A Network Operations Control Center (NOC), also referred to as “knock” among IT professionals, is among the most crucial elements of any large to medium-sized operation running several different networks. The NOC accounts for the centralized location where engineers facilitate and monitor internal and external services, databases, individual work stations, network security, among several other core digital functions to ensure the network runs smoothly.
The purpose of a NOC is to prevent as much downtime as possible through careful monitoring of network operations. NOC engineers are responsible for sustaining the performance and health of the network’s applications and systems. The success of a NOC is exclusively dependent upon the NOC operations team establishing regular, achievable targets that are intent on closely tracking and monitoring KPIs.
As a company’s first line of defense against cybersecurity threats, that NOC engineers maintain complete visibility into their networks at all times so they can detect any anomalies and take immediate action to prevent network disruptions as potential problems emerge. The NOC is vastly important to a company’s infrastructure and equipment. NOC engineers each play a considerable role in ensuring a positive user experience and, subsequently, preserving brand reputation.
After consulting with senior cybersecurity consultants at PCH Technologies, we came up with this list of the five core processes every NOC must master to assure optimal efficiency.
The type of event management referred to here differs from the event management associated with the help desk. While the help desk facilitates internal tickets originated by internal and external users, the NOC is responsible for the general health of the network. The principal task of the NOC is to keep it running smoothly at all times, ensuring as much uninterrupted uptime as possible.
Accordingly, the NOC operates in an environment in which event management is crucial. In a NOC, network anomalies and changes of the state constitute events. The NOC engineer must assess the impact of these events and initiate the best protocol to remediate any impending threats associated with the faults.
Identifying faults within a network requires a more proactive approach than event management because the task specifically targets unexpected errors. After detecting a fault, the NOC engineer must isolate it and correct it before the error escalates into a full-scale event that results in critical network downtime.
Continuous network visibility
Constant real-time transparency into the network, its apps, and infrastructure, along with cloud and on-premises systems are crucial. Achieving success in this area depends upon the NOC operations team’s proactive stance on finding variations across network activity before they blossom into fully-fledged network threats.
Diligent real-time monitoring and proactive network maintenance is the surest approach to avoiding network disruptions that lead to unnecessary down. Companies need a high level of support in this area because close and continuous monitoring is the best way to head off problems before they translate into serious issues.
After detecting faults, engineers have to diagnose those errors and their origins. It is simply not enough to identify a fault alone. NOC operations staff must be equipped to interpret its status and assess its potential impact on overall network performance while understanding the root cause to prevent the fault from rendering itself again.
Many operational networks and their applications possess inherent faults that require either ongoing scheduled or routine corrective maintenance to their associated systems and equipment. Having a clear set of maintenance procedures in place for both preventative and corrective maintenance is a must. Regular maintenance tasks include installing and configuring network equipment, troubleshooting faults, and documenting any corrective steps taken.
Growing businesses need NOCs
For small to medium-sized businesses experiencing rapid growth, the importance of installing a well-functioning NOC can’t be underestimated. NOCs are critical to maintaining business continuity, especially concerning businesses that demand high product output and require around-the-clock customer service.
If your organization is just now weighing the benefits of implementing a Security Operations Center (SOC) against a NOC, remember that two departments can be successfully merged. Indeed, many companies are doing just that, as cybersecurity has increasingly played a more impactful role in the NOC. Upon combing the two teams, they function more smoothly and resolve critical network threats more efficiently before they become escalation points.
The final takeaway
Your digital records and databases are indispensable. If your company is in the process of choosing a NOC service, consider a scheduling discovery call with PCH Technologies today.
Their expert technicians, equipped with decades of experience, will highlight the key benefits of implementing a NOC to ensure your network stays efficient and secure while sustaining maximal uptime. To learn more, contact PCH Technologies now at (856) 754-7500!