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Network Flowetry!

Product Manager

Hi! I’m Joe Reves, and I’m a Flow Nerd.

I’m the Product Manager for our NetFlow Traffic Analyzer, and I’ve been working at SolarWinds for a little over a year. I’m excited about flow analytics and the problems we can solve by examining and visualizing network flow information. I’m awfully enthusiastic about all types of flow technologies, particularly traffic sampling.

I spend a lot of time talking about flow—asking customers about their challenges, and how they use flow data and tools in their environment. I also talk with my colleagues about flow. Sometimes, until they get tired of hearing about it. Often, even after they get tired…

At a recent trade show, our own “Father of NetPath”—Chris O’Brien—decided he would have a little fun, and he started a rumor that I was compiling a book of flow poetry. Naturally, this prompted me to begin writing flow poetry:

Chris, mischievous

Craves the poetry of flow

Sampled flow, of course


I promptly notified our team that flow poetry, or “Flowetry,” was ON. Shortly after midnight, our intrepid leader responded with this epic:

Woes of Flow

(A poem for Joe)

It uncovers source and destination

without hesitation.

Both port and address

to troubleshoot they will clearly assess.

Beware the bytes and packets

bundled in quintuplet jackets,

for they are accompanied by a wild hog

that will drown your network in a bog.

The hero boldly proclaims thrice,

sampling is not sacrifice!

He brings data to fight

but progress is slow in this plight.


This just goes to show I shouldn’t be tossing out literary challenges in email after midnight.

Sometime after that—yes, after midnight, but before daylight—our Product Marketing Manager finished her daily email backlog and offered this:

BAP emails abound

Find the bandwidth bandit now

Joy! Now I have alerts


So far, Chris hasn’t coughed up any examples of Flowetry. We’re calling on him next.

In terms of rumors, I hear that our resident beat poet and Head Geek™ Leon Adato is shopping for a black turtleneck sweater and a beret. And some shades. I can’t wait to see this.

We’d like to invite you now to our first-ever Flowetry event!

Post your best network flow-themed poetry below—odes, ballads, sonnets, limericks, haiku… whatever your style, we’d like to hear from you. Anything goes, but keep those limericks clean.

Looking for more?  Complete the network-themed poem for a chance to win here:

Level 8

Love them all!

Level 10


IT commotion is causing a bluster

The ability to open NTA I must muster


To exact the fix to my traffic issue

Identify the department with exact precision

It makes them sad, they need a tissue

Sometime this feat will cause division


(With full honors to Allan Sherman and Lou Busch for their song "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah"


Hello Cisco.  Hello Netflow.

Please tell me where . . . all my bits flow.

Oh your graphs are . . .  very pretty.

And your Netflow poets sometimes are quite witty.


I was streaming . . .  M.C. Hammer

And I caught the . . .  SQL Slammer

Then some malware . . . in my PC

It infected every server in my D.C.


Now my bandwidth . . . is quite heavy

NetFlow says it . . . broke the levy

It's so slow now . . . nothing's working

Miley Cyrus cannot even stream her twerking


All my buddies . . .  claim I did it

My C.I.O. . . . he forbid it

My core routers . . .  both are choking

And the D.C. Admins say their room is smoking


I . . . diiiid wronggggg, Oh-it's-so-slow-now

Alllll daaaaay longgggg, it's-all-I-know-now

Staaay a---way from M.C. Hammer who

Has nothing good to do . . . 


So I turned to . . . my friend Netflow

And it showed me . . . why it's so slow

All I had to . . . do to fix it

Was to find that app and simply stop and nix it


Netflow showed me . . . all my errors

So I fixed them . . . they're not terrors

Things are faster.  Things are better.

Now my boss can finish writing up his letter.


Learn from me now.  Don't go looking

For a venue . . . for your booking

M.C. Hammer is no Duchess

Now I know that good old M.C. just can't touch this


Level 9

some of you guys have some good rhymes 

Level 8

With apologies to Henry David Longfellow:

The Transfer Rate rises, the Transfer Rate falls,

The Checksum darkens, the Buffer calls;

Along the CODEC-sands damp and brown

The File Transfer hastens toward the town,

   And the Transfer Rate rises, the Transfer Rate falls.


Darkness settles on roofs and walls,

But the CODEC, the CODEC in darkness calls;

The little waves, with their soft, white hands,

Efface the Mac addresses in the sands,

   And the Transfer Rate rises, the Transfer Rate falls.


