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DanielleH Community Manager
Community Manager

Seventeen gruelling hours later, thwack.solarwinds.com is back online. We still have a lot of work to do, please bear with us while we hammer away. Have an issue to report? Let us know!

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53 73 1,936
DanielleH Community Manager
Community Manager

UPDATE: The community will go into read-only mode at or around 7:00pm CT. At 12:00am CT, the site will be taken down into maintenance mode for at least 16 hours. I will update you all accordingly. Stay tuned!

Service Maintenance Notification

Summary: THWACK is migrating platforms from Jive to Khoros (Lithium) on February 20, 2020.

Severity: Intermediate

Description: We will be migrating community platforms from our existing, hosted environment on Jive to our new SaaS provider, Khoros (Lithium). Our estimated maintenance window is 16 hours.

Service(s) and Users Impacted: thwack.solarwinds.com will be unavailable until all systems are verified back up and running.


Start Time:
Thursday, February 20, 2020, 12:00:00 AM CT

End Time:  Thursday, February 20, 2020, 4:00:00 PM CT

Maintenance Manager: Danielle Gaitan; mailto:danielle.gaitan@solarwinds.com

As mentioned in my post last month, the time has come for THWACK’s platform migration. On Thursday, February 20, 2020, thwack.solarwinds.com will be unavailable for approximately 16 hours. At midnight, the site will be taken into maintenance mode and will not be accessible until all critical systems are verified back up and running. Why are we migrating? Read more HERE.

There will be a few items that may not be fully functional when we are live again. Here is a reminder of what you need to be aware of.

  • LOGGING IN – You will need to reset your password when you attempt to login for the first time. Passwords will not be carried over.
  • SAVE YOUR DRAFTED CONTENT – All content published before 12:00am CT on February 20, 2020 will be migrated. Drafted/unpublished content will not be migrated – save your work!
  • POINT BALANCES – As promised, your lifetime and current balance points will be carried over to the new platform. The script to migrate your point balances is estimated to take a minimum of 18 hours and will likely commence after the site is live again. If you do not see your full point balances when you first log in, don’t fret! Please give us until Monday, February 24 when another status update will be issued to the community.
  • LEVEL/RANKING/LEADERBOARDS – Good news! The team pushed hard on this one and we’ve confirmed that while your level and your position on the leaderboard will change, not everyone will start from scratch as I originally detailed. However, it remains true that the data is not apples to apples, so you should expect changes. There are 3 ways to “rank up” on the new platform. yumdarling will outline this in more detail in the coming days.
    • LEVEL – This is the number that appears next to your avatar. Today, your level is determined by the number of points you have. On the new platform, your level is determined by an accumulation of activities on the forum boards. Your activities are being ported over with your profile, but it is likely your level will change based on the new level perimeters.
    • LEADERBOARD RANK – Today, your position on the leaderboard is also determined by the number of points you have. On the new platform, your leaderboard position is determined by the number of “kudos” or likes your content has earned. As such, your kudos are being ported over to the new platform, but you should expect your position on the leaderboard should to change from where you’re at today.
    • POINTS – Finally, THWACK points. You will continue to earn points on the new platform, but your point balance no longer determined your position on the leaderboard nor your level. The store (and some new items!) will be available on the new platform for which you can purchase with your points.

And with that… see you all on the other side!

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7 32 922
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE:

How to Quickly Identify Suspicious Network Behavior With Intuitive Dashboards

February 18, 2020

Log and event data are a boundless and valuable resource for identifying suspicious network activity and stopping potential breaches. However, analyzing lines and lines of text-based data can make this resource more trouble than it's worth. In this video, we'll explore the different ways you can customize log data in an easy-to-understand and visual dashboard in Security Event Manager to help turn it into something you can act on.

