Reflection Blog 7 – Matt Alexander

July 31 – August 4 has been a busy week concerning operations. ReedSmith has taken a new office branch under their wing, along with moving another of the offices in a different city to a new floor. With these changes, there was some work on our part to begin monitoring their network and server room. Representatives around ReedSmith go to a location, set up servers and processes, along with on-site monitoring of emplaced systems for data networking. Our part of the Network Operations Center is to ensure that Solarwinds network monitoring is set up to take readings of traffic, server hardware status, humidity, temperature, and video to monitor the stations as far as security. My part in this was to maintain their everyday operations while more experienced personnel were making configurations for the new offices.

Helping to monitor and report about major circuit changes, updates, and installation is a major part of what we do. This keeps human interaction involved where software and scripting may fail. First responders to network issues help teams such as Networking, SQL, Exchange, and Administrators ahead of problems instead of waiting for things to break.

My other part of this has been learning about DataCenter operations and planning. Schneider Electric has a certification program that enables customers to learn and study how to design, set-up, and monitor a Data Network Center large enough to support multiple small businesses or large ones such as Amazon or Google. Encouraged to learn about how our data is stored and maintained helps ensure we understand where problems may come up. Talking and working through a small SQL problem, I have been in contact with their team and am working on a problem to concatenate fields in a large report.

I’ve also become proficient at interdepartmental communications. Our reporting system on environmental changes has weekly meetings, which are essential to keeping a network up across the globe between 28 different offices and over 4000 employees. The essential information again helps keep teams ahead of problems with 3rd party vendors such as Verizon.

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