She has always wanted a Delorean.  

Level 11

pony10​ thanks for giving away this PS4 for me 🙂

good luck on the phaser remote.

Level 11

hi all,

did anyone got clear on today's question (day 11)?

wabbott​ look like another confusion

How many host performance recommendations are there? - Here does performance means only CPU utilization or Memory as well? Does it also include Space utilization as well?

It varies according to the system, environment, user etc. According to me performance is just on CPU and a bit on memory?

ZibaKjokerfestpony10chaxen​ did anyone got through today's question?

Level 13

Was fairly clear to me.

Key was in reading exactly what they asked for. Understanding what counts as a host is the key. I'm guessing you included the Guest VM's and the Hosts?

Level 11

Yes, if you look through the hint, "Host performance" is explicitly defined.

Level 11

A Bricklin would probably be less expensive, if she wouldn't mind its spiritual ancestor.

Level 10

I believe the common inclination is for everything to be "in your face" after you click the link for the hint.  In the case of Question 11, you may get a better "in your face" result if you click around (specifically expand the navigation tree on the left side).

Level 11

thanks for the key but


The spare resources on hosts in this cluster are unbalanced. is this not a recommendations?

i think the answer is wrong? it didnt ask for CRITICAL host performance recommendations but just host performance recommendations so that should include this as well 😞

if we are omitting this and considering then its not correct

Level 7

I think I should have waited until after my first coffee this morning as I completely missed this one. Was a little confusing as they do generally shove it in your face but it is what it is. Here's to next months prize.

Level 10

If you were to look closer, unalanced spare resources fall under "Workload Balancing" and NOT "Host Performance". 

Level 11

Once again hundreds of you qualified but our lucky week 2 winner who will be taking home a Phaser Remote​​! Congrats!

Level 12

Good morning all,

Hi Imm an, yes I got it right! (expanded categories

Level 10

disappointing that I am now not able to be part of the monthly grand prize because of a poorly worded question. Anyone else feel the burn.... My particular view showed no recommendations available.... O wait, but then it says 6 current... hmmmm pretty bad product if you cannot quickly determine the # of recommendations. Go to view by strategies. 1 listed for sizing. 0 everywhere else.

Great! I would request a re-do on this question!

Level 12

Well, that took far too long to sus out and get the right answer.  Thanks, all who provided comments this morning!  Your ideas clued me in to the concept that a well-designed and intuitive product would obviously have something available to make this kind of task easier for an Admin.  Learning to use the options they provided (intuitive ones!)  was the right way to quickly show the correct answer. 

Whew!  I stress out over these too much.  It's not the prize, but the points, for me.

Level 11

correct mate but that also talks about the host performance in the other way.. if you have unbalanced space then that means one of the hosts might go off soon and get a performance issue.

when you click on that recommendations, there itself it says clearly


The spare resources on hosts in cluster are unbalanced, based on data from the last 4 weeks. Hosts with balanced resources are more resistant to overallocation and unexpected peaks."

Dont you think this means there is a performance issue

Level 11

lucky you screw me..

I see your view point.  Perhaps you're looking too far into the issue?  Saying one of the hosts "might go off soon and get a performance issue" is not yet a performance issue.

I was able to find a way, using the web page's provided tools, to only show the correct answer, and it didn't list potential / future issues, only current ones.  That turned out to be the correct answer.

Level 12

got it wrong.  eventually, I'd like to know the answer, and why.

Level 11

even i want to know but i can guess it now.. here is one of the reason given by one of our friend

I see your view point.  Perhaps you're looking too far into the issue?  Saying one of the hosts "might go off soon and get a performance issue" is not yet a performance issue.

SW team is not considering "The spare resources on hosts in this cluster are unbalanced."  as one of the issues. 😞

dont know where to cry 😞

Level 11

well in that case all active monitoring does not show an actual performance issue but a threat that it might become a performance issue. e.g. "The memory utilization on host stp-esx-01.lab.tex has reached critical threshold." is also can be taken as there is not an actual performance issue just that the utilization has reached the threshold (if the server is down then its an issue) 😞

find a way? you mean you hacked the site (webpage to be exact :-)) ? OMG.. No comments

Happily I was able to use the options contained within the page to show only the correct answer, as it was defined in the question.

Level 12

immanuvelc No problem on the PS4.  Sadly I don't have time to mess with my PS3 so don't see a need for the PS4.

Also, it appears that I missed out on the Phaser Remote.  It's a sad day at my house. 

SW team is not considering "The spare resources on hosts in this cluster are unbalanced."  as one of the issues. 😞

I would not call this a host issue. Sounds like a cluster issue to me.

Level 13

No offence but I fail to see an issue with today's question. Plenty of people got it correct, I really don't get this "I got the question wrong so its not my fault mentality. It must be the product or the question". I've got plenty wrong in the past and just sucked it up.

Lighten up all, its an optional fun quiz.

Level 12

Meh, it took me an extra 30 seconds or so to find it.  Once you see it it's plain as day.

Level 10

I think there are a lot of very smart technology experts in Thwack.  It is very hard to "dumb it down" to just the basic facts.  I have a hard time taking the certification exams when I read questions and I have relevant real-world experience.  The book answer does not always match up to the practical way of executing the solution in your environment.

So, for these Thwack missions, I do my best to answer the questions as simply as possible.  When I get them wrong, I research the details to better understand the products, which IMHO is the intention of these missions.  When I disagree with the findings, I will post to the appropriate product forum.  So, although I agree with immanuvelc​ in his real-world expertise and interpretation, I feel this may not be the best place to discuss how virtual host performance recommendations are categorized in the SolarWinds tools.

Level 10

Not to join the complaints, but this is the only question I've ever got wrong on a monthly challenge. I agree that it was poorly worded. Oh well, here's to next month

Level 10

I got it wrong because I over thought it.  That's my fault.  I could see it either way, but my brain went back and forth between cluster issue and host issue.  Lesson learned lol.  Nice comment BTW.

Level 10

Smarter than I. lol

Level 8

I am confused on what is being asked. You asked for host recommendations, but what is listed under hosts is not an answer. Maybe I don't understand what a recomendation is.          


With all of the comments on the page, you all scared me.  Got it right, but I second guessed myself multiple times on what was being asked.  In the end, it was my initial answer.  As rschroeder pointed out, just filter.