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1 6 902
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: Change Management 101
Video Link : 1402
February 11, 2020

ITIL change management takes planning, which means it’s more effective with complete data. Watch this video to see how to leverage incident data, CMDB, and change calendars to plan effective changes in SolarWinds Service Desk.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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1 4 240
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: How to Monitor User Permissions on Linux Servers With SolarWinds Server Configuration Monitor
Video Link : 1397
February 4, 2020

Understanding who has permissions to what and how those permissions levels change over time is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to protecting sensitive data from getting into the wrong hands. However, this can be a difficult task when dealing with permissions on Linux servers and files. In this video, we'll show you how you can see who has access on your Linux servers, monitor and alert on changes to those permissions, and track the changes over time for auditing purposes.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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1 1 489
yumdarling Community Manager
Community Manager

_THWACK rotator – 900x300 no CTA.png

Did you make a New Year’s resolution in January? Are you still sticking to it? If you are—bravo! We salute you, resolution-keeper. For those of you who are feeling your resolutions fade as February dawns, we hear you. January was such a simpler time. But take heed. Don’t let your security resolutions follow in your clean-eating footsteps. Keep up with your cybercise routine.

Using Security Event Manager, Patch Manager, Identity Monitor, Network Configuration Manager, Server Configuration Manager, and Access Rights Manager, you too can join the ranks of the resolution-keepers while simultaneously protecting and securing your environment. Cybercise—the craze sweeping the nation—don’t miss out on your opportunity to live your best life in 2020.

Start your mission.



FEBRUARY 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 10 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 10 questions, which means you can earn a maximum of 1,500 points for this mission.

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

PRIZES

Weekly Prizes & Drawing Dates:
February 10, 2020:  18oz Hydro Flask

February 17, 2020:  Rice Cooker and Food Steamer


Grand Prize:
February 17, 2020:  6 Month Subscription Medium Urthbox



MISSION RULES

A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on February 3, 2020. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until February 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.



MISSION SHORTCUT

Complete the mission shortcut between February 3, 2020 and February 16, 2020 to be entered to win Apple Airpods!

SolarWinds Access Rights Manager (ARM) enables IT and security admins to centrally provision, deprovision, manage, and audit user access rights to systems, data, and files while protecting their organizations from security breaches and complying with regulatory requirements

Shortcut Steps:

    1. Download a free trial of ARM

    2. Follow the steps here to install ARM

    3. Submit a screenshot of the rich client start page

DOWNLOAD FREE TRIAL  SUBMIT SCREENSHOT

WEEKLY PRIZESMONTUEWEDTHUFRIWINNERS
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by February 10, 2020 to be entered to win: 18oz Hydro Flask
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by February 17, 2020 to be entered to win: Rice Cooker and Food Steamer

Correctly answer all 10 questions by February 16, 2020 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! 6 Month Subscription Medium Urthbox



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

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

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10 98 11.2K
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: How to Use the Flow Navigator
Video Link : 1375
January 28, 2020

A plethora of good information is buried within NetFlow data, but knowing where to start or how to filter and parse the data can sometimes prove difficult. Thankfully, you can use the NetFlow Navigator to get to the data you want quickly and easily. It only takes a few clicks to find what you’re looking for.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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1 2 426
DanielleH Community Manager
Community Manager

First, it's so good to be writing to the community again. I've been hibernating working on fun necessary projects. But before I share what's coming, I have a question: how many of you knew THWACK was born more than 16, almost 17 years ago? I've been at SolarWinds for 8-plus years solely working on the community and our user group program and I have to say, it's been a thrilling, inspiring, and eye-opening experience to witness what THWACK has become today.

But with age come changes. The external community vendor arena has grown sparse due to shifts in how businesses are engaging with customers, and few have been successful in building a community program to do what all of you have built here on THWACK. That said, here’s how we arrived where we are now:

  • July 2017, Jive (our current platform) sells to Aurea.
  • September 2017, Aurea breaks up the business and sells Jive-X (Jive external) to Lithium.
  • Following this, we went through a lengthy RFP process and ultimately signed with Khoros (aka Lithium), who hosts external communities for Cisco, HP, Microsoft, Spotify, and more.
  • December 2018 it was announced Lithium will EOL Jive-X at the end of 2020.

TL;DR we’re migrating platforms! We saw this coming and work has been underway to bring things to parity between the platforms.

GOING FROM HOSTED TO SaaS

Because I know this audience understands these annoying yet necessary circumstances, I'm going to geek out with you a bit.

