Wipro Infotechs NOC
Smooth remote management
Wipro Infotech's Network Operations Center in Bangalore has
been operating for more than two years now. The company provides remote management
services to its customers through the NOC. by Abhinav Singh
Wipro Infotech's Network Operations Center (NOC) was set up in mid 2001. Today
25 people catering to ten customers in India, and one each in the Middle East
and the Asia-Pacific region, man it. The NOC's clients include Colgate Palmolive
in the FMCG sector, an Indian bank, and a BPO company operating out of India.
It remotely monitors and manages the IT infrastructure of its customers through
secure VPN connections.
The NOC provides services at various levels as per the client's needs. The primary
level (i.e. Level 1) involves remotely monitoring a client's IT infrastructure
and immediately notifying the customer in case of any problem in the system.
The problem is then rectified by the services team sitting at the customer site,
which takes the necessary steps to ensure that the problem does not have an
adverse effect on the normal functioning of the IT system.
Level 2 of services
involves managing a customer's entire IT infrastructure. This level of service
does not restrict itself to this colossal task, but goes beyond detection to
include the rectification of any problem that occurs. Here the NOC team's experts
help the onsite services team in resolving network and system faults. Problems
that require onsite efforts, such as hardware replacement and backup tape management,
are passed on to the onsite team. Routine administration and diagnostic activities
for network and server applications are carried out remotely from the NOC at
Planning and consulting forms Level 3 of services. Here, in addition to monitoring
and management, the NOC's experts provide advisory services on capacity planning
and network optimization. This level of service aims at ensuring that the IT
performance, and eventually the business performance of its customers, is optimized
to the fullest.
Anand Sankaran, general manager and business head, Managed
IT Services and Total Outsourcing, Wipro Infotech says, "Since the entire
monitoring is done through a tool, the customer is able to gather all network-related
information based on data rather than assumptions. Moreover, customers are able
to save at least 20 percent on cost, and they also have the flexibility of round-the-clock
network monitoring at a lower price when compared to what they themselves would
have to spend on setting up their own IT team."
Wipro Infotech also claims that the high level of redundancy at the NOC means
that chances of it failing are remote. The company also claims that customers
are able to get faster resolution for their network-related problems through
Wipro Infotech has also benefited from having a NOC. Sankaran says, "Due
to the long term association with the customer, the NOC helps in selling other
services such as software services to our customers. It increases our share
of the customer's wallet."
Equipment at the NOC
The NOC uses Sun (Sun 250 and 280) and Intel-based servers, Cisco routers and
Cisco Catalyst 6509 switches. For perimeter security there are Checkpoint, WatchGuard
and Cisco Pix firewalls. The NOC also uses HP OpenView and CA Unicenter for
server, database and application management. It uses CA's service desk tool
for helpdesk activities. Either OpenView or Unicenter is used based upon customer
preferences and requirements. It remotely manages around 1,200 devices at customer
sitesincluding routers, switches and servers.
For connectivity, it uses a secure VPN from BSNL and Bharti, and leased lines
from both the service providers.
The whole NOC is BS-7799 certified and network security is enforced at two levelsthe
access router level, and through the firewall. The access list is maintained
in the NOC Tapping Router, that has a complete list of source and destination
IP addressesto control packets that come from the manageable element (the
client's router ports or server) to the management console.
Some customers are allocated IP addresses from a shared pool while others
are given dedicated IP addresses depending on the service level agreement and
The firewalls have ports opened only for software agents to communicate to the
Management console. For Remote Management Services (RMS) the connectivity between
the customer network and the NOC is only through a firewall. All network segments
other than the NOC LAN, are totally isolated from the RMS. The NOC LAN has private
IP addresses that are not visible from the other network segments. There are
password restrictions and various levels of system access for the monitoring
stations that are mapped onto the engineers to the extent to which they are
authorized to operate. There are different assessment levels and each engineer
has access to only a particular customer network depending upon his area of
responsibility. Wipro Infotech, with the client's consent, also implements a
password management policy on all the managed components to further enhance
the security levels.
Security at Wipro Infotech's NOC is very tight. To maintain controlled access
to the NOC, each employee at the NOC has been provided with a smart card. The
NOC is spread over two floors and an employee working on the first floor will
not have access to the second. The only exceptions to this rule are the NOC
manager and engineers, who are regularly required at both floors. There are
Close Circuit TV cameras around the NOC to keep a track of people entering and
leaving the premises.
Sankaran adds, "Wipro Infotech is also in the process of introducing a
palm reader at the NOC, which will further strengthen the security. This will
be used along with access cards as an added security measure."
Backup and Physical Infrastructure
Wipro Infotech's NOC is spread across 2,000 sq. ft. The temperature is maintained
at 18 degrees, and there are three dedicated air-conditioners from Voltas. The
NOC also has an 80 KVA UPS, and a 500 KVA generator for the entire building.
For storage, a tape backup is undertaken on DLT (Digital Linear Tapes) and DAT
(Digital Audio Tapes). The backup is completely automated and there is a daily
incremental backup; a full backup is performed once a week. All the tapes are
stored at a Tape Library at the NOC. To play it safe, some tapes are stored
at a remote location for additional backup.
Abhinav Singh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Advantage Clients: Wipro Infotech's NOC
- 24x7 real time, centralized monitoring and management of critical network
- By outsourcing their IT infrastructure to the NOC, clients are able to
save at least 20 percent on cost and have the flexibility of round the clock
network monitoring at a lesser price when compared to what they themselves
would have to spend on setting up their own IT team.
- The high level of redundancy at the NOC is very strong and chances of failure
are minimized and clients get faster resolution to their problems.