NOC Status Reports

Kent W. England kwe at
Fri Mar 31 17:56:00 UTC 1995

At 4:42 PM 3/30/95, Hans-Werner Braun wrote:
>I wonder by how much the problem could be reduced as such, if service
>providers (including campus service providers) would have accessible
>servers about network status information, being kept current by some
>local NOC.

At 4:56 PM 3/30/95, Chris Dorsey (510)422-4474 wrote:
> ....  Of course there will
>always be some NSP's that would never implement such a server
>for business purposes.

H-W, Chris, et al;

Some service providers already post system-wide planned outages and even
system-wide unplanned outages (like NSFnet backbone outages) on public
mailing lists.

We don't need another protocol to support this -- it would be a simple
matter for everyone to gateway system-wide trouble ticket reports to a Web

As Chris points out, even if today we could do this, in future it will
become more difficult as competitive pressures mount.  In the past I have
managed NOCs where there were pressures on the NOC to sugar-coat the public
trouble tickets.  A certain amount of this is appropriate, since it is
possible for NOC controllers, network engineers and other technical support
people to become frustrated with their peers and I have some vivid memories
of particular frustrations coming out in system-wide trouble tickets.  It
doesn't help either party for shouting and name-calling to show up in
trouble tickets, but it can easily happen, as we all know.

So when the pressure inevitably mounts on everyone to treat their
system-wide trouble tickets like press releases, the information content
that we seek will tend toward zero.  Therefore I feel that if such a public
system were created it would inevitably devolve to minimize useful
information, such as who is really screwing up or where the difference of
opinion actually lies.

We need a new pressure point, like traceroute became for routing or
throughput became for router benchmarks.

If you all kept incident notes and someone sent out a survey every quarter,
would you be interested in a Consumer Reports style of NOC performance
metric?  :-)  This might be worth thinking about in the IP Perf Metric BOF
next week.

I just don't see any other pressure point.  There has to be an outside
evaluation tool and a general understanding of how to interpret it.


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