The NCF operates similar to a typical call center in that it fields phone calls from sites seeking help to resolve problems. However, the NCF goes beyond this reactive mode of operations. Every NCF engineer uses a set of automated tools to monitor the health of all AWIPS systems. These tools enable them to recognize possible problems and correct them before the user is even aware of the problem. This paper will also describe the daily processes and tools used by the NCF engineers to resolve both reactively and proactively identified problems. The paper also details the standards of performance for the NCF as required by the NWS’ Service Level Agreement (SLA).
As the communications hub for AWIPS, any NCF outage can have catastrophic effect on every AWIPS site. This risk is avoided by implementing highly redundant systems and communications within the NCF. This paper will also present the current architecture employed to ensure the NCF systems are reliable and available. The tools used by the NCF to monitor the critical communications components are also discussed.