Reflection Blog 8 – Matt Alexander

7 – 11 August has been more monitoring and digging into administering systems. The NOC doesn’t necessarily administer networks or settings, but has to be the 24 hour on call over watch for all systems in place at ReedSmith.  Learning all of the systems from data management, SQL, server management, 3rd party systems and server room monitoring equipment is intense and in depth. Each of the teams, from network management, server management, exchange management and smart phone applications are on duty during the day, but we monitor their systems and help investigate any incidents out of tolerance 24 hours a day.

I have written reports concerning information alerts being sent to the Senior Manager of IT Operations, Director of IT Operations, Manager of NOC Operations and our consolidated email box for operations. These reports give attention to vital current situations that impact offices worldwide, which include their networking, internet, phone systems and any data transfers for Law cases that the firm has going on.

During this week  there was a new office standing up for Reed Smith, and what our department did was monitor every system being stood up for the law office in a new city area. This included working with the onsite personnel that were volunteering from other ReedSmith offices around the U.S. and setting up server room monitoring services such as cameras, temperature sensors, and humidity sensors. Based off the statistics alone for a 24 hour period, the company can tell when any server is under working, over working, if the PDU rack is over or under heating, if the humidity is out of tolerance, or even when someone enters the area that could make any of these systems differentiate in operation.

Another operation that happened was that a 3rd party software system that is vital to billing for the law firm was not working in certain parts of Asia. After investigating for three days, the network engineers found that adjusting a network scaler helped the application to stabilize. The network scaler sets the amount of bandwidth allocated between our data centers, currently at 100mb dedicated bandwidth. During this period, our team was doing pathway testing by using different servers in the U.S. and in Asia. While being shown how to do this, we worked with our outside vendor to test the network pathways along with our network team. This ensured that major pathways were stable to get critical data for cases in Asia that also reach over international waters.



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