I have been recruited to build a NOC for a startup company. My job consists of intervewing vendors and their products for monitoring the network and our systems. Problem being is that we will not be making a decision right away on what we will be bringing aboard and I need to be frugal (did I say that it's a startup company??). The most immediate need is for a package that can do a file level binary compare on Unix boxes on a Solaris OS. Any help would be appreciated. I'm also looking for system monitoring vendors...
Having the good luck and opportunity to build over 30 Internet NOCs in my day, from Sprint's first Internet NOC to over 28 Air Force NCCs. The most important thing you can do it to not focus on technology, but move your efforts to the systems architecture view. The time spent in planning up front will save your company more money in the short and long term.
Your organization must clearly define the scope of the NOC, the operational view(s) and capabilities, the system views and interface descriptions, and the baseline technical standards. Without doing this first, it is very inefficient to talk to vendors.
NOC and other network management operations are based on the horizontal integration of capabilities across vertical systems. Vendors tend to sell 'vertical systems' because they benefit by larger market share. However, these vertical systems usually do not scale, sacrifice capability for ease acquisition, and sacrifice interoperability for ease of installation. The attractiveness of 'ease of acquisition and installation' are pitfalls that are hard to avoid.
What is your NOC model? Web-based system control? Secure access from 'anywhere'? Comprehensive logging and event management? Application servers with web presentation? SQL accessible data storage and management? (there are more, BTW).
These and more issues should be well thought out on paper before moving to talk to vendors and talking specific technology buzz. Do you have a graphic of your operational view? Systems interface view?
[Edited by Neo on 11-21-2000 at 05:06 PM]
The solutions that you gave me were invaluable!! Thank you very much. I will get back to you after some further research.