North American Network Operators Group|
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Re: Operations: where are you going to sit?
as someone (else) who's worked in, and helped build a NOC, I'll throw in $0.015 > Key features for a NOC: > 1) Good chairs while good chairs are important, it's also quite important to design a useful work space. reasonable desk space for keyboard, mouse, notepad, coffee cup, redundant coffee cup, and a paper plate with 2 slices of pizza should be the minimum standard per person. and like your network, don't build it before you design it. :-) remember that the "nasa look" is cool, but NASA spent their money designing rockets, not useful/comfortable workstations for mission control. try to keep in mind that people actually have to work there the 99% of the time they aren't just blocking the view of the cool furniture. > 2) Quiet NOCs aren't quiet, make sure that all of the NOCheads in your NOC have stereo headsets (i.e. 2 ear pieces) for their phones. providing headphones for the computers (in place of desktop speakers) is a good idea if the computers are going to be generating sound. some day some genius will figure out a way to design a headset that can be used to listen to music/computer beepage *AND* switch to a telephone headset at the push of a button and lowering of a boom microphone. > 3) Adequate ice maker adequate == large, and at least as reliable as your most sickly router. bottled/filtered water is also preferred where tap-water taste is undesirable or unreliable. > 4) Lots of bookshelves, file cabinets, and personel storage and pens/notepads. every week, open the door and throw in a couple boxes of pens and some notepads. NOC geeks like to scribble illegible notes on notepads while fixing stuff. and they like to doodle while waiting on hold to talk to $big_evil_telco. > 5) Lots of phone lines (including conference and analog) > 6) Some direct phone(s) (not through PBX, i.e. Red Phones) this has been discussed ad nauseum, but different formats are nice. (i.e. PBX, POTS, cell, perhaps gsm) OH!!! don't give the alternate numbers to anyone but NOC manglement and engineers. > 7) Multiple PCs/Workstations per operator multiple monitors are far easier to deal with than multiple computers, and flat-panel LCDs are the only way to go for screens people have to look at 8 (or more) hours straight. give your geeks their choice of platform/OS as much as possible. geeks are more productive in an environment they're comfortable with. > 8) Private tunes (cd player & headset) give the geeks what they want, a private streaming mp3 server. an old throaway peecee from your IT department + $peecee_nix does really well el freebo. > 9) CNN and The Weather Channel (really ESPN) there's nothing a NOC likes better on Sundays than football, except maybe free beer and pizza while watching football. > 10) Drapes across the glass window a soundproof window would be very nice. you want your customers to see the NOC, not hear the NOC making fun of salespeople. :-) 11) give the NOC their own network, that they can manage themselves. do not put them at the mercy of your other departments for *anything* to the greatest extent possible. NOCs have special needs because of the demands that most companies put on them, and they need a handful of people dedicated to their needs. 12) toys. legos, lincoln logs, k'nex, anything with blinking lights, assorted sci-fi action figures with kung-fu grip. 12.5) a toy-box where they can put the toys when the suits come to visit 13) a BIG whiteboard. I just always liked them, and they're great for impromptu mentoring. 14) a coffee maker. the type that brews into an insulated caraf/thermos is best. 15) coffee fit for human consumption. it may become traditional for engineers to buy coffee for their NOC. (uhm, HINT ;) 16) useful procedures. a room full of people moving in different directions is a mosh pit, not a NOC. 17) a door that locks. don't give salespeople the key. don't even mark the door. put the door at the end of a long, dark, cold hallway. 18) a location near physiological needs facilities. figure that one out on your own. -- Sam Thomas Geek Mercenary