What is a network operations center (NOC)?

A network operations center, or NOC, is a central place where IT staff support remote monitoring and management software and drive managed service.

Patch management

Software is continually being updated by providers, and keeping a network up-to-date without assistance can be challenging. Patch management on NOCs helps a company keep all of the software and devices updated with important patches, without the need for individual upkeep.

Antivirus support

Even though companies have implemented software to prevent viruses from entering the network, not all software is 100% effective. NOC provides support to the programs to ensure that viruses are not able to infiltrate an organization’s network.

Graphic showing the different components of a network operations center.

Install, update, and troubleshoot devices connected to the network

NOC can easily update, troubleshoot, and install software on systems connected to the network. Companies frequently upgrade and replace their hardware, and the NOC helps them avoid manual troubleshooting, installation, and updates on company information onto each hardware piece. NOC also calibrates settings to identify issues in a network, update software, or install new software onto both new and old machines.

Monitor and manage firewall and network security software

Security is one of the most crucial aspects of business, and NOC provides software designed to increases network security infrastructure.

Spot and Analyze attacks on the network from outside sources

There are countless attacks, with new attacks always arising, that threaten an organization. It’s essential to identify attacks on your network, and NOC is suited to detect threats as they attempt to attack your network and provide a defense before it can cause damage.

Develop reports for network performance, optimization, and health

NOC is specifically designed to monitor the health of an organization’s network. To do this, it generates reports to demonstrate to a company how their network is performing, the all-around health of the network, and possible optimizations for the network.

Back up data stored on network devices

Networks store data, but data can sometimes become corrupted. In the event that network data becomes corrupted or compromised, NOC data backups ensure that vital information can be restored quickly and easily.

Reduced downtime

Around-the-clock monitoring helps NOC find identity immediately, and NOC teams work constantly to make sure that all systems are running correctly. This includes the company website and customer concerns.

Improved security management

NOC manages your server and device security in accordance with company security policies—devices include RADIUS and TACACS servers, firewalls, routers, and switches. Duties also include internet security, dial security, assigning passwords, changing policies, and community strings.

Immediate incident response

Remote staff have the ability to monitor incidents and be notified immediately when issues arise.

Reduced time and labor

You have the ability to outsource tasks such, as stockpiling information, investigating applications, and examining risk to the network operations center. This frees up time for IT teams to focus on more-complex tasks that cannot be outsourced to NOC.

Reduction in operating costs

IT teams are easily one of the most-expensive departments in a company. Network operations centers can reduce the size of the IT department by taking on tasks that would otherwise require more staff.

Protection from network attacks

NOC provides a maximized security profile against attacks on your network. It doesn’t matter the size of the company; all are vulnerable and capable of being attacked. It’s crucial to apply the proper techniques to have the highest possible level of security.

Increased support through around-the-clock network monitoring

It is recommended you use engineers to watch your network rather than automated monitoring all of the time. Skilled staff can utilize the technology of NOC to be efficient and monitor the network in order to catch any outages or impairments.

Experts reduce the risk

Highly trained and skilled engineers are available daily to ensure that all networks are functional and safe from attacks or viruses.

Infrastructure with the highest quality

It’s important that infrastructures are of the highest quality to provide excellent performance. NOC services provide an advantage, as they offer the latest innovations in hardware, software, and other tools to provide effective solutions.

Reporting in real time

Companies that provide NOC services offer more network infrastructure solutions, allowing for real-time administrating and reports on demand.

Customizable options based on needs

NOCs provide individualized services based on your unique business requirements.

Computer

NOC specialists manage and monitor networks that contain hundreds, or even millions, of servers.

Telecommunications

It’s important for NOC to manage communication line alarms, performance issues, or power outages that will affect an organization’s network.

Satellite

Engineers working in NOC must monitor satellite network environments that are in charge of processing large amounts of voice and video data.

Incident handling

NOC engineers handle incidents and complaints about network issues. They also oversee requests for updates, reports, new orders, and anything else relevant to NOC duties.

Escalation

Shift supervisors or NOC engineers generally oversee escalations when standard troubleshooting hasn’t worked, and any escalated issues need to be addressed quickly.

Prioritization

Prioritization is handled by shift supervisors—they monitor tickets and incidents and assign them out based on their level of importance and priority to ensure that the most-critical tasks are completed within established deadlines.

Network operations centers provide back-end maintenance, support, and resolution of problems to ensure client and organization uptime. Help desks are end-user facing and answer front-line questions from clients who are experiencing issues. NOCs interact with MSPs, and a help desk interacts with end users.

