Supporting innovation and extending the boundaries of the learning environment by providing access beyond the limits of the school schedule.
Enabling students to interact in a global classroom.
Budget to Implement
Learning Management System
Deploy Learning Management System solutions to 500 schools
SECTION 10: USER SUPPORT (NOC AND SERVICE CENTER)
The Network Operations Center (NOC)
The future vision for the NYCDOE NOC is for its expansion, from a centralized and proactive network management facility supporting DIIT staff at 2 MetroTech Center, to a distributed information system that will provide individual schools a view into their own buildings’ infrastructure. This transformation will empower principals and administrators to make informed strategic and instructional decisions regarding their school’s network.
This vision of the DOE NOC supports the effort to transform the DOE Support Community, including IT Support Staff, IT Management, School Administrators and Educators, making it more connected, more agile and better organized to share information and coordinate actions.
The NOC will strive to empower the Support Community with seamless and ubiquitous access to IT resources that make the state of the computer network clear and visible. Using these resources, DOE support organizations can manage, anticipate and mitigate problems, ensuring uninterrupted availability and provide for graceful degradation, self-healing, failover, diversity, and elimination of critical failure points.
Goal and Strategy to Obtain Vision
In order to achieve this vision, we need to expand the current NOC services through infrastructure build-out and support. Through a series of physical and system enhancements, the NOC will become an even more valuable state-of-the-art facility. The expansion will focus on the following goals:
Expand the physical structure of the NOC so it will be able to house additional engineers
Provide proactive end-to-end network and systems management to maximize the availability of applications and services to users
Coordinate management activities from a single Network Operations Center
Upgrade to industry-standard network management and notification systems, such as HP OpenView, NetCool, MRTG, and Netflow
Integrate these systems into a cohesive streamlined set of management tools
The use of certain Network tools, such as HP OpenView and NetCool is integral to the success of the NYCDOE NOC. As the diagram below illustrates, the output from all the independent network monitoring systems and HP OpenView, now reports in to one common notification system, which is NetCool.
Figure 10-1: NOC Overview
In addition to providing real-time alerts to network failures, NetCool supports the concept known as Event Correlation. For example, if a fiber is cut, many network devices will immediately generate alarms, indicating loss of signal. The NOC Engineer analyzes each individual alarm, and eventually determines that the cut fiber is the root cause for the alarms. Netcool provides a dynamic shortcut to this type of scenario. NetCool correlates all the events/alarms, and generates one alarm that indicates to the NOC Engineer the root cause of the network failure.
These network management systems also store various types of historical data, which currently enables the NOC to proactively:
Automate systems management
Three recent initiatives in the NOC have greatly enhanced both its functionality, and that of the schools, and can be expected to continue over the period of this Plan:
Increasing Accountability -- The NOC introduced an Automated Call Distribution (ACD) system in 2009. With it, calls are no longer placed to individuals in the NOC, but to a single NOC telephone number and distributed, automatically, to an available staff member. The system makes the NOC more efficient, and improves the quality of interaction for external users. It also provides a greater measure of accountability for the NOC. ACD reports show how much wait time callers experienced, how long calls lasted, etc.
Focusing on Key Services – The NOC has expanded its role, from monitoring network elements to monitoring key applications. ARIS, SESIS and DFS (Dynamic Form Scanning, the system used to print rosters at schools) are now monitored as separate entities at the NOC. For example, NOC staff is not just aware that a server failed; it is now aware that ARIS is impacted.
Distributing Functionality to Schools – The NOC initiated a principal’s dashboard, giving principals up-to-date information about the status of their school’s network. Until now, this information was only available at the NOC. Principals can now see information about WAN availability, WAN utilization, temperature of the equipment rack, as well as many other reports. They can now proactively address changes likely to lead to problems in a way the NOC staff, responsible for 1200+ networks, cannot. The dashboard also provides a list of open MAGIC tickets, letting principals know that problems have been reported, thereby avoiding additional, and expensive, calls to the help desk.