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18 October 2011
Sparkling community around open-source NOC tools
An open-source NOC Tool Workshop was held in Brussels in conjunction with the 4th TF-NOC meeting

An open-source NOC Tool Workshop was held in conjunction with the 4th meeting of TERENA's Task Force on Network Operation Centres (TF-NOC); the event took place on 11-12 October 2011 in Brussels, hosted by Belnet, the Belgian national research networking organisation. This was the first time when TF-NOC organised a workshop dedicated to a specific topic; it attracted more than 35 participants.

At the workshop, Belnet presented their developments in the Nagios monitoring tool plug-in, which gained significant interest among the workshop participants and led to an agreement to organise a Nagios plugfest session during the next TF-NOC meeting. Other NRENs, regional networks and campus NOCs also had the opportunity to present their custom-built open-source tools, which was welcomed by the workshop and will lead to further discussions. The lively panel discussion including software engineers and NOC operators concluded that open-source development is key, but just the beginning of the story. Not only open-source codes are needed, but also an open community needs to be created that can ensure the continuity of support for, and enhancements of, the tools.

The second day of the event was dedicated to general task force discussions and updates on its work items. TF-NOC closed its first survey, which focused primarily on software tools, and agreed to put significant efforts into the analysis of the results, which will be made publically available. Motivated by the workshop discussions, participants agreed to create a script library on the TF-NOC wiki pages where useful scripts will be collected that can help day-to-day NOC operations. It was concluded that the wiki page should turn into an active source of information including descriptions of NOC best common practices that can be further discussed and refined. The focus of the wiki page will be more on monitoring solutions, standard procedures, and incident management practices that may lead to new work items within the task force focusing on these specific topics.

Gareth Eason announced that he is leaving HEAnet therefore stepping down as leader of the NOC front-end development and improvement Work Item. Gareth was one of the initiators and key figures of TF-NOC. The Task Force extended its thanks for his work and plans to confirm his replacement by the next coming task force meeting in February-March 2012 timeframe.

Further information

The programme and presentations of the workshop and task force meeting can be found here.