Getting your OSS humming

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living.”
Bruce Barton

I have a really left-field idea to run past you today. I’d love your thoughts about its feasibility (or lack of!).

During a major incident (eg alarm storm, security attack, etc) your network health visualisation tools tend to clog up… the scrolling screen of death… where too many new events are arriving to appropriately action them.

In major mechanical production environments (eg manufacturing, mining, etc) the technicians tasked with maintaining the machinery become so adept at listening to the machines that subtle changes in pitch alert them to a problem or degradation in the system (eg a DC motor spinning faster than normal).

I wonder whether a similar concept could be synthesised in OSS tools with different tones used to represent different network domains, types of alarms, number of active events and so on? Not just alarm bells that are already common, but a changing hum that can be used to represent the varying degrees of network health.

If such functionality existed, it would take a while for operators to become attuned to the different tones of their network but I wonder whether it would help operators identify root causes of complex incidents more quickly? Similarly, network operators could go about their day-to-day tasks without paying as much attention to event consoles if the network is humming along well, but quickly focus if the pitch changes.

It would also help to weed out tone-deaf operators from the NOC (network operation centre) / SOC (security operation centre), which might have other benefits for the team. πŸ™‚

Maybe there’s even a graphic equaliser to change precedence of certain tones or a master console that allows operators to launch specific applications (eg Element Management Systems) when certain mnemonics appear?

Does this concept have any merit, or just another hare-brained OSS scheme??

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