Geek Speak Blogs

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Geek Speak Blogs

Level 17

I don’t want to alarm you, but it’s now July.

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Level 13

This piece by SolarWinds VP of Product Strategy Brandon Shopp discusses details about audit logs and how they help with troubleshooting, identifying, and remediating network vulnerabilities.

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Level 17

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day this past weekend. The weather got a bit warm here, forcing us to change plans a bit.

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Level 13

Here’s an interesting article by my colleague Jim Hansen discussing complexities of securing hybrid data centers. Monitoring on-premises and cloud components with different tools doesn’t work and Jim has some good suggestions for managing this increasingly common situation.

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Level 13

As we all come to terms with quarantine and shelter-in-place orders being extended for longer than most prepared for (both emotionally and in terms of our stash of snacks), and for those of us who won’t feel comfortable venturing out into the crowds again for some time even after the shelter-in-place orders are lifted, many of us are realizing there are important parts of our life we’ve lived without for too long. No, I don’t mean “wearing pants.” I’m talking about our in-person game groups and group hangouts. It may be some time before we can get together like that again. Personally, I had several groups of people with whom I did different types of gaming sessions back when times were normal—everything from family game nights, to rowdy friend game nights, to intense and geeky game nights.

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Level 17

We’ve been lucky with the weather here, allowing us to spend time outdoors either working in the yard or just relaxing.

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Level 13

I really liked this piece by SolarWinds VP of Product Strategy Brandon Shopp reviewing how the esports revolution is impacting schools and how bandwidth monitoring, network segmentation, and security considerations can be managed for improved performance.

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Level 13

Until today, I hadn’t heard it called such, but I’ve worked in places that experienced a “backhoe” event. For anyone like me, who doesn’t know what this is, allow me to explain: A “backhoe” event is when someone—like a gardener, for instance—is doing some work around your office, removing plants, planting new things, etc., and digs up your cabling. Of course, most of the time it’s unintentional but causes an outage for your office until it’s resolved. This could be anything from an actual backhoe cutting buried Ethernet cabling to a truck hitting the pole with the transformer powering the building. Generally, businesses will have some backup plan prepared for such an event, or should, and a response prepared for customers who encounter the inconvenience of interruption in service.

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Level 17

This week’s Actuator comes to you from my home, again.

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1 11 142
Level 13

Here’s an interesting article by my colleague Brandon Shopp discussing strategies for securing the tactical edge with suggestions such as network segmentation, working with device vendors for device data, and end user education.

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Level 17

I hope you all had a safe and restful holiday weekend. Summer is finally upon us, and parts of our world are reopening.

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Level 13

I really liked this piece by SolarWinds VP of Product Strategy Brandon Shopp. It reviews mobile security threats and tips for combating evolving threats, improving endpoint security and access rights management, educating end users, and enforcing mobile policies.

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0 1 108

The latest release of the Orion® platform now scales to 1,000,000 elements, loads pages quicker, and adds faster and remote upgrades via the web UI. But have you ever wondered how many releases and feature additions there have been since version 10.5? Is there something you might have missed in a README? What's the difference between the Orion platform and Network Performance Monitor (NPM)? Head Geek Patrick Hubbard pulls up a chair for SolarWinds story time and an info graphic.

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Level 13

Here’s an interesting article by my colleague Brandon Shopp discussing details about improving endpoint security to protect school networks and data.

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Level 17

I don’t want to alarm you, but Memorial Day is this coming Monday.

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1 15 307

Show of hands: who thinks “hybrid IT” is new, shiny, and filled with wonderful possibilities? Judging by fresh survey data and ongoing conversations on THWACK, not many of you. We’re now years into an era marked by hybrid IT, where on-premises, cloud infrastructures, and SaaS occasionally live in harmony if the tech pros in charge of those environments have enough time and resources to manage them successfully.

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Level 13

Here’s an interesting article by my colleague Brandon Shopp where he reviews the DOD cloud strategy and how they plan to use artificial intelligence and machine learning for Information Dominance.

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Level 17

Our local Starbucks reopened this past Thursday. Mobile orders only and only one person at a time is allowed inside to pick up their order. It felt almost normal to visit the shop.

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Level 13

Here’s an interesting article by my colleague Brandon Shopp discussing the Federal Government’s cloud smart strategy with suggestions on how to achieve needed improvements.

