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Managing the network and services of the future and missing human interaction at the 14th SIG-NOC Meeting

Words: Maria Isabel Gandia, CSUC 

Network management and tools evolve with the network and the services on top of it. Although that was the main idea behind the theme and the presentations at the 14th SIG-NOC meeting, a complementary idea was in the air, expressed by many of its participants: networkers miss live human networking. Around these two axes, networkers from the research and education world met online for half a day with a mix of presentations, demos, lightning talks and interactive sessions.

The meeting started with Jean-Marc Uzé (Augtera Networks), in a presentation prepared with Robert Szuman (PSNC), where attendees could see the usage of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques to help discover the unknown in the network and provide insights when anomalies are correlated. After that, Morten Brekkevold, presented Argus, an alert aggregator console developed at Uninett, with the help of the GÉANT project, for consolidating incidents across network management systems, and for managing NOC notification profiles in a single interface.

During the coffee-break, the attendees were able to suggest their preferred topics to be discussed later in the breakout rooms, generating a cloud of NOC hot topics from where 5 where selected and offered to the audience: Asset Management, Ways of Working post COVID19, Post-snmp reality and telemetry and Flow Monitoring Tools, Incident, and Crisis Management and Social Media for comms.

Then, it was the turn of the lightning talks. Paul Shelswell, from GÉANT, gave an update on the status of the new 40 Tbit/s network backbone. After that, Magnus Bergroth, from SUNET, explained how they have solved the problem of measuring Video quality using proprietary videoconferencing tools. Finally, Charlie van Genuchten, from SURF, encouraged the audience to volunteer for the Cyber Security month 2021 in October, through articles, presentations, interviews or translation of materials.

After the lightning talks, the five interactive sessions worked as a framework for good and relaxed discussions on the chosen topics, that were shared among all the groups at the end of the session. Some common points were mentioned, like the challenge of finding engineers or the way of communicating planned maintenance windows and incidents.

Finally, after the wrap-up and feedback round, the official meeting was closed, and the social interaction on everyone’s balcony started. And what happens in the SIG-NOC, stays in the SIG-NOC.

We hope we will be able to meet ‘live’ again very soon.

More information about the activities of SIG-NOC can be found here.