Our current environment (Jive) is hosted. We were told for years we'd never be able to move to the cloud due to the number of customizations we house. Thankfully, our forever and always partner, sonofagum, came through with a plan.

All our customizations (the THWACK Store, Monthly Missions, SolarWinds Lab live chat, etc.) were previously written in Java and ran in-process in Jive, taking advantage of a rich set of available services and libraries. The new platform mandated all our non-trivial customizations run out-of-process and be hosted externally. This presented us with a lot of challenges: from authentication, to platform differences and migration incompatibilities, to scalability, to having to rewrite dependencies from scratch without the benefit of source code, all while learning the ins and outs of the new platform. Needless to say, we’ve been busy over here!

EVERYTHING has been rewritten in C# (.NetCore 3.0 on Linux) and Angular or Vue and now runs in AWS. There’s still a lot of work to do and everything may not be perfect on day one, but we’re committed to keeping THWACK the best user community on the interwebs.

WHEN?

The official migration date is February 20, 2020. That's right, 02.20.2020 or 20.02.2020 for most of the world. I don't know how that worked out, but I'm calling it next-gen binary. We'll have more updates in the weeks coming, but below is what you can expect.

WHAT’S CHANGING?

  • Khoros is a mobile-first platform, which is great for you and really, really painful for us. We’ve had to rethink our entire webpage structure—headers, navigation, body content, widgets, footers, etc. But it’s really helped us clean up some of the website real estate and we’ll be curious to see if mobile usage picks up. Currently <1% of you visit the website on devices smaller than an iPad or similar.

  • Forums are now called categories and each category houses multiple boards underneath it. Confused yet? Don’t read too much into the semantics, but I wanted to bring this up and share an example to help understand what this change means.
    • Current THWACK: Network Performance Monitor is a forum housing multiple types of content – discussions, documents, feature requests, etc.
    • Future THWACK: Network Performance Monitor is now a category and has three main boards underneath it (hierarchically speaking).
      • Network Performance Monitor – shows all content contained in the sub-boards but content cannot be posted here.
        • Network Performance Monitor Discussions – houses all NPM discussions.
        • Network Performance Monitor Documents – houses all NPM documents.
        • Network Performance Monitor Feature Requests – houses all NPM feature requests.
      • This means you’ll need to either follow the NPM category page or all the sub-boards depending on your preferences. Not a big deal, but something to note.

  • Polls and events are no more. I know what you’re thinking. Trust me, I grilled Khoros hard on this. Not too much to say here other than we’ll have backups of this content, but it won’t appear on the new platform. We may revisit later to assess what can be done.

  • Remember when I mentioned we’d never be able to move to the cloud due to the number of customizations we have? This is where things get real. Our entire gamification strategy is unique to SolarWinds. We invented something even experts in the industry have never seen done at the level we’ve taken it to, and successfully I might add. The Khoros gamification strategy is fundamentally different than what we’ve developed. Their ranking system is based purely on community activity and engagement whereas our current ranking system is determined by your point accumulation. Sure, we’re logging community activity and engagement, but it’s not apples to apples.
    • Before you start penning hate letters, your points are being carried over and the store will live on. I won’t go into detail as to how we made this happen, but we did. Going forward, you’ll continue to earn points, but there will be more defined ways upon which you can earn them. More to come on this later.
    • However, everyone’s level will start at 1 (Ready Player One anyone?). There’s simply no way to port the way your current level is determined to match how your level will be determined moving forward. The data is too different. It's like trying to direct connect a 300baud modem to an MPLS line. It's like trying to port your TRS80 Basic program to the cloud as a microservice. It's like trying to convert your "database" that was lovingly crafted from macros in Lotus 1-2-3 to SQL 2016. It's like trying to make Battlestar Galactica jokes to a bunch of overly-earnest LOTR fans. It's like... well, it's like trying to port a gamification system built from custom scripts and calculations into a completely different platform.

  • Oh, and you’ll need to reset your password the first time you log in on the new platform because security or something important like that.

