Project No.: P15_236

Project plan:

  1. Pre-project
1.1. Vision

Touch on all the four key organizational objectives of GÉANT: deliver a world-class user experience; provide exceptional 'Value for Money'; build the community; run an efficient, highly-effective organization.

The vision is to deliver added value to Network Operation Centers (NOCs) via a word-class training experience that builds on real-life applications and practical experiences within the community gathered under SIG-NOC in line with the wider industry best-practices (ITIL) that all together facilitate the efficiency improvements and high effectiveness of NOCs within the GÉANT community and beyond. 

 1.2. Objective

The idea is to learn from the past and current successful and highly rated community training models delivered in the area of trust & identity and security (EuroCAMP, TRANSITS, etc.) and build a state-of-the-art and innovative training programme designed for the major types of NOCs primarily gathered under the SIG-NOC special interest group of GÉANT.

The key objective is to identify commonalities and highlight differences by understanding and adopting the ITIL best practices across the wide variety of NOCs and to ultimately bring all the participating NOCs up to the level of common understanding and knowledge that is inevitable in a global, federated, end-to-end service delivery environment of NRENs. 

THIS IS NOT AN ITIL TRAINING. This will be a GÉANT NOC training that allows NOC personnel to apply common best practices and tools used by the global R&E community in line with the broader industry (i.e. ITIL) best practices.

2. Initiation

2.1. Stakeholders

The training development and delivery project will bring together all the major stakeholders:

  • PDO, project lead - Peter Szegedi, GÉANT
  • Training team, expert - Ian Barker, GÉANT
  • 3rd party ITIL trainer - Nigel Mear , Solidair
    • SIG-NOC advisory committee (Brian Nisbet - HEAnet, Maria Isabel Gandía Carriedo - CSUC, Jonny Lundin - NORDUnet, Stelios Sartzetakis - GRNET, Gyorgy Balazs - CERN)
    • GÉANT NOC team, consultant - Tony Barber, GÉANT
      • TRANSITS experiences, consultant - Nicole Harris, GÉANT
      • Management buy-in, to be informed - Business/CEO GÉANT

 2.2. Community buy-in

The GÉANT SIG-NOC community has been consulted and mandated the Steering Committee (above) and the SIG Secretary (Peter) to further investigate the possibility of a suitable training programme development and delivery to the wider community. See 2nd SIG-NOC 10-11 November, 2015 in Vienna, 2nd SIG-NOC meeting and DDoS Mitigation Workshop

Outcome of the discussion at 3rd SIG-NOC meeting 

  • Attendees were all positive about the idea.

  • It was agreed to create a small Advisory Committee (not more than 5 people; steering committee members and some key individuals) to advice the training development.

  • The use cases and scenarios used during the training must be tailored to the R&E community. <= Trainer needs input from Advisory
    • IDEA:
      • Create a per-defined use case that can be given to attendees prior to the training to think about and solve based on their own current procedures (incident, problem, event, etc.) and assumptions about the other NOCs
      • Compare the individual solutions at the training, identify commonalities and gaps together.
      • "End-to-end Layer 2 circuit service" can be the most common use case to work with.

  • Core units to be covered: Event mgmt, Incident mgmt, Request mgmt, Problem mgmt, Access mgmt.

  • Additional units (not covered in detail but only their relation to NOC): Change mgmt, Knowledge mgmt, Configuration mgmt, SLA mgmt.

  • The training should not only be informational (like ITIL foundation) but should allow attendees to apply best practices to real-life scenarios
    • Find the balance between the number of processes to be covered vs. the depth of discussion and application use cases <= Trainer needs input from Advisory

  • Customizing and tailoring the training to the global R&E NOC community would not allow us to extend the invitation beyond this community. How to get larger impact then?
    • The idea was to try make the training useful for NOC customers (i.e. Campus/university IT department staff who are interacting with the NOC, order services, etc.) It would be useful to them to understand how global R&E networking is operated.

  • Who would attend? NOC managers would definitely try the training first and then potentially send other key NOC personnel (not all staff) to the training.
    • Need a training programme evolution:
      • a) Core training to NOC managers
      • b) Extended training to key NOC personnel
      • c) Extended training to include Campus IT/customer.

Market research

An on-line survey has been created and distributed to the SIG-NOC, SIG-MSP and TF-CSIRT lists. The survey is available at

Here is the quick analysis of the results:

The first two questions were about the potential participants and level of interest based on the training description given before. This was done blind, without knowing any pricing details. The results show that not only NOC manager and key NOC people but pretty much all NOC staff would be interested in the training as a potential market segment including both NREN NOCs and regionals/campuses.