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Level 17

I know the calendar says May, but it feels more like March still. March 67th, in fact. We are well into what I’m going to call the Lost Spring. Here’s hoping it won’t also be a Lost Summer.

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Level 13

Here’s an interesting article by my colleague Jim Hansen reviewing some of the security issues involved with government contractors. We also discuss findings from last year’s cyber survey about what agencies are doing to reduce these threats.

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Level 11

A long time ago in a reality far, far away…

SolarWinds User Groups (SWUGs) are pretty cool. There’s free food, and more. Much more.

Planning and delivering a SWUG requires a huge investment, not just financial.
A relatively small team is involved in the planning: basically Danielle, Kevin, and some experienced folks from our events team. By the way, those are the people who use magic in the background to make sure there are enough t-shirts and swag at events and conferences we attend.

Finding a location is very time-consuming. First, we check your feedback in spaces like here. And while most SWUGs take place in the U.S., we did our fair share of travel. We’re not Iron Maiden, with their own 747, but shipping a few people around the globe isn’t always easy.

Once we agree on a city, we start looking into various hotel options. This process contains basic questions, like “Do you have enough space for 150 people?” up to the really important ones, like “Show us your catering menu.”

Also don’t forget we need to ship some swag. A lot!

A lot of thinking goes into the schedule. What content could be interesting? Are there new releases worth mentioning? Who is the best person to deliver it? Does their personal schedule allow travel? Do we need 20 minutes for a session or a full hour? The content itself is created by the individual contributors who are presenting it later, and the process requires a significant amount of time.

In a nutshell, a SWUG costs a lot of time, effort, and money. And we finalized everything for our next European tour to visit London, Berlin, and Munich. Done and dusted, safe and sound.

And now we’re here, in May 2020, sitting at home and not going anywhere.

But we thought, “Hey, let’s do something. Anything is better than nothing.” So, we came up with the idea to virtualize it. A virtual SWUG, a vSWUG—catchy, isn’t it?

Instead of a 1-to 2-day event, it’s now four Wednesday afternoons during May. Let me define afternoon: the events start at 01:10 pm CEST, Central European Summer Time. You know what, let me just call it 13:00 Berlin time. Bingo.

For some speakers it means they must get up very early, as it’s 06:00 in the morning in Austin.
Bad luck guys, but hey, it’s an EMEA event, after all. 😊

It’s a completely new thing for us. Many things can go wrong—some surely will—but let’s give it a try.

Our fantastic video team helps us delivering it, and while they are experienced with all the SolarWinds Labs and THWACKcamp events, this time it’s different, as it’s live, and remote. Erik (with a K) was asking for a challenge.

All details, the registration, and the agenda are available here. Join us, have a cup of coffee or an early afternoon tea, and let’s have fun in the chat.

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Level 17

We are into our seventh week of containment here, and one thing I have noticed is how much slower the world has become. 

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Level 13

Here’s an interesting article by my colleague Brandon Shopp discussing the fed’s effective use of frameworks and how this methodology can be adopted by other organizations.

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Level 17

Thanks to everyone’s efforts these past six weeks, I’m hopeful we’re on the other side of the curve now. Perhaps we’ll resume normal activities in a few weeks, although I think “normal” will be refined a bit. I look forward to the day where I don’t spend 30 minutes wiping down my groceries.

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Level 13

Here’s an interesting article by my colleague Mav Turner with specific suggestions on improving security for the internet of things. Containment and visibility are key, and so is taking action when needed.

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Level 17

I hope everyone was able to enjoy this past holiday weekend. We had decent enough weather here, allowing us to set up an egg hunt for the kids on Sunday afternoon. I also kept our annual tradition of burning the Christmas tree on Easter. In related news, the fire circle is officially open for the season.

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Level 13

Here’s an interesting article by my colleague Brandon Shopp with specific suggestions on building a team to meet agency cybersecurity demands.

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Level 17

We’re calling this the “mostly un-necessary summary” because, if the previous 11 posts haven’t given you the information you needed, odds are you won’t find it here. Because this post isn’t about information, it’s about encouragement.

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Level 17

As you might imagine, there are a lot of resources popping up as other companies and individuals come up to speed on the WFH process. A few that caught our eye are included in this post.

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