ACTIONS YOU NEED TO TAKE

Prior to our migration date, February 20, 2020, you will need to take note on the following items:

  • You will need to take inventory of the places and people you follow as well as your bookmarks. These cannot be migrated with your profile details.
    • Steps to find the places you follow: navigate to your profile > click on “More” > click on “Places.”
    • Steps to find the people you follow is the same as above except you’ll choose “Connections”: navigate to your profile > click on “More” > click on “Connections.”
    • Steps to find your bookmarkers is the same as above except you’ll choose “Bookmarks”: navigate to your profile > click on “More” > click on “Bookmarks.”

  • You will need to save a local copy of any content currently in draft mode.
    • If you have any drafted content that won’t be published before February 20, save it off THWACK! Drafts cannot be migrated.

Once the migration is complete, we’ll publish instructions on how to get the items above set up on the new platform. I would recommend to follow the following people to ensure you get the latest or if you need to shoot us any questions: yumdarling, KMSigma, sonofagum, and me DanielleH.

I’m exhausted. The team is exhausted. Did we want to spend the last 12 months working on this (while continuing our regular jobs I might add)? Absolutely not, but this is technology and it’s a constant game of keeping up. Writing all of this on paper knowing I’ve purposely left out 90% of what we've done makes me so proud to call these folks my team. I hear this audience knows a thing or two about migrations... I’m hoping you’ll bear with us through this transition and understand not everything will be perfect, but rest assured we'll be working around the clock to make it right. The backbone of this community—you—is all we need.

Oh—and #darktheme is coming.

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22 96 4,878
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: How to Run Active Diagnostics and Save for Historical Reference in the Orion Platform
Video Link : 1363
January 21, 2020

Most everyone can agree: one of the best ways to troubleshoot problems is to look at logs, but knowing where those logs are stored and collecting that from all around your infrastructure can be tiresome. Thankfully, you don’t have to do that because you can collect the diagnostic files from your My Orion Deployment pages for any Orion® server or any node in your monitored infrastructure.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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0 4 575
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: How to Check the Compatibility of Your Orion Products Before Upgrading
Video Link : 1381
January 14, 2020

Let’s be honest: upgrading software can sometimes be painful. Between scheduling the work, getting approval from the change control board, and checking countless other boxes, you already have enough on your plate. By using the Product Upgrade Advisor in your Customer Portal, we can make sure understanding your upgrade path is not part of your pain.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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0 1 492
yumdarling Community Manager
Community Manager

This survey is for MSPs and IT Pros. We would love to gather your thoughts on the decision Microsoft made to end Windows 7 support on the 14th of January, 2020 and how you think it will impact business and security.

Complete this survey by the 25th of January to receive 250 THWACK points

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2 22 882
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: How to Submit a Product Feature Request
Video Link : 1390
January 7, 2020

At SolarWinds, we want to know how to make our products better. One of the ways you can help us with this is to submit feature requests for our products. We use these feature requests as part of our planning when determining what to include in future versions. Let me show you some of the best practices when submitting a feature request.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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4 3 759
yumdarling Community Manager
Community Manager

1912_thwack_JanuaryMission_900x300_NoCTA.png

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.



JANUARY 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!

PRIZES

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



MISSION RULES

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.



MISSION SHORTCUT

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.

CHECK COMPATIBILITY  SUBMIT SCREENSHOT

WEEKLY PRIZESMONTUEWEDTHUFRIWINNERS
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

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27 181 27.7K
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: How to Harden Servers with PowerShell and Change Monitoring
Video Link : 1362
December 31, 2019

Server and application configurations are a fundamental piece of securing your environment. If unauthorized changes are made to these configurations, you can be exposed to serious vulnerabilities. Learn how to harden your servers using PowerShell scripts in SolarWinds® Server Configuration Monitor. In this video, we'll create a custom profile with several PowerShell scripts to monitor changes to different aspects of your servers, like changes to local administrator privileges, antivirus exclusions, and local certificates.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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2 2 928
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: How to Monitor Changes to Local Certificates
Video Link : 1334
December 24, 2019

Local certificates provide a multitude of security benefits. From encrypting emails and allowing easier authentication, to securing connections between web browsers and your web servers, they're a necessary part of any network. Learn how to monitor changes to local certificates with SolarWinds® Server Configuration Monitor.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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1 2 600
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: How to Monitor Changes to Antivirus Exclusions
Video Link : 1333
December 17, 2019

