Community News

Between monitoring and regulations – ‘releasing’ the NOC

The Special Interest Group on Network Operation Centres (SIG-NOC) met on 8-9 April, for the ninth time since its launch, hosted by ARNES in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Jonny Lundin, on behalf of the SIG-NOC Steering Committee (SC) thanked Brian Nisbet (HEAnet), SIG’s chair for the last 6 years, who’s moving on to a new role, and welcomed Tony Barber (GÉANT) as a new SC member.

Marco Bonač, director of ARNES, opened the event with a welcome address and highlighted some of ARNES’s recent challenges: technical personnel recruitment, finding alternative ways to provide services to schools and small organisations; growing admin workload due to complex public tenders, and GDPR constraints.

Maria Isabel Gandia (CSUC) gave a presentation on ‘Flow Monitoring Tools’, focusing on their functionalities, strengths and weaknesses and led, jointly with Jonny Lundin, a debate on ‘Tools for campus network as a service’. Campus Network as a Service (CNaaS) will be offered by NRENs to their connected institutions, standardising network architecture, tools and processes in use.

Ana Alves (GÉANT) invited NOC Operations to “keep GDPR alive”: reminding of the importance to take part in training on data protection, information security and cybersecurity.

During the flash talks session – a successful and proven formula adopted by SIG-NOC meetings – we learned about the challenges related to NOC recruitment, were introduced to the MD-VPN Service Inventory tool, heard about lessons learnt from CARNET’s cloud managed school network project, and received an invitation to the next GÉANT Crisis Management Workshop CLAW, which will take place on 6-7 November in Poznan, Poland, hosted by PSNC.

The evening programme was rich and eventful. We met in the city centre to take part in the “The Streetwalker Tour” presented by local artists and moved on to the picturesque Ljubljana castle for dinner.

The second day of the meeting focused on the Slovenian NOC and the WLAN-2020 project that is projecting Slovenia to advanced levels in the implementation of digital education. Jože Hanc from ARNES and Dan Gabor – a system engineer from commercial partner Fortinet – discussed their successful collaboration on WLAN-2020, presenting the project’s objectives, architecture, scalability and key features.

We also learnt about ARNES Automator, an application developed to help ARNES NOC to manage and operate the network, and the RIPE NCC Routing Information System (RIS), which collects Internet routing data from all over the world and makes it publicly available.

The ninth SIG-NOC meeting was a success. All participants agreed that one of the greatest advantages of belonging to the NREN community is the possibility to share ideas, concerns and doubts with fellow professionals who deal with similar challenges on a daily basis. During these events, not only do we learn from each other, but also create new possibilities for collaborations, extend our network and build friendships.

Topics such as services for schools and recruitment issues will almost certainly be covered during the next SIG-NOC meeting planned in autumn – please watch this space for more details.

All presentations can be found here.

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