NOC Teams monitoring for the Network Changes
Monitoring for changes in the network: Use cases
Incorrect network changes are too often the cause of network downtime. To ensure their networks are operating efficiently, teams must monitor changes, performance, and availability.
A network operations center (NOC) team is typically responsible for monitoring the network. When there is a problem, the team searches for the cause. No matter what, the next step is to send the problem to network engineering.
When the NOC discovers the problem, network engineers can begin repairing it immediately. The NOC must spend more time searching for the cause if it can’t identify the source of the problem, which can take hours or even days.
Generally, NOC teams do not monitor the network for changes that could affect performance, such as configuration updates and software updates. Network engineers handle that.
A NOC team that monitors for these types of changes is better able to identify performance issues faster and more accurately. The tool must be aware of both performance and availability changes, as well as monitor performance.
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You should keep an eye on the following network changes.
An update to the network device’s operating state
Logging into a network device and making changes can cause the device’s running state to change. As soon as a network device boots, its parameters are stored in a configuration file. Changing the running state of the device does not affect the configuration file, only the running device.
As a result of incorrectly made changes, a performance problem occurs, and the NOC operator attempts to diagnose it. It can take a while to find the change since the network operator isn’t always aware of what the change is.
Troubleshooting can be sped up by showing the NOC operator the changes made to the device through a networking monitoring and configuration tool. Those details can then be passed on to the network engineers, so they won’t have to hunt for the problem themselves. Also, there’s a chance the tool will allow the NOC operator to fix the problem without involving the network engineers.
Changes to the network not saved
The person who makes an unsaved network change doesn’t save it to the boot configuration file to fix a performance problem. When the router reboots, the performance problem will return if changes have been made but not saved.
The NOC team can use this information to inform the engineers that someone made a change but did not save it.
The network configuration and performance monitoring tools can detect any unsaved changes.
Furthermore, it detects reboots and shows the difference between a “fixed” configuration and one that was not saved. The configuration file shows the “unfixed” configuration.
Changing the boot configuration of the network device
A common practice in IT departments is to change windows during the middle of the night when most people are sleeping.
Imagine a new regulation has been implemented and a company needs to modify this network device to comply.
A network engineer makes the change to the boot configuration during the normal change window since this is not a critical change. Some changes may not work the way they’re expected to.
The network engineer’s change may have a negative side effect when the device reboots. Most likely in the middle of the night. The side effect might appear immediately or after a lot of people have been using the network.
NOC operators often notice that there’s a performance issue and need to figure out what happened. With the networking performance monitoring and configuration tool, the NOC operator can view performance changes over time. It is possible to track performance changes for up to 30 days.
When the operator determines the cause of the performance problem, they can send a ticket to the network engineering team. Explaining, “I noticed a change at 2:00 a.m. Maybe that’s helpful, or maybe that’s the problem.”
A change in the network device’s software
As opposed to a configuration change, this is a software change. Many vendors such as Apple, Microsoft, and Cisco send out software updates that don’t always work as intended and may have negative side effects.
During a change window, software updates are also typically scheduled. The negative impact of a change to the boot configuration of a device may not be immediately apparent.
However, network operators can identify any potential problems using network performance monitoring tools. And also configuration tools send that information to the network engineering team.