Virus scanning can be a main contributor to poor application performance, but administrators must walk a fine line to achieve a secure, virus-free server environment, and keep servers and applications performing reliably. This balance can be achieved with certain antivirus exclusions, but they require careful consideration and close observation. Learn how to monitor changes to antivirus exclusion with SolarWinds® Server Configuration Monitor.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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0 1 1,534
yumdarling Community Manager
Community Manager

Our Security product team is looking for some thought leadership inspiration and to learn about your day-to-day thoughts and interactions with cybersecurity!

Take this survey by December 31, 2019 and with our thanks, you will also receive 500 THWACK points.

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2 16 917
yumdarling Community Manager
Community Manager

2019 is coming to an end, and what a great year it was! This tech year was all about data security, IoT, automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, connected cloud, and hybrid cloud solutions, among many other advanced technologies. As we reminisce about the good moments from the past year, there’s much excitement for the unknown in the year ahead.

With expectations for 2020 building up, we want to hear from you. What do you think we should expect in the upcoming year? What new technologies will rule 2020? What “old” technologies are here to stay? Tell us about skills—new ones, old ones, the ones you want to learn more about?

We want to start the year learning from you—let us know what you think will change in 2020 and what excites you the most about the possibilities that lie ahead by December 19 and we’ll give you 250 THWACK points.

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7 55 1,420
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: How to Monitor Changes to Windows Server Roles
Video Link : 1379
December 10, 2019

Your servers perform distinct functions in your environment. If one of those roles is removed or added unexpectedly, chaos could ensue. Learn how to understand the roles your servers are currently performing and know if or when those roles change with SolarWinds® Server Configuration Monitor.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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0 0 250
yumdarling Community Manager
Community Manager

The holidays are in full swing and while we hope this time of year will only bring good tidings and cheer, sometimes it doesn’t always go our way. Maybe the store sold out of the last item on your special someone’s wish list, or the holiday roast overcooked. Regardless, the best we can do when our holiday plans go awry is to learn and prepare for next time so our holidays can continue without a hitch!

The same can be said for the technology solutions we develop and use—sometimes they don’t perform as perfectly as intended. So we’re making a list, and checking it twice. We want to hear from you about times this year when your hybrid or cloud applications acted more naughty than nice.

We want to know about the glitches that almost turned you into a grinch this past year. What web application problems did you spend the most time troubleshooting and debugging? Was it downtime? Slow speeds? Whatever it is, we want to know the common issues that impacted application performance.

Let us know what the common glitches you experienced in 2019 were, by December 12, and we’ll give you 250 THWACK points in exchange!

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2 28 1,175
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: How to Monitor Changes to Hardware and Software Configurations
Video Link : 1378
December 3, 2019

Server configuration changes are a major cause of application outages and performance issues. Changes with the greatest impact often are the simplest. Memory pulled from one server to boost another server’s performance can leave the lingering applications starved. Adding new software can automatically update configurations and cause another application to become inoperable. Having visibility into when these types of changes occur is critical to resolving application availability and performance, fast. Learn how to achieve this visibility with SolarWinds® Server Configuration Monitor.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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0 0 387
yumdarling Community Manager
Community Manager

If you currently work at a company with more than 1000 employees, this short survey is for you.

Help us understand how you define “enterprise software” and earn 250 THWACK points for a few minutes of your time.

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2 14 682
yumdarling Community Manager
Community Manager

1911_thwack_DecemberMission_640x200_NoCTA.png

Comms are up for THWACK® team and it’s time to buckle in for your next mission.

Azure-deployed assets are now on board and operational. Your ITOps are a go. Hybrid and multi-cloud metrics and performance insights ready for launch. Handoff to dashboard complete. Monitoring is up. Alerts on. Ready for optimization. Command and control with end-to-end visibility acquired—start your journey to a new high-performing environment.



DECEMBER 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 15 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 15 questions, which means you can earn a maximum of 2,250 points for this mission.

