In October, we boldly stated in our blog, that at the sixth meeting of the Special Interest Group Network Operating Centre (SIG-NOC), we would be looking at the NOC of the future.

Our latest meeting took place last November in Utrecht, we discussed the GDPR in relation to NOC operations, investigated how security ties into network operations and which tools can be used to anticipate the needs of our users. We cannot claim to have seen the whole future, just bits of it, and we certainly know a few more tools for working it out!

We kicked the meeting off with a presentation by Emile Aben (RIPE NCC), where we learned that NOCs are able to give feedback to improve the RIPE NCC tools; although these are tested and used daily by a variety of NOCs, their potential is not fully exploited. Next, Morten Eeg Ejrnæs Nielsen (DeiC) and Nicole Harris (GÉANT) quizzed us on our knowledge of GDPR and gave us some indicators on how much we should be concerned on this matter (which is, strangely, less and, at the same time, more than we are already). The Monday meeting closed with an excellent presentation about all the things one can do with SPLUNK Data Analysis by Graham Parsons (SPLUNK) and a report on the lessons learned from the CLAW Crisis Management Event by Charlie van Genuchten (GEANT/SURFnet). A delightful dinner, graciously hosted by SURFnet, and some drinks at a bar that used to be a church, gave us many opportunities to catch up on both NOC and non-NOC related topics.

The next day, we enjoyed demonstrations of Network Function Virtualisation by Wouter Huisman (SURFnet) and Automation and Orchestration from SURFnetters Gerben Malenstein and Eyle Brinkhuis. The presentation by Peter van Hartingsveld (VC4) about the VC4 Systems Inventory Tool and an update by Gerson Rodriguez de los Santos (RedIRIS) about the RedIRIS Spectrum Reporting Tool showed us that we are all working on the same jigsaw, but our toolsets are all very different. This difference in approaches became even more apparent in the discussion about Security Operation Centres (SOCs), the meeting’s last session. During this very interesting discussion, chaired by Jonny Lundin (NORDUNET), we discovered that most of the organisations represented at the meeting are already investigating the need for a SOC in different ways. All participants confirmed that they would be happy to revisit the same subjects in future meetings, especially the discussion on SOC.

The slides from the meeting can be found on our wiki: https://wiki.geant.org/display/SIGNOC/6th+SIG-NOC+meeting.

If you are interested to participate in SIG-NOC, please join our mailing list: https://lists.geant.org/sympa/subscribe/sig-noc.

Our next meeting will take place in Barcelona in April or May.