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From on-prem to the cloud and from the cloud back to the office?

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“From on-prem to the cloud and from the cloud back to the office?” was the theme of the SIG-NOC’s 13th meeting on January 26 – online-only for the third time due to the pandemic.  It covered a mix of ideas between the trend to move to the cloud and going back to on-prem solutions as the global pandemic forced many NOCs to work from home whilst some have been able to go back to the office. The meeting comprised two main sessions where more than 55 attendees exchanged ideas on NOC tools including monitoring, SNMP, telemetry plus changes and challenges faced during the pandemic.

In the first of three presentations entitled “Trials and tribulations of DIY development: the story of developing an in-house SNMP management tool at GÉANT “, Temoor Khan and Erik Reid from GÉANT explained how they used and adapted agile techniques to develop a new version of the “Dashboard NMS” tool which can now function in a challenging multi-vendor environment providing real-time information and alarm management, with good correlation between the optical and IP network events.  Paul Rouse from GÉANT’s executive team, with his presentation “The migration of Atlassian to the cloud, the implications for Research and Education Networks and the possible short-term and long-term options to mitigate the impact of this migration for them” introduced a topic that affects many NOCs using Atlassian tools for ticketing, problem management, inventory management or change management.  The third presentation by Tim Chown, from Jisc and Mauro Campanella from GARR “Sharing network telemetry data between NRENs and R&E organisations”  focused on telemetry. An interactive survey revealed that the interest in having access to shared information is counteracted by the reluctance in sharing due to the lack of knowledge of possible privacy issues.

In the second part a dynamic discussion, led by Jonny Lundin from Sunet about NOCs in the pandemic, took place in virtual breakout rooms.

A shared impression was that management is now more enthusiastic about the work-from-home set up thanks to its positive results in the last 12 months, although NOC engineers miss the personal interaction.  The trend to work more from home in the post-pandemic future could lead to reduced space  and “hot desks” for those NOCs that have specific monitoring and incident management requirements.  But the situation could be not too dissimilar to how it was before COVID-19, with just some tools and technology changes.  In the last presentation Claudio Allocchio from GARR, introduced a monitoring system for latency and jitter called Timemap.  A working prototype service is already running and accessible (via eduGAIN authentication) at https://timemap.geant.org.

For more information visit: https://wiki.geant.org/display/SIGNOC/13th+SIG-NOC+meeting+-+virtual

If you missed the meeting don’t despair, you can get a copy of its recording from Magda Haver magda.haver@geant.org.