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

PRIZES

Weekly Prizes & Drawing Dates:
December 9, 2019: Laser Projector with LED Nebula Cloud

December 16, 2019: Space Throw Blanket

December 23, 2019: Phillips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock


Grand Prize:
December 23, 2019: Gskyer Telescope



MISSION RULES

A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on December 2, 2019. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until December 22, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.



MISSION SHORTCUT

Complete the mission shortcut between December 2, 2019 and December 22, 2019 to be entered to win a Nest Learning Thermostat!

Shortcut Steps:

  1. Download a free trial of Azure Performance Optimization Pack
  2. Use Server & Application Monitor (SAM) or Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) to monitor any cloud workload or service and send us a screenshot. These screenshots could be any IaaS (VMs/Instances), PaaS (Databases), or SaaS (Office 365) workloads on Azure or AWS.
  3. Submit a screenshot

DOWNLOAD FREE TRIAL  SUBMIT SCREENSHOT

WEEKLY PRIZESMONTUEWEDTHUFRIWINNERS
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by December 8, 2019 to be entered to win: Laser Projector with LED Nebula Cloud
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by December 15, 2019 to be entered to win: Space Throw Blanket
Week 3: Complete questions 11-15 by December 22, 2019 to be entered to win: Phillips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock

Correctly answer all 15 questions by December 22, 2019 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Gskyer Telescope



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

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

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14 130 20.5K
KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: How to Perform a Bare-Metal Recovery With SolarWinds Backup
Video Link : 1372
November 26, 2019

Recovering quickly from a catastrophic hardware or software failure is key to keeping your business running smoothly. If simply restoring files and folders isn’t enough, SolarWinds® Backup gives you the option to perform a bare-metal recovery to get your critical systems back online.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

What's a SWUG?  The short answer is it's an extension of this online community, delivering over 14 hours  of technical, hands-on education for free.  We started this program in 2015 and in 2020, we're back and—literally—bigger  than ever with two full days in cities across the globe. SWUG connects you with  SolarWinds executives, product managers, user experience researchers, technical  advisors, engineers, Head Geeks,  and other end users like you. It's a great place to get the answers to the hard  questions perplexing you, get details from behind the curtain at SolarWinds,  take a pulse to see what other industry professionals are doing, and where  they're going. Our goal is to help you be the best IT pro you can be. But don't  take our word for it. Here's what attendees at recent SWUGs have to say:

As a first-time attendee, I have to say this was my favorite work event I was able to attend this year. As mentioned, it was an event actually dedicated to us, for us.

— Paige Barnes (medleyp812), Chicago SWUG 2019 Attendee

I've been to events like this before only to be bombarded with what I can purchase from either the host or their partners. I got the feeling that the employees representing SolarWinds genuinely care about their customers.

— Ashley Warren (abby.warren), Chicago SWUG 2019 attendee

This was my first SWUG. I found value in the information provided as well as the personal contacts made during the conference. I will definitely plan on attending next year and I also look forward to THWACKcamp.

— Jim Yocum (jpyocum), New York SWUG 2019 attendee

Fantastic conference. Instead of sitting there listening to a marketing presentation like many conferences, the attendees were able to engage SolarWinds employees and address concerns and speak to their own environments.

— Steven Dean (chezbrgrs), Atlanta SWUG 2019 attendee

As my first SWUG, this was an excellent event. I felt overall it was very informative, and really highlighted the amazing user community around the SolarWinds products.

— Benjamin White (bwhite23) Seattle SWUG 2019 attendee

Join us and more than a hundred other IT pros ranging from monitoring engineers, help desk techs, MSPs, DevOps to the "I do it all"-folks in building bridges and tearing down silos. Remember, the goal is to get the information you need so when your workweek’s done, you can enjoy your weekends.  If you would like to be notified as soon as registration is available, please complete the pre-registration form for the SWUG(s) of your choice below. Be sure to watch the SolarWinds User Group space for the most up-to-date information.

