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Announcements Blogs - Page 2

Level 12

We have one round behind us and many still to go. 16 competitors rose up to make it to the second round.  We have a strong list of sentimental favorites, ready to battle it out for the chance to live another day.

 

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Level 12

2020 Bracket Battle: Reviver Edition is underway, and the Mama play-in face-off is complete!

We started this year with a gut-punch of a match up. @yumdarling, of THWACK community management fame, wanted me to make sure that everyone knows she believes kicking off with a battle of animated mothers deserves a stern “mom look” and a defiant “tsk tsk.”

Parents have never had an easy road when it comes to animated features – but mothers, in particular, seem highly prone to misfortune. ‘Tis a shame as I think we can all agree that both of these baby boys, Bambi and Littlefoot, would have benefitted from just a bit more time with their loving mamas. Alas, only one can survive the match up to face another day.

In this epic battle for supremely sad, emphatically emotional, and dastardly disturbing deaths, the winner of the play-in round is...

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Community Manager
Community Manager

This video will show how leveraging APM and log management together (metrics, traces, and logs) can accelerate the identification of root cause when troubleshooting performance problems.

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Level 12

And, here it is… at long last. 2020 BRACKET BATTLE! Let’s get this started!

There’s no coming back—or is there? What if that beloved character who met their unfortunate demise could be revived to fight another day or posthumously rip out your heartstrings? What if that long-lost companion could come back (without the creepy “Pet Semetary” vibe and smell) for more adventures?

Now is your chance to decide who will defy the laws of nature and history to return for a comeback. You decide who most deserves to another chance in this year’s bracket battle… Welcome to REVIVER!

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Community Manager
Community Manager

In this bonus mission, you’ll discover how you can start avoiding all the technical longhand and get straight to the essential metrics you need for the availability and performance of your applications. Get started with AppOptics and see how to solve more of your app issues faster. AppOptics does the rocket surgery so you don’t have to.

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Your public-facing websites can be a secret backdoor to personally identifiable data. Simple SQL queries executed on your website search bar could create a data breach. In this video, we'll cover how you can identify and stop this malicious activity with SolarWinds Security Event Manager.

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Level 12

[Updated April 20] 2020 Bracket Battle: Reviver Edition is LIVE! Click here for the rules of engagement or go directly to the battle here

The Date is set. The Matchups made.

We are just a few days away from the introduction of the 2020 BRACKET BATTLE, and quite frankly, we could not be more excited.

Despite the number of creative, and relevant, guesses. No one has been able to quite rouse the topic. So, I am going to give you all another chance at redemption and up the ante to 1000 THWACK points…

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Take this survey to help us understand the level of virtualized databases within our THWACK community (and be entered to win a gift card)

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Join Kevin Sparenberg for our two-part live webinar series as we look at the most pressing issues with a newly minted remote workforceRegister Now  

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Community Manager
Community Manager

I wish I could say it wasn’t a daily occurrence, but it is. Every day, we call upon our Service Heroes to rescue us from whatever befuddlement has befallen us. It’s embarrassing, and neither our heroes nor we would ever admit to it—but often, we are the cause of our own confusion. Our heroes never judge. They swoop in (their heightened senses allowing them to ascertain our needs, sometimes before we even know we’re in danger) to save the day.

 

The Service Hero walks among us, often blending into the “it” crowd, until she is called upon. Whether on her mobile device or her super-computer, she’s available when we need her. A master of communication, she fixes our issues and explains how she did it, magically making us feel both competent and in awe.

 

Sometimes they work alone, sometimes in a group—the Service Heroes are here to help across departments. In a bid to understand them better, and thank them for all they do, we’re delving into their world for a month. Are you ready to find out about the secret tool of our Service Heroes?

 

Start your mission -->

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Level 12

[Updated April 20] 2020 Bracket Battle: Reviver Edition is LIVE! Click here for the rules of engagement or go directly to the battle here

[Updated April 13] 2020 Bracket Battle Preview

Seriously, it is already APRIL! The month that is part winter, part spring and all around great for one simple reason…

SOLARWINDS BRACKET BATTLE!!!

That’s right, folks… have zero fears because everyone’s favorite version of a March bracket-based competition will be back this year, and we have a genuinely amazing concept and set of match ups for y’all to ponder, debate, and decide.

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11 57 5,599
Community Manager
Community Manager

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has companies worldwide encouraging employees to restrict travel and work remote. This has put a strain on the IT professional, but THWACK and the technology industry are responding with help. [Updated: 28APR2020 13:00 CST]

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Community Manager
Community Manager

It’s blockbuster season and have we got one for you! Introducing, for the first time on THWACK, in collaboration with Database Performance Monitor, Deeper Insights, a riveting feature starring Open-Source and NoSQL, and database systems PostgreSQL and Mongo DB.

Ready to go on this debut film adventure with us? You don’t want to miss this new big hitter.

Start your mission >>

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11 61 5,439
Community Manager
Community Manager

That special day of the year is almost here—the one when we remind you (and the world) how important it is to keep up with your backup strategy and make sure it’s up to speed and effective (yay!). 

We all know the heartbreaking feeling of losing valuable data and information (and sometimes it hurts more than a breakup). Backing up your data is critical to your business, but a backup can also quickly get complicated. Hardware failures, cyberattacks, natural disasters, and human error are just a couple of things that can get in your way when trying to keep up. 

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Twelve days into our migration, we've made considerable progress on critical break/fix issues as well as working in a few cosmetic corrections along the way. We still have our work cut out for us, but I wanted to share periodic status updates with the community so you know exactly what's been addressed, what's underway, and can report on issues that perhaps haven't made the list yet. 

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Community Manager
Community Manager

In a hybrid IT world, the time has come to control your environment with a platform supporting a powerful and integrated team of tools. Join forces with data, metrics, and cross-stack correlation to gain insights and fight today’s biggest monitoring challenges.

Start your mission!

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Your organization has internet use policies in place for multiple reasons: protecting your network against security breaches, keeping organizational costs down, and protecting your employees, end users, or customers. Anonymizer websites provide a workaround to these policies that can put your organization at risk. In this video we'll show you how to identify and stop the use of anonymizer websites on your network with SolarWinds Security Event Manager.

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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!

UPDATE: THWACK Migration Update v1.0

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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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Community Manager
Community Manager

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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Community Manager
Community Manager

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.

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1 4 440
Community Manager
Community Manager

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.

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1 1 641
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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Community Manager
Community Manager

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.

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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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Community Manager
Community Manager

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.

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0 4 751
Community Manager
Community Manager

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.

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0 1 598
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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