Out of 40 answers the majority would send 2-3 people (some less, some more) to the training that sets the theoretical maximum to about 80-120 people.

The second two questions were related to pricing and the level of attendance knowing the price. We gave the price range between 500 to 1500 Euro per person based on the quick Internet search. Obviously, about 70% voted for the cheapest option, but up to 1000 Euro basically the price would be acceptable. The price - attendance correlation showed basically the same. Number of attendees decreases as the price increases, there is a little drop at 1000 Euro.

Reading the numbers above, It seems that we could have less than 10 mostly NOC managers to attend the training at a higher price range (1100-1500 Euro) but that would be insufficient to fund the entire training development. The total income could only be around 10-15k EUR. It makes more sense to reduce the price range to 800-900 Euro that would attract about 30-45 NOC people and push the total (theoretically maximum) income to the 25-35k Euro range.

 2.3. Management buy-in

Produce the Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) including both training development and delivery aspects as part of an overarching business case (sustainability model).
The Business Case is available in Box.


The overall cost of the training programme development, update and provisioning, calculating with 4 training over 1-1.5 years and 10-15 attendees per training, is roughly between EUR 38,000 – 42,000.- (see exact cost in the cost tables for Option 1 and Option 2). This includes EUR 3,500.- that is the development cost of the training to be pre-funded by GÉANT and recovered by the future registration fees.

In order to fully cover these costs, calculating with 40-60 attendees over 1-1,5 years (see the market research session), the registration fee must be set between EUR 800 – 900.- per attendee (see the exact benefits in the benefits tables for Option 1 and Option 2).

Price differentiation models can be worked out later i.e. GÉANT Members vs. Non-members, Early bird vs. Late registration, etc. 


3. Implementation3.1. Training design and development



Part 1: Online webinar

  • 2 hours online session
  • Intro to objectives, structure, expectations, etc...
  • Intro to the SIG-NOC community, why we're together, etc
  • Explain and give the HOMEWORK for the face-to-face training.

Part 2: Face-to-face training

  • There is value in common shared understanding of the core OSA best practice principles as that allows participants to apply best practice.

  • Real life examples and scenarios from the R&E world (additional value comes in)
  • Use the HOMEWORK results to find commonalities and gaps.

Part 3: Online webinar

  • 2 hours online session
  • Wrap up and questions, feedback (on their own learning)
  • Collecting further relevant use cases, examples to be built in the programme
  • Issuing "GÉANT Certificate" on completion


Main scope:
This is just illustration, need to be clarified. It doesn't show Request Fulfillment, Event Management, Access Management and shows other things that we don't want to cover.

Planned meetings:

12 April 2016 - Peter, Nigel, maybe SIG-NOC SC

    • Understand the time, efforts and costs (options)

13-14 April 2016 - SIG-NOC meeting in Stockholm (community)

    • Understand the scope, coverage, etc.

19 April 2016 - Ian, Nigel, Peter, maybe SIG-NOC SC

    • Clarify the time, efforts and costs (selected option)
      • Nigel to distribute a brief training description
      • Peter to discuss that with the Advisory Committee and do a little market research within SIG-NOC before the actual training development

May 2016 - Peter to doodle for the date

    • Meeting with the Advisory Committee
 3.2. Dry run

Organize the very first training as a test (for free of charge) for a per-selected set of attendees representing various type of NOCs:

  • International: GÉANT NOC, LCHONE NOC, NORDUnet NOC
  • Large research institute: CERN NOC
  • Small and large NREN: <...>
  • Regional network: CSUC, BelWü
  • Campus, university: ???
  • Commercial, ISP, IE: ???

This idea has been dropped. Instead, a one-day development workshop will be organized on 30 November in Cambridge, UK, co-located with the SIGN-NOC meeting. 

 3.4. ImprovementsIdentify, analyze, prioritize and implement improvements (ITIL CSI 7 step). Budget has been set aside to cover the programme improvements.
 3.5. SustainabilityLook at the Business Case in Box.
4. Delivery

4.1. Scheduling training

Potential training locations and schedule TBC...

  • Understand where the interest is coming from.
  • Always the same location or rotate, travel around Europe
  • 2-3 training per year.
 4.2. Start delivering training2017Q1
5.  Closing5.1. SustainabilityBusiness case has been submitted to GÉANT MT. The MT has rejected the business case based on the ground of insufficient contingency and surplus for further development.
 5.2. Project closing summary

The training proposal has been passed back to SIG-NOC to discuss further the potential community aspects. This might be proposed to the GCC as a community training, TBC.


  • Investment to develop the programme: GCC small budget or Vietsch Foundation
  • Running the programme: Federated/Franchise model for NRENs to run this nationally/regionally.


  • No labels