 

All locations and dates are subject to change. We would advise to not book any travel until formal registration is available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Phoenix, Arizona February 5 - 6, 2020 COMPLETED
Munich, Germany April 21, 2020 REGISTER NOW
Berlin, Germany April 23, 2020 REGISTER NOW
London, United Kingdom April 29-30, 2020 REGISTER NOW
Sydney, Australia July 2020 PRE-REGISTER
Singapore July 2020 PRE-REGISTER
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota August 2020 PRE-REGISTER
Atlanta, Georgia October 2020 PRE-REGISTER

 

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KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

FEATURED EPISODE: How to Monitor Changes in Active Directory Group Policies
Video Link : 1377
November 19, 2019

Active Directory is the nerve center of any organization. Besides users and groups, group policies are essential to making sure things run smoothly. If changes are made to your GPOs, you need to know about it quickly to reduce the risk of possible vulnerabilities being created or users losing access to applications needed do their work. Learn how to monitor for changes to Active Directory Group Policies with SolarWinds® Server Configuration Monitor.

For other videos, be sure to check out the Triple-T Hub.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below!

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KMSigma Community Manager
Community Manager

It's no exaggeration to say it's been a whirlwind year for the SolarWinds User Group (SWUG) program. Like I said when announcing the 2019 SWUG list, we completely rethought the program and made drastic changes between last year and this year. The biggest (and IMHO best) change was moving to a multi-day schedule.

It all boiled down to one concept: time. Until we get backwards time travel working, time is our only 100% non-renewable resource. When it's gone, it's gone, so making the most of it should be your top priority. For me, that means leaving on time and enjoying my evenings and weekends, getting the most out of my business day by decreasing "unplanned work," and having stimulating conversations that enrich me as a human being. The SWUG program has provided the latter for me all year long. And the conversations we've had this year? Just amazing. It doesn't matter if, like me, you're a long-timer with SolarWinds solutions, or a relative newcomer. The conversations drive me.

We asked on day one how everyone would gauge their personal level of knowledge. In a room of over 140 people, 11% said they were SolarWinds Certified Professionals, 15% said they were experts, 55% called themselves intermediate, and only 20% were beginners. I felt like this was a great mix for a user group, but we'd like to provide everyone with the tools they need to level up their careers. As part of leveling up, we made sure we spoke about SolarWinds Smart Start, the open office hours, and our certification prep guides. All of these are great ways to unlock further professional achievements.

Like the other events this year, it was my pleasure to act as the Master of Ceremonies for the Chicago SWUG. I got to give a few presentations, provide the introductions, hand out the raffle prizes, and hang out with over 140 of my fellow THWACK members. I had the privilege of opening day one with a keynote and closing the event with some warnings and recommendations about alerts. Leon Adato was again in rare form talking about the discipline of monitoring, how to be empathetic to your users, and how to use some of the lesser-known tools to do some critical monitoring. Craig McDonald gave an excellent overview of how SolarWinds has been providing visual representations of data as our environments become more complex. Ashelena did a recap of what we learned over the year and how to leverage SolarWinds resources for the career growth and monitoring glory. Mike Driskell provided his expert opinion on when it's time to upgrade, migrate, scale up, or scale out. We heard from Kellie Mecham about how SolarWinds relies on our users at every stage of the SolarWinds Development Lifecycle. Jim Hansen took to time to explain why it's important to quantify data from the outside and the inside when troubleshooting system or user issues. Kathleen Walker reminded us all that security was part of our job with tips and tricks on having the necessary conversations as well as scaring us a little straight with some of current trends in ransomware.

This trip, we brought three THWACK® MVPs to the stage. New MVP Dave Lando talked about his story of inheriting the Orion® Platform, what he did to claim control, and how he got the organization behind monitoring. Nick Zourdos couldn't let it go and had to tell you all why your dashboards are still bad. Thankfully, he provided tips and tricks on how they could be made better, including some examples and what he's done for his organization. And finally, Zack Mutchler demystified the Orion SDK by providing clear examples of how to dip your toes into working with the SolarWinds Orion API.

Since returning to Texas, I've been trying to wrap my head around the best way to encompass what I've learned over the last year at the SWUGs. After a few hours of wracking my brain, staring at a blank screen, I was inspired by a question from a friend.

