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Level 13

SolarWinds Support

OK I know support is getting better.  Over the last year it has gotten a lot better so you guys are moving in the rght direction.  I just do not think it is fast enough.

 

First off if you are going to use thwack as a method of support then you need to make sure EVERY post gets answered by staff within some reasonable time frame.  If that means you need to dedicate a small staff to do so then so be it.  I troll on here a lot (obviously) and I see far to many unanswered posts in my opinion.

Further more,  Tier 1 support is aweful.  This is not because of the people but because you rarely hear form them.  I can submit a ticket and see 24 hours plus go by before I hear from someone (regardless of priority) for the first time.  And contact after the initial email is even worse.  I have had some tickets open for weeks at a time hearing from support as infrequently as once or twice a week.

I will end on a positive.  Tier 2 support when you are lucky enough to get to them is awesome.  They are like support bulldogs.  They will chew on an issue no matter the complexity until it is solved and they actually send you updates.

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15 Replies
Level 19

Hi Donald and Brian,

Thanks for the feedback - that's how we know where we need to improve. I don't know if you guys have a lab environment or not but it does help in finding issues before the change goes into production. We don't expect our customers to QA for us and we do a lot of testing. A lab can be helpful to find environmental issues as we can't test for all situations.  

Andy

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I don't know if you guys have a lab environment or not but it does help in finding issues before the change goes into production. We don't expect our customers to QA for us and we do a lot of testing. A lab can be helpful to find environmental issues as we can't test for all situations.  

Andy



 

I'm currently looking at some sort of lab implementation but all I can see for now is the 30 day eval copy.  I guess we would have to buy another license for "lab use" but that still won't accurately test performance.

What has anyone else out there done for lab testing in their environment?

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I would again like to thank you guys for going right at this issue and not side stepping it or making excuses for it.  I think that shows that SolarWinds is a customer oriented company intent on making customers happy with their products.

Being more concerned with your support instead of pollitics is refeshing.

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Donald--

Our pleasure! Thanks for the kudos and keep the feedback coming. Feel free to email me personally via thwack should you need to.

M

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Marie\Mindy,

Im glad you were able to turn around the views of some users here.

Unfortunately, my frustration with Solarwinds grows day by day. I would like to speak with you or someone who is in the position to understand the issues I've been facing.

Sorry if this sounds like I'm venting, but I am currently on hold for over 30 minutes just to speak to someone in support.  My production solarwinds installation is down.

My customer number is SW55114. You can find my contact information and I do hope that you reach out to me.

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TGhosh,

I'm sorry to hear you are having such trouble. I took a look at your ticket in our system and see that logs were requested yesterday morning. Have you sent the logs over?

I also noticed that you have APM, NCM, NTA, and NPM all on one server with your database. Is that correct? If so, that is definitely going to cause issues in a production environment. Especially with NTA, you really must separate your SQL Server and your NPM server, as stated on page 6 of the NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Administrator Guide. (http://www.solarwinds.com/support/NetFlow/docs/NetFlowAdministratorGuide.pdf)

I have also forwarded your info and asked someone to reach out to you.

Michael

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Thanks for digging in, Michael.

The latest diagnostic file was uploaded and downloaded by SW support staff.

Yes all the Solarwinds modules are installed local to the SQL server. the box is an IBM x3650 with 8 CPU Cores and 18gb of ram.  the SQL database is running on a RAID 10 disk subsystem.

Im surprised that this is not sufficient for our solarwinds environment. We are looking to segregrate the DB from the processes. However, there are still issues with APM and NPM which I am being told would be resolved with future releases. 

I am looking for something concrete that I can tell my management as they have already pressured me to abandon Solarwinds all together and investigate competitor products.

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Michael,

When I took over administration of our Orion suite about a year ago, we were also having severe issues, the majority of which ended up being performance related due to insufficient hardware.  Like Donald, I run a large Orion implementation and can not imagine it all running on a single box.  It isn't about having 1 super big box, it is about spreading the load out across more normal systems.  In my case, we are currently running on 4 servers, possibly about to add a 5th, and my SQL db lives on an extremely fast SAN.

A few questions for you:  How many total elements are you monitoring?  What is your average disk queue length on that RAID 10 array and how many physical disks are in the array?  Also, are you running 32 bit OS and SQL or 64 bit?

