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Audio Echo: My Podcast with

Level 17

Last month, I had the pleasure and the privilege of sitting down with Ethan Banks and Greg Ferro of, to share some of my thoughts on monitoring, business justifications, the new features of NPM 11.5, and life in general. You can listen to the conversation here : Show 225 – SolarWinds on The Cost of Monitoring + NPM 11.5

I gotta tell you, it was an absolute hoot.

Getting IT professionals (IE: Geeks) to speak in public is not always an easy task. But Ethan and Greg are the consummate conversationalists. They know that the key to getting a really juicy conversation going is to tap into the love and passion that all IT pro's have. So we spent a decent amount of time “warming up.” I'm naturally gregarious, so I didn't feel like I needed the time to loosen up, but I appreciated not hitting the microphone cold.

Once the tape started rolling, Ethan and Greg kept the banter up while also helping me stay on track. For an attention-deficit-prone guy like me, that was a huge help.

But aside from all the mechanics, the best part of the talk was that they were sincerely interested in the topic and appreciative of the information I brought to the table. These are guys who know networking inside and out. They are IT pros who podcast, not talking heads who know enough tech to get by. And they really REALLY care about monitoring.

It's the fastest way to anyone's heart, really. Show me that you care about what I care about, and I'm yours.

So here's hoping I have the chance to join the PacketPushers gang again this year and share the monitoring love some more. Until then, I've got episode 225 to cherish, and I will be tuning into their regular podcasts to see what else they have to say.

About the Author
In my sordid career, I have been an actor, bug exterminator and wild-animal remover (nothing crazy like pumas or wildebeasts. Just skunks and raccoons.), electrician, carpenter, stage-combat instructor, American Sign Language interpreter, and Sunday school teacher. Oh, and I work with computers. Since 1989 (when you got a free copy of Windows 286 on twelve 5¼” floppies when you bought a copy of Excel 1.0) I have worked as a classroom instructor, courseware designer, desktop support tech, server support engineer, and software distribution expert. Then about 14 years ago I got involved with systems monitoring. I've worked with a wide range of tools: Tivoli, Nagios, Patrol, ZenOss, OpenView, SiteScope, and of course SolarWinds. I've designed solutions for companies that were extremely modest (~10 systems) to those that were mind-bogglingly large (250,000 systems in 5,000 locations). During that time, I've had to chance to learn about monitoring all types of systems – routers, switches, load-balancers, and SAN fabric as well as windows, linux, and unix servers running on physical and virtual platforms.