Today, my friend and colleague Leon Adato asked me the question, "If you were given a salary of $1,000,000, but you still had to have a career, what would it be?" When I stopped to think about it, my answer would be talking to IT professionals, helping them break down their challenges, guiding them in their own careers, sharing my experiences, working with them to provide solutions, and basically everything the SolarWinds User Group program has provided over the last few years. This trip to Chicago, really cemented that for me—I love my job because of the people.

Now, we've traveled to the Chicagoland area before for two previous SWUGs, but 64% of this event's attendees said they'd never joined us and that made my heart sing. Putting faces to usernames is always a pleasure and some of the best questions are the ones for which we don't have an immediate answer. Those questions make us pause and have a real conversation. At a SolarWinds User Group, you might get "I don't know" as an answer, and that's awesome! It means we get to learn as well. Those conversations are still happening today.

We tried something different in Chicago this time with a "Community Pick" session. On the first day, you could submit an idea for a half-hour topic for day two. At the beginning of day two, we tallied those requests and held the session. Yes, you read that correctly. We put together a session in approximately 2-1/2 hours to present just before lunch on day two. It was one of the most stressful, exciting, exhilarating, and exhausting sessions we've ever produced. If you were there, I hope you enjoyed it.

Another new session—but not new as a concept—was BYOQ: Bring Your Own Questions. We basically stole a conference room, grabbed a whiteboard, plugged in to a television on the wall, and were there to answer questions. That's it. I know it doesn't sound extraordinary, but it was a revelation. You had a question about Patch Manager? Great. You wanted to know what happens during Orion database maintenance? Cool. You needed help writing a port inventory report? Excellent. No question was too big or too small. Even when we weren't answering questions ourselves, we heard other attendees answering each other's questions. This is the THWACK community at its finest.

Throughout the event, we had hundreds of people ask questions in person and online. There were questions we didn't get a chance to answer while we were on the ground, so we're trying to answer them as quickly as possible. Many of them we have collapsed into a single question based around a theme, but if you don't see your question answered at the bottom, let us know by commenting below. We'll be happy to continue the conversation.

It seems every single event I find myself saying, "we tried something different for this SWUG." Personally, I think that's wonderful. As each group of attendees provides feedback we try to adjust and make sure we're providing the content in a way that's both educational and entertaining. We're doing what SolarWinds has done for years: listening to the community. SolarWinds and THWACK wouldn't be who and what they are without you, the community members who make coming to the job delightful.

To say I'm excited for what 2020 holds would be a gross understatement. There's so many (figurative) places technology is going and so many (physical) places we're planning to take the program. Keep your eyes peeled for the official announcement of dates and places sometime in the new year.

If you've gotten this far, you hear ad nauseum how much I love these events, but I'm not the only one. A few of our attendees took the time to say nice things about Chicago SWUG.

"One of the most valuable vendor events I've ever attended in nearly 20 years of IT experience."
     —ckonz

"This was a great User Group that focused on the product rather than trying to push third-party software and vendors for prizes. The presenters were amazing and the interaction during breaks and after hours was terrific."
     bbishop

"This event was way better than I expected it to be. It was recommended by the vendor we went through, and I was very happy I could attend. I am hoping that after applying what I've learned I can make a yearly SWUG attendance part of the company budget"
     rhuprich

"I appreciate that the focus was primarily on how to utilize [the] Orion [Platform]. I've been to events like this before only to be bombarded with what I can purchase from either the host or their partners. I got the feeling that the employees representing SolarWinds genuinely care about their customers."
     abby.warren

"I always get a lot out of these meetings, and I REALLY liked the 2-day event. It works out GREAT! I am not gone too long from work and I feel like I got A LOT more than last year."
     nnettrouer

"I have already told my boss about it and he would like to go next year too. You guys are truly amazing to care as much as you do for being a big company with areas all over the place. It shows you all love your jobs and value the community."
     medleyp812

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yumdarling Community Manager
Community Manager

SolarWinds is looking for your opinion on IT monitoring purchasing preferences (perpetual vs. subscription).

In return for your participation in this survey, we will drop 500 Thwack points into your account.

Click here to take the survey!

Let us know what you think!

Thanks in advance.

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