Network Operations Centers don’t have to be ugly. In fact, with the right technology, NOCs can be configured to look like impressive mission control rooms straight out of some wildly inspiring movie about a NASA endeavor, or a science fiction military victory that saves the world. But, beyond the striking impression a slick set up can make, what is the real value of a NOC display? Without the right tools to display useful information, such rooms can look great, but provide little real value to the business. The solution is using consistent, branded dashboards across all of a NOC’s individual displays to keep engineers, managers, operations personnel and visiting managed services customers apprised of network health in real time.
In many cases, a NOC with multiple displays is not used to its fullest capability, because all those great monitors display disparate (read: ugly) dashboards from multiple different systems. The NOC may have one screen showing a network monitoring tool, another with information about application or database performance, and more displays for the Weather Channel, stock ticker, or CNN. Every single screen looks different, and none of the information is integrated. The result is a room full of cool looking displays that are not doing much to move the needle on productivity or MTTR.
In many cases multiple displays can multiply the ugly, because the information presented across all those screens is not contextually driven. Rather than an integrated, clear picture of network health, disconnected data from disconnected sources can confuse NOC personnel, or at the very least, make the room feel chaotic.
What if there was a way to present consistent, branded dashboard experience across a NOC’s displays? And, what if those branded dashboards actually worked with each other to display network health in real time? There could be a map of the world on one display with red, yellow, and green pins showing resolved and pending issues around the globe. Maybe there’s also a regional map on another screen, with specific tickets open in Japan, and an even more granular look at the New York City market with specific details, gauges, graphs and charts on a third screen. Every system, from network to database to servers, security, applications, weather, current events and more can be displayed – with consistent branding – across every monitor, even extending to the screens people are using as “eyes on glass”. Integrating systems means presenting a consistent aesthetic in your Operations Center.
So, what is the pathway toward consistent, branded, integrated information on NOC displays? In a word, software. It’s easy enough to connect multiple displays with HDMI, but the software that ties the data together is the key to transforming the NOC aesthetic. edgeSuite provides that consistent experience with customizable dashboards that pull together information from multiple systems to present a holistic picture of network health.
Let’s say there’s a huge system issue, like a network outage that grounds hundreds of commercial airline flights, or communication outages during a hurricane. The MSP’s Operations Director, or NOC Manager may decide the entire team must focus on resolving a core issue and nothing else, until it is solved. In a the case of a catastrophic network issue, all screens in the NOC can be used for a 360° view of the problem. If the NOC Manager updates one screen or network tool, all the rest of the screens – displaying dashboards with integrated data – will update in real time. Configuring multiple screens and clean, clear, integrated, dashboards provides the benefit of productivity across the entire NOC team, especially in the case of a major outage.
The good news? We’ve done this before, for distributed NOCs with global customer presence.
For more information on edgeSuite’s solution for multiple HDMI displays, schedule a customized consultation.