Image of operations center with overlay of tech graphic and text: "Fastly Outage and the Importance of Network Operations"

Fastly Outage and the Importance of Network Operations

Amazon, Reddit, Twitch, Pinterest. What do these websites have in common? In addition to being some of the most popular sites on the web, they all went offline for a brief period of time in the early morning hours of June 8.

Far from an isolated incident affecting only a site or two, it turns out the internet outage was widespread. 503 error messages appeared for internet users across the world, and not only on entertainment sites: the UK’s gov.uk web properties were affected as well.

So what happened? Fastly, a cloud computing service provider widely used by web publishers, experienced disruptions due to a service configuration. A Tweet from the company explained, “We identified a service configuration that triggered disruptions across our POPs globally and have disabled that configuration. Our global network is coming back online.” Fastly will conduct a full investigation to determine what specifically caused the catastrophic failure, but for now there are still unanswered questions.

This event and its impact reminds us of the importance of maintaining undisrupted service. As the world grows more and more reliant on the internet — and this last year made us more reliant than ever — consistent network service is more vital than ever.

How can service providers like Fastly and others ensure their networks continue running? One way is through a Network Operations Center that runs 24/7.

Network operations centers for uninterrupted service

Network operations centers appear in a wide array of environments including corporations, government agencies,universities, public utilities and any other organization that must manage a computer network around the clock. For network service providers, having a dedicated operations center is even more important. These network operations centers (NOCs) fulfill the task of monitoring and controlling networks, responding to and investigating incidents, and maintaining continuous service.

Not all NOCs are created equal, however. Here are some qualities that can set apart a highly effective network operations center from the rest:

Cross-training staff

As the responsibility of NOCs increases, so do the skill expectations for the operators. When staff are cross-trained, it helps avoid “silos.” When important information is shared and not separated by “network” and “server” groups, the operation of a NOC runs much smoother.

A focus on network performance, not just availability

The traditional duties of a NOC involve monitoring network availability. However, network performance is quickly becoming an equal priority. A highly effective network operations center will consider network performance as vital as network availability.

Proactivity over reactivity

As with other types of operations centers, a NOC is most successful when it acts not only reactively, but proactively as well. Traditional methodology only identifies a problem after it impacts end users, but an effective network operations center also works to uncover and prevent problems before they occur.

Creating a network operations center with Constant

Whether your organization already has a network operations center or is considering building one, the recent Fastly incident serves as a reminder that maintaining a network requires consistent monitoring round-the-clock, and even major companies can experience an outage. The consequences of a network failure can be wide-reaching.

An up-to-date operations center with centralized video walls for data sharing, a combination of skilled staff and sophisticated software, and a collaborative spatial design can help your team succeed at ensuring your network continues to operate as needed. Constant has decades of experience creating network operations centers around the world, for organizations of all sizes. From initial design to project management, installation, and service, Constant forges a partnership that ensures your NOC perfectly suits your specific needs. We make it easy for you to refresh or create these essential operations center environments. Our video wall system integration and operations center furniture solutions are without equal in the industry and allow for a simple, turnkey solution.

If you would like to learn more about our network operations center solutions, contact us today for a free design and budget consultation.

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