Depending on your answers, I may be able to make some suggestions that may be fairly easy for you to implement.

As for SW support, I agree with what others have already stated.  They have come a long way in the last 6 - 8 months, IMO.

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Warbird and Donald,

Thank you both for jumping in and offering to help. Our community never ceases to amaze me. You guys rock.

 

TGhosh,

A couple of things to try:

1. If possible, move the TempDB of your SQL Server to its own spindle. The TempDB is used to temporarily join data used by both NPM and NTA. If you can put that load on its own spindle, separate from your data and logs, that should help. You might also consider, if you have the spindles, separating database logs from data.

2. The other thing we've noticed is tweaking the SQL memory limits helps. Consider setting the minimum SQL memory limit to 2GB.

Let me know if that helps at all. Also, I'm sure that Donald and warbird will be great assets in helping get your performance further tweaked.

Thanks,

Michael

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If you would like to reach out to another user with the same products for anything please just email me. 

 

We run Orion in a large enviorment and we have it on 6 servers.  I cannot imagine running it all on one no matter the horsepower.  But that's just my 2 cents.

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Level 12

I agree.  Overall moving in right direction but I call/email for updates on my cases and don't hear a peep.  I have cases open for weeks/months and usually takes weeks in between updates.  Communication is a big thing with me...even if its to say there is no update.

I can understand Thwack posts not being replied to...but requests for updates on open cases getting ignored is a bit much for paying customers.  Luckily a number of the issues aren't life threatening but the ones that are I get incredibly frustrated with the whole support process.

So review..keep up good work...but still LONG way to go to be considered an above average support structure.

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Awesome feedback from you both.

I'm working with support right now to see what we can do to be more responsive, especially considering that you are both valued customers and thwack posters.

Please stand by and I assure you, these posts will be answered.

M

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Hi Donald—


 


Ok, so let me address your post one paragraph at a time J, so I don’t miss anything:


 


Paragraph 1-  thwack is really not a primary support channel. Its mandate is that of community builder where customers can share ideas and solutions in the spirit of self-help.  Having said that, I read each post and mark it for an appropriate audience to view, such as product managers, information dev, and support.  If there is something pressing, I email product managers and support directly and in my experience, they are always responsive. It's true that some posts may not be answered but the perceived importance of a post—and therefore whether it is answered-- is often dictated by the community response.


 


Paragraph 2 In looking at your cases, I did notice that  your Case #121575 took too long for you to receive an initial response. We are constantly trying to improve, and I’m glad that you are noticing these efforts. In the case of #123674 or #121072—both of these were answered within  hours.  Your other recent case, Case #112249, was also initially replied to in a prompt manner, no?


 


Paragraph 3 – As I said before, I’m really glad that you can see our improvement and to report there are more improvements in store. I see that you are currently working with Destiny Martin on your open case. She is definitely tenacious and our hope is that by escalating your case to her, we are showing our greatest commitment to your support needs.



Just out of curiosity, what prompted your initial post? Did a product stop working?


 


I sincerely hope this helps and clarifies! I know you are a long-time customer and a valued thwack contributor. You can email me directly via thwack if you have additional concerns.


 


Many thanks for your time and support in the community.


 


M

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Thanks for the feedback on our Support team.  I’m the manager of the North American Support team and I’ve been at SolarWinds for about 3 weeks now.  One of the reasons I joined SolarWinds  was because of thwack.  There are few companies that value the community as much as we do and the feedback from community and customers is taken very seriously.  I’m exploring now how Support can best participate on thwack and also more generally what things we can do to make the support experience better.


As is typical with any complex system (whether it’s a network or a support process), it can be a big mistake to make changes without understanding the consequences.  I’ve been observing what’s working and what could use some improvement in my team and I know enough now to be dangerous.   I’m starting to make some changes and though it may take some time before they are apparent, my goals are to improve the support experience and to make sure the group is staffed with awesome folks at all levels.


 


Keep the feedback coming,


Mindy

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As a customer I can say honestly that this kind of reaction is just what we would want to see.  We appreciate the quick and honest replies very much

This is also one of the huge pluses of a support vehicle like Thawck.

I look forward to the support improvments.  I have been a SolarWinds customer since the late 90's so I would like to see you guys continue to be a success as much as you do.

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