NOC software


Oct 28, 2004
Is anyone currently using or know of any kind of software that could be used as a notification for members of a NOC team so they know if there was an issue or outage overnight. It seems that when my team of engineers emails updates and notifications they NOC team looks over them and have called customers reporting an outage that was taken care of or currently being worked on. I know that could be fixed with training of the NOC dudes but I was thinking that since there are 5 large LCD's up in their area we could utilize one screen for this. The NOC is not staffed 24/7 so there is no morning brief from any overnight staff.

Initially i thought something like twitter could keep them up to date but if there was a long term outage or issue it would get buried by current and adding more tweets.

I know [H] is good so , whatcha got? :D
You could try something like Trello. Basically you can create a digital pinboard with notes and share these boards with individual. You could use this for issue escalation and quick outstanding issue overviews.
If you just want to leave a message, we like using Stickies from ZHorn. It's a sticky note program for your PC, but you can also enabled Network Mode and send sticky notes to other users.
I've used Nagios in the past to monitor a multiple sites, both network equipment, servers and services.

Usually just about any managed network device or monitoring software can generate email alerts...everyone has email lol
We use PRTG. Works quite well, and very customizable. They have apps available for android & ios with notifications, or it can email or send sms notifications.
but what if the alert is that the email server is down! :eek:

External email? You could go so far as to setup a modem connection to connect a backup line to the internet to send an email to an external server as a backup...ROCKET SCIENCE
but what if the alert is that the email server is down! :eek:

You can also generate text messages using email. Most cell providers have the ability to take an e-mail and turn it into a text. if you send an email to (Verizon) it will send a text to the user with that phone number. I've set this up for someone who wanted text alerts when important stuff goes down. Just look up the provider they have for their phone and set it up accordingly.
That's actually what I do with nagios, email is the first level alert, if not ack'ed after typically an hour, it sends sms and calls my cell via asterisk. Monitoring is from outside all client networks (from my house via vpn), so the monitoring server itself it then monitored from a cloud based monitoring service.
The email server going down is something I have to address for my home monitoring solution, I currently have it send an email through my online web server's mail server, which works fine, as certain alarms need to send email to my work or perhaps other places so I wanted to use an external mail server and not internal.

But if that server goes down, unless I have the actual monitoring screen up, I only get the recover alert. Oddly out of all my servers that is the one that tends to go down the most due to data centre outages, upgrades and stuff.

I need to implement not only an option to specify a secondary SMTP server, but I want to look into what it takes to send a SMS (without email) and if it can be done via land line.

As for at work we use tons of different programs, most of them being proprietary to the company such as this one X based app used to monitor DMS10's and network equipment. We use Pandora for servers, DPS Telecom T-mon for most environmental/equipment alarms, TSM-8000 for radios etc.... We have 4 monitors filled with apps shrinked to proper size to fit them all.

For notifications and tracking of info that is something we lack, we mostly use email, which kinda sucks as stuff just gets buried and our last email upgrade broke search. You have to install this windows search add on crap, which in turn fixes the email search but breaks windows file search. :p

I'll probably be coding us a better solution to keep track of stuff. For starters, a screen with a list of current ongoing things so you have a quick glance at everything. Ex: "Batteries low at site XYZ, Tech on way with generator, cell: xxxxx" With time stamp. This is something we just verbally tell each other right now or send emails for longer ongoing things but can lose track if there's tons of stuff going on.
We use Site 24x7 for the basic monitoring of all of our websites and our 25 + servers.

They try to sell you on sms alert packages but they are not needed, just use the email to sms gateways. It also does work with Pager Duty.
Are you looking for a monitoring app? Nimsoft might be overkill for what you are looking for, but when it is properly tuned you can get notification granularity down to individual processes or any of a plethora of hardware/network issues.
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned SolarWinds yet. Not cheap, but very good and easier to implement than anything else I've used.
Coming back around on this. I'm not looking for monitoring software for up/down real time status updates. I'm looking for something more of a way for the NOC staff to be aware of something we engineers are working on so if a customer calls the NOC they can say oh I see that someone is working on that issue or yes we are aware etc. Ideally I was hoping for some kind software that would be simple for them to take a glance at on a flatscreen on the wall in the NOC. Make sense?


customer call into the NOC - "is something going on we've lost our internet connection"
NOC staff - "ah yes I do see that one of our engineers is working on some networking equipment there right now"

Spoken word and email don't seem to be working to keep these types of things fresh in their minds when they take calls.
You could try using OneNote and having that on one of the screens. This will allow you to update the document and the NOC staff will see the information as it changes.

For some time my NOC used OneNote to share information with the service desk incident notification team.
What is your ticketing system? Most of them have a notification dashboard for that type of thing. At least Altiris, CA's Unicenter and Remedy do.