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How Startec's NOC Manager Monitors the Network

Read part 1 - How Startec Global Communications Monitors Their International Network.

Walid Karim is the NOC manager at Startec Global Communications. "I take care of day-to-day operations in the NOC, including the employees and network," Karim said. "I make sure that our network is optimal at all times. We're quite busy."

"We have a softswitch, a GSP switch, and DACSes and fiber muxes," he said. "We're mostly running VoIP & TDM for the domestic and international calls that we're terminating, including both wholesale and retail traffic."

Startec uses T/Mon as their top-level master. "We use T/Mon as a monitoring tool to monitor our Sonus softswitch and our GSP switch," Karim said. "It also monitors DACSes and fiber muxes in Miami, New York, LA, Vancouver & Toronto sites."

DACS reporting via TL1 protocol back to Startec's central T/Mon alarm master station
Startec Global uses the ASCII processor in their T/Mon master station to convert TL1 text alarms into computer-readable alarms. After conversion, T/Mon filters alarms by severity, so technicians aren't distracted by unimportant alarms.

"T/Mon gives us an overall view of our network," he continued. "Any time we have a circuit go down, we'll see those alarms. Whether they are GSP alarms, Soft switch alarms DACS or Fiber mux alarms."

"The thing that makes it easier is the support that DPS has. I know that, if I run into an issue, I can always count on their support."

"The T/Mon collects alarms via LAN," Karim said. "We also have NetGuardian 832A's for door alarms and environmental alarms like humidity and power failures."

No-Fee Factory Training Delivers "a Lot of Information" in 4 Days
Karim recently attended DPS Factory Training to gain more familiarity with T/Mon. "I took over the responsibilities of the previous NOC manager. He used to take care of the T/Mon configuration," Karim said. "I've never had the opportunity to get into the T/Mon. I've looked at the alarms, but not as far as configuring and setting it up.

"I like the structure of the class. It provides a lot of information, especially for someone who's new to T/Mon and NetGuardians."

Geographic network alarm monitoring example with T/Mon GFX software based on Microsoft MapPoint(R)
As demonstrated in this screenshot, T/Mon GFX would provide a bird's eye view of Startec's international network.

While at training, Karim also saw the T/GFX monitoring interface and hoped to get started with it after returning home, "We use T/Windows to monitor our T/Mon," he said. "I saw T/GFX at training and I was very much interested. Once I go back home, hopefully I can set up T/GFX there. It's similar to what we use for IT monitoring. We're used to that."

For Karim, paying no tuition to attend training was a key advantage. "Training was free. That was the 'Number One' thing," he said.

He also appreciated the organization and content of DPS Factory Training. "I like the structure of the class," said Karim. "It provides a lot of information, especially for someone who's new to T/Mon and NetGuardians."

For Successful Alarm Monitoring, Manufacturer Support is the Key
Karim noted that alarm monitoring is a complex topic, but strong manufacturer support is a significant help. "Learning monitoring means having a lot of information to process, but the thing that makes it easier is the support that DPS has. I know that, if I run into an issue, I can always count on their support."

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