Life in the NOC
'NOC' stands for 'Network Operations Center' for those of you who don't know. This is where personnel manange the day-to-day computer and network operations. It's sometimes synonymous with 'datacenter' where all the computer systems are physically located.
It sounds profound and very official, yes? Many Network Operations Centers are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They resemble a 'Mission Control' environment with large screens displaying mulitiple data feeds from news media to software that monitors the various computer systems.
This is where I work with five other guys plus three additional personnel who comprise the Help Desk. The nice perk from last year is I've got a window that looks out over the water. Of course in a few months the view is going to be swallowed up by the darkness.
Like all true datacenters, the flooring is 'raised' to allow for ventillation and ease in bringing electrical and data circuits in. The systems produce a lot of heat, so the environmental systems are designed to keep the room below 65 degrees F. In addition, a positive pressure atmosphere keeps things like dust and other particulates out of the room. McMurdo's a very dusty place so in order to keep things clean, we swap out our 'outdoor' shoes for 'indoor' shoes. We have shoe coverings like used in hospitals for guests to slip over their shoes. It's very 'Japanese'.