The Firewall breaks; the Trojan Horse in their stalls

Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;

The Ping returns, but nevermore

Returns the traveller to the shore,

   And the Transfer Rate rises, the Transfer Rate falls.

Level 8

I would like to write a poem about network being the first to get blamed, but I am terrible at writing.


@ambush45th Here's one for you, when the network is falsely accused of being the problem.


On a cold network morning, in a data center far away

There sits an old gray admin, who could never have his say

He runs the same old network, he sees the same old graphs

And when the drive-by's hit him hard, he's often heard to say


Hey . . . The network's not to blame


They say he was an engineer from out Seattle way

Google & Amazon ate him up, and spit him out on the same day

He knew his Python and his Ansible, too, he could fix most anything

But users with their terrible claims, always tried to say


Hey   The network is to blame

Maybe we wanna play a Warcraft Game

You've gotta make our bits go fast, on an ancient half-dupe train

Here's  blame.  Tons of network blame.  The network is to blame!


The years went by as his network grew, but soon his time was due

And no one ever apologized for saying things that just weren't true

His net was fast, if they'd only asked, 'twas a beautiful rendezvous

When he retired they all conspired to intentionally misconstrue


Blame.  All they did was blame.

We knew their apps were all a pile of poo.

Database locks from ignorant jocks who couldn't write good code

But blame.  They could surely blame.  They played the network blame-blame game . . .


Manage that network, Admin!


(With honor and affection for Charlie Daniels)

Level 8

@rschroeder That is an excellent job.

Level 9

Rapids, calms, twists, turns
Packets race through the network
Flow data sees all

Level 7

You're right bro! @adishyfishy 

Level 12

Zombie Apocalypse,

I need remote

access! (snap, snap)


Hey, @jreves , when you publish your book of the contributed Thwack Flowetry, let us know.  I'd love to have a copy on the shelf--especially if my kids can see my name in it as author of a few selections.


Rick Schroeder

Level 8

New device deployed,
to which services are you
looking for access?


I like the way the network
Is monitored just like clockwork.
I love the way the traffic
displays details on the graphics.
I like the way it's analyzed
And shows me traffic low & highs.
I love the way that Solarwinds
Keeps product features fully brimmed.


Level 9


Level 7

"The Network Blows"

Says the average Joe.

If that's the truth, Let me have a look.

I can obviously see you are on Facebook.

Level 7

The network is up,

Applications are down.

Look at the NetFlow,

Before you look like a clown.


Level 12

I can't beat any of the above poetry, even with Netflow. 😉

Level 8

hey bros\sis, just a simple one here. hahhaha


Pings dropped,

Heart stopped,

System crashed,

My memory has been refreshed,

Users are angry and uncool,

Wait! I have a handy tool,

Netflow on track,

Please show me the crack,

Finally found and fixed the issue,

ah you don't need to gimme that tissue.

Crying happily! 🙂


Level 9

I just wish I was better in flowetry 🙂 Can just say:

Let it flow without any bandwidth constraints 😅

Level 9

Errors are red
Users are blue
I watch flow with NPM
Now you can too

Level 9

It requires cache to see the stream

Packets in and packets out

If you dare to hesitate

You'll never know the flow state


Level 8

Not a big fan of poetry, but I can get into Flowetry

Corona has me working from home, gotta go with the flow

Global Protect for the win, keeping track with the Netflow

Social distancing is easy when you are in the networking know, TP finding is slowetry

Level 8

contain Flowetry

Level 11

Uh... Bit Bucket...

Level 8

Some fantastic Flowetry flying around, I had to have a go.


A malformed packet,

back and forth infinitum.

Fragmented teardrops.

Level 8

Word of Flowetry;

I have none.

Therefore I must sadly say,


Level 8

I don't really understand what\if I am supposed to write in this area for the monthly mission but...


roses are red

violets like flowetry

I am the worst

at writing Poetry

Level 9

Thank you!

About the Author
Experienced Product Manager and technology pragmatist. Much of my professional background has been IT network operations for large enterprise companies, or for MSPs. I've worked as a tools architect, designing network monitoring systems. I've also worked in software development as a product owner and functional architect. I'm a flow nerd, and my peers have pressured me into writing poetry about network traffic flow. I'm a private pilot, and a drone pilot and builder.