Reflection blog 6 -Matt Alexander

July 24 – 28, this week I learned more about networking worldwide through setting and monitoring networks in different locations. Our networks expanded further into Miami and are setting up a new office there. When this happens, we work with our network analysts in monitoring and setting up a SolarWinds environment page. By doing this, I can monitor the network bandwidth, CPU rate; memory used at the moment, packet loss, QOS mapping and IP schemes for the servers and circuits that they travel over.

I also monitored how setting up a Microsoft Azure teleconferencing system. The system monitors the QOS with calls that are more than two people on a teleconference call. This can’t be monitored regularly through another Microsoft process because once you add more than two people on a call, it goes to the Microsoft cloud, and which is impossible to monitor without a Microsoft tool. Watching how that was set up from scratch, this was very close to setting an Active Directory environment.

Thursday I updated all of our circuit pathway scripts to test how information is sent from office to the data centers. Since the company uses two different companies to flow information through dedicated pathways, they have redundancy policies to switch between the companies when one side fails. When this happens, we are able to do a traceroute and find which pathways they are going through. This is important to test when a pathway is back up, because client services may notice a hiccup, or they may not, when they are switched between the two companies. Now as I’m learning at ReedSmith, is that each instance is different, so using these tools definitely helps expand my knowledge of networking and programming. Having shortcuts – scripts – created and tested helps when emergency situations happen and high executives, partners or whole offices are having problems and we can investigate, and then contact the correct department to work with in solving the problem. This company deals with large data carriers and when their circuits go down, a lot of people are affected. We are the quickest response team I’ve seen.

Last, Friday we had an instance of whaling. A high executive was emailed by what seemed another high executive. The netbot seemed legit in the first two responses, but when it asked for money transfer is when the executive realized that something happened. This enacted us to block the email address it was coming from, but then we began scanning the email servers to see who was affected. Using a monitoring script we checked each email with the senders email, receivers email and the subject line which was used in the initial email. This helps us work with the security team, helpdesk and notify the company of current conditions of spam. I can’t go into the specifics of how they do this, but it is highly advanced and uses a lot of software, SharePoint and email to notify the company IT departments within 20 – 30 minutes after the initial report is given to the helpdesk. We monitor a call index concerning the number of calls the helpdesk receives, which helps us prioritize our response and communication to other departments, staff, and offices throughout the globe.

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