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Level 7

Great solarwinds Job Opportunity - I'm a total newbie - Help!

Hi guys,

I have a great job opportunity coming up. It's for a fairly large firm - 4,000 servers, 350 odd WAN links, 1000 plus network devices, 500 printers, etc.

I'm a total newbie to SolarWinds but if I could learn enough of it in the next 4 weeks, I have a great chance of landing this job.

Could anyone please advise me on what would be the most effective and time efficient way to learn as much about Solarwinds in the next 4 weeks?

I have had a read of a few threads and it seems a good place to start is with the NPM and SAM getting started guides. I also have the Admin guides and the youtube playlists.

Time is of the essence so I am looking for a solution that will allow me to learn the most in the quickest time.

Thanks in advance for your help and time.


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16 Replies

Don't forget to use THWACK to search for solutions to any hurdles you come across, there is years and years of knowledge in these forums!

Good luck on the job!  With the low unemployment you've got a great chance!

Level 13

Go to the demo site and work through everything SolarWinds Demo | Online Orion Demo Login .  You can try all the products and don't have to set anything up.  There are lots of demo systems in there.

Lurk on thwack and ask questions (you're already doing that obviously)

Download and install any demo products you need to learn.

Level 12

Hey Rod, where is the job?

Not that I'm looking for a new job or anything...

Community Manager
Community Manager

Don't sleep on the THWACK Tuesday Tips series either:

Quick ❤️ minute segments sorted by topic, i.e. How to setup NetPath, How to setup custom resources, how to run diags, etc.

I've recently started watching these and they are amazing addition to my toolbox!

- Ben Keen LinkedIn Profile

Hey mate, you're in luck as Solarwinds is one of the easiest platform to dive into! As adatole​ has mentioned, use the demo website. Especially if you can't run up a lab.

Whereabouts in Australia are you? I'm in Brisbane.

Good luck!

I'm seeing the beginnings of a beautiful (geeky) friendship.

"Shoot for the stars to reach the moon"
Level 18

1) Play with the online demo - 90% of what you'll need to be comfortable with (different views, where certain actions like creating users, managing settings, etc can be located) are available.

2) as mentioned, install the 30-day demos into VM's. While it's not a supported configuration, my lab at home runs on 1 virtualbox VM for the polling engine, and 1 Docker container running SQL 2016 on Linux.

3) See who is a SolarWinds customer living in your neck of the woods, and see if they'll let you "ride along" with them for a day or two.


4) watch SolarWinds lab. We have 5 years of how-to videos and no requirement to be a customer

5) Ditto THWACKcamp

6) look here for all the available ebooks.

Best of luck, and please tell us how everything turns out!

Leon Adato | Head Geek
"Measure what is measurable,
and make measurable what is not so." - Gallileo

Sounds like you are going to jump into Solarwinds and inherit quite an installation.  While learning about all the products and how they work you might want to focus on pain points and how to jump in and fix.  Do they have chatty alerts?  Are they using custom alerts?  Do people ignore alerts?  I inherited a smaller Solarwinds install everyone has all the same basic problems...or you could be inheriting something already rock solid. 

I know customers with active maintenance can access training in the customer portal. I'm not sure what the least expensive product which qualifies is, but if you don't already have access (which I'm guessing you do not), then maybe check with sales and see about that route.

Unless things have changed, I believe you would be able to access all training by just having maintenance on a single product. (I think Kiwi Syslog is a couple hundred bucks, but not sure...)

Again not knowing your situation, finances, etc.., it's technically an option, so figured I'd throw it in there.

Otherwise, I think I'd still put in my vote for trial environment. If you have access to a few VMs, and maybe a virtual network/GNS3 type setup, you should be able to cover quite a bit of knowledge within your time frame.

Defently look at the Academy as KMSigma​ pointed out.  And this post is showing your mind is in the game.  A lot of what I know for SolarWinds comes from this community.  Be sure to check out the product categories. 

I'm not sure if you are going to be attending any of the up coming SWUGs but those are great places as well.  I'm leading a discussion next week about taking over an environment and how to fall in love with Monitoring.  I would be open  to talking to you about my challenges and try to help you out as much as I can. 

- Ben Keen LinkedIn Profile

We are also having a SWUG in Australia, but that's not planned for a few months.  If you want to lean more, check out the SolarWinds User Groups (SWUG) space.  It's going to be a great time.

"Shoot for the stars to reach the moon"
Community Manager
Community Manager

You can also look at the resources available at the academy (Success Center ).

"Shoot for the stars to reach the moon"

rod1210​ I'd say, download, install, and start building things out with the products. You should be able to run that "trial" environment for 30 days, I believe. For me, actually using the products helped the most.

Having nearly 6k nodes (servers, network, printers, etc.), I'd guess that job would benefit from also knowing/using the API to build it out in bulk. While it's not a super difficult thing to do, focusing on that would likely use up a large chunk of your time, if not all of it.

Walking through the admin guide, while actually building it out in a "real-ish" environment, would likely give you a stronger foundation.

Community Manager
Community Manager

wluther​ is right.  The best way to become accustomed to the software is to run it for the 30-day trial.  You can also install it from the Azure Marketplace or the AWS Store directly into either cloud provider. 

"Shoot for the stars to reach the moon"