SolarWinds marks 'Thwack' anniversary with free tool release

Typically when someone celebrates a birthday or anniversay they receive gifts, but this week SolarWinds marked the one-year anniversary of the launch of its community portal Thwack by giving the gift of free software. (Check out our slideshow of 20 free software favorites.)

"We were one of the first community sites for IT network professionals," said SolarWinds Head Geek Josh Stephens in a press release.

The Thwack community site, which is a portal for SolarWinds' 16,000 members to share ideas, technical tips and educational content, features nearly 30,000 community posts. The Content Sharing Zone on the site has been accessed more than 10,000 times in the past year, and site-sponsored forums encourage members to discuss general network management topics as well as share experiences using SolarWinds' products such as Orion, Cirrus, ipMonitor, LANSurveyor and Engineer's Toolset.

"The emergence of open source as a viable alternative in product environments has demonstrated both the power and benefit of community," said Tracy Corbo, senior analyst at IDC in a SolarWinds statement. "The same community model can be used and applied to commercial software projects, resulting in direct benefits to both the vendor and the end users."

Now with the release of the free SolarWinds Exchange Monitor, Thwack community members with have more SolarWinds software to discuss. The free tool, available here, helps IT and Windows systems administrators reduce e-mail downtime and service disruptions, according to SolarWinds. The tool features a desktop dashboard that monitors Exchange services, identifies growing mail queues and monitors the server that Exchange is physically running on for disk usage, CPU utilization and memory utilization, the vendor reports.

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