Security operations centers (SOC) and NOC both work with MSPs to address IT-related issues and do not interact with the end user. NOC works to monitor and maintain a network environment of a client or organization and meet SLAs, to ensure there is constant uptime. SOCs focus more on security and monitor for vulnerabilities, emerging threats, anomalies, and attack vectors.

Centralized knowledge

A knowledge base is a centralized place for all documentation and information, and is always readily accessible to any team member. Fluid and up to date, a centralized knowledge center provinces a single location for relevant information, and maintains important incident data to help mitigate potential damage from recurring issues.

Tracking through a ticketing system

Ticketing systems track all issues, account for their urgency and severity, and assign responsibilities. Tickets that arise from issues provide a description of the issue, which allows it to be processed and assigned to the correct place. In the event that a department or individual cannot complete an assigned task, it can be moved to the next level.

Reports for measuring incidents and improvement

It’s important to create reports on a daily and monthly basis—the previous 24 hours should be included in each daily report, and should include every major incident that occurred during that time. Any incident that was resolved needs to have the root cause listed. These reports help you understand the activities of NOC and any significant issues that occurred, and provide information on any trends that may need to be addressed.

Two monitoring types

Infrastructure monitoring
Networks, servers, and the data center all combine to make up the environment of an infrastructure, which allows the system to be protected by threats through early detection and resolution. User experience monitoring Simulating user activities and behaInfrastructure monitoring Networks, servers, and the data center all combine to make up the environment of an infrastructure, which allows the system to be protected by threats through early detection and resolution.

User experience monitoring
Simulating user activities and behavior, issues can be duplicated and solutions identified. This allows businesses to not only fix real issues as they arise, but also ideate solutions to potential issues that may arise in the future. vior, issues can be duplicated and solutions identified. This allows businesses to not only fix real issues as they arise, but also ideate solutions to potential issues that may arise in the future.

Automation of the IT process

NOC provides the opportunity to automate repetitive daily tasks, which frees up more time for the IT team to deal with other services like cleaning up disk space, resetting passwords, and handling restart services.

Client interaction

NOC technicians interact with clients to keep them abreast of issues and any necessary NOC updates.

Automated and end-user incident and outage reporting

Technicians need to monitor NOC to ensure that any companies using NOC receive timely user and outage reports. This helps ensure that their network is secure and isn’t running into any handling issues.

Ensure proper DNS, firewall, server configuration, IP switching, and VPN

There are many services provided by NOC, and it is the job of the technicians and engineers to make sure that the NOC is properly running and working correctly to serve the needs of the company.

Responding to alarms/alerts

NOCs all have standard operating procedures that staff must follow while monitoring. It is their duty to respond to any and all alarms that are activated during their shift, and respond according to the standard operating procedures.

Managed control protocols and LAN/WAN

NOC technicians are meant to monitor the protocols of a company’s LAN/WAN infrastructure to ensure that everything is running smoothly and there is no misuse occuring on the company’s side.

Proactively monitoring 24/7 operation

It is the duty of a NOC to provide 24/7 security and backup to ensure that a company’s network is up and working at all times.

Implement, maintain, and repair routing

One of the essential jobs of NOC to add new data routes when necessary and make sure that current data routes are properly maintained. They must also repair any routes that are experiencing problems.

Managing the trouble-ticketing system

Companies have the ability to send troubleshooting tickets to a NOC, and it is the job of a technician to manage the tickets and ensure that they are resolved in a timely manner.

Troubleshooting any network outages

Networks occasionally experience outages, and it is the role of NOC to troubleshoot any network outages and prevent them from reoccurring.

Create reports on key metrics

NOC is expected to provide reports to all companies that are using the NOC to report on information like server utilization, uptime, and bandwidth usage.

IP surveillance

Any network connected device has an IP address, so it is crucial to survey the IP addresses to prevent any malicious network attacks.

NOC best practices include:

  • Providing a timely response to all issues
  • Categorize issues for proper escalation
  • Continuously monitor network and information systems
  • Collecting and reviewing performance reports
  • Notifying customers or third parties about issues and outages
  • Documenting all actions according to company procedures and policies
  • Performing system testing and operational tasks
  • Supporting multiple teams 24/7

Scaling to the next level of business with a NOC

With ServiceNow AI-powered Service Operations, NOCs can predict problems before they occur, prevent impact to users, and automate cross-team workflows for resolution. ServiceNow provides robust visibility with discovery and service mapping for business context. In addition, event management and health log analytics power Predictive AIOps to reduce the risk of downtime.

Capabilities that scale with your business

Foresee problems before they arise with ServiceNow.

Contact
Demo