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Security Operations and Network Operations

What We Do...

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An excerpt from the article After Hours - Campus Life from Dusk to Dawn, by Graham F. Scott in the University of Toronto Magazine, Spring 2006 Issue.

4:05 a.m.
In the deepest reaches of the McLennan Physics Building on St. George Street is a room that’s crucially important to every student, and staff and faculty member – though few have ever seen it. Stored in this heavily air-conditioned bunker are the e-mail servers, payroll mainframes, Cray supercomputers and hundreds of other blinking, whirring and buzzing computers.

Network Operations (as it’s called) is like Grand Central Station, and it’s Sam Harrichand’s job as a shift supervisor to keep the trains running.

“See that red light?” asks Harrichand, pointing to a blip on one of the five monitors that indicate network traffic. “That’s someone launching an attack.” The hacker, location unknown, can’t find a chink in U of T’s armour. But other hacks have broken through.

“If the network goes down or the mail servers fail, I have to wake people up in the middle of the night to fix it,” he says. While such hacker attacks present a serious inconvenience, Harrichand says they make his job interesting. “I have to act quickly to get the network back in working order,” he says.

Harrichand blocks about a dozen attacks during a 12-hour shift, but the threats are mostly minor. “I like the work,” he says. “It’s quiet.”

The full text of the article can be read here.

Where to Find Information...


Events covers current, upcoming and recent major events affecting the University's networks. There is also information on upcoming scheduled power interruptions as well as links to the ROSI and AMS status pages.


The Performance area provides reports on network performance and information on bandwidth management activities. Specifically, you will find performance graphs for every University departmental and residence network as well as the University's global internet and national research network gateways. Additionally, there is information on what is currently being done to manage access to the University's internet bandwidth.


The Security section describes the current network security threats the University is facing and what actions are being taken to address these issues. This section also describes the various network security features currently in place on the gateway and departmental networks.


The Accounting area provides information on the amount of traffic generated by hosts within the University. Note: This area contains details regarding specific University hosts, therefore, access is restricted to the University of Toronto community.


The Configuration section outlines the architecture of the University of Toronto backbone core network.


In Services you will find information regarding the managed service offerings available from the Network Operations Group, including the Institutional Backup Service and the Workflow Automation and Rapid Application Development System solution.


Under Contact you will find NMS and NOC Group contact information and an overview of the organizational structure and scopes of responsibility of the Group.

We appreciate your feedback. If you find any errors or omissions on this site, please let us know by sending us an email describing what the problem is or what you'd like to see changed. For other issues, please refer to the Contacts section of this web site for a list of Network Operations-related groups and services.

Page last updated: June 16, 2014

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