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The Monitoring ELI5 Guide
The goal of this book is to describe complex IT ideas simply. Very simply. So simply, in fact, a five-year-old could understand it. This book is also written in a way we hope is funny, and maybe a little irreverent—just the right mix of snark and humor and insubordination.

Not too long ago, a copy of Randall Munroe’s “Thing Explainer” made its way around the SolarWinds office—passing from engineering to marketing to development to the Head Geeks™ (yes, that’s actually a job at SolarWinds. It’s pretty cool.), and even to management.

Amid chuckles of appreciation, we recognized Munroe had struck upon a deeper truth: as IT practitioners, we’re often asked to describe complex technical ideas or solutions. However, often it’s for folks who need a simplified version. These may be people who consider themselves non-technical, but just as easily it could be for people who are technical in a different discipline. Amid frustrated eye-rolling we’re asked to “explain it to me like I’m five years old” (a phrase shortened to just “Explain Like I’m Five,” or ELI5, in forums across the internet).

There, amid the blueprints and stick figures, were explanations of the most complex concepts in hyper-simplified language that had achieved the impossible alchemy of being amusing, engaging, and accurate.

We were inspired. What you hold in your hands (or read on your screen) is the result of this inspiration.

In this book, we hope to do for IT what Randall Munroe did for rockets, microwaves, and cell phones: explain what they are, what they do, and how they work in terms anyone can understand, and in a way that may even inspire a laugh or two.