What Is A Network Operations Centre and How it Improves your WiFi | Mercku Blogs
May 12, 2022 by Toktabek, Tim
NOC | What Is A Network Operations Center
A Network Operations Center (NOC) serves as the first line of defence against network disruptions and failures. It is a centralized location where IT technicians directly support the efforts of remote monitoring and management (RMM) software. A NOC can be either built internally (located on-premises within the data center). It can also be outsourced to an external company specializing in network and infrastructure monitoring and management.
Why NOC Is A Great Choice
Through the NOC, organizations gain complete visibility into their network to detect anomalies and either take steps to prevent problems or quickly resolve issues as they emerge. The NOC oversees
- Infrastructure and equipment (from wiring to servers)
- Wireless systems
- Various related network devices (including IoT devices and smartphones)
Its management services also include monitoring customer support calls and help desk ticketing systems and integration with customers’ network tools. Simply put, the NOC plays a considerable role in ensuring a positive customer experience.
The NOC Team | Heroes Without Capes
NOC teams are heavily utilized in the managed IT services space and are a tremendous service delivery driver for many managed services providers (MSPs). The NOC staff is responsible for spotting issues and making quick decisions on how to resolve them independent of the NOC design.
These technical teams keep an eye out over the endpoints that they monitor and manage. They independently resolve issues that arise and take preventative steps to ensure any problems are dealt with. NOC teams are also highly involved in high-level security actions and Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) efforts, ensuring 24/7/365 uptime for an MSP’s customers.
What are the roles and responsibilities of a NOC technician?
NOC engineers and technicians monitor infrastructure health, security and capacity in a client’s environment. They make decisions and adjustments to ensure a result of optimal network performance and organizational productivity.
NOC technicians can create alerts or tickets that identify and categorize the issue based on severity, alert type, and other criteria when any action or intervention from an MSP is required. Depending on the NOC and the MSP relationship, technical teams can then work together to resolve the problem and identify its root cause to prevent future issues.
NOC Technicians’ Expertise Level
Technicians are categorized based on “levels,” which indicate the severity and difficulty of issues they handle. Levels are numbered from 1 (easier problems to solve, minor issues) and increase based on the complexity of the issues from an IT perspective. Suppose a hardware failure has occurred, an alert will be assigned to a Level 1 technician at first. However, upon further inspection, if the problem is more complex than what a level 1 technician can handle, it will be escalated to a Level 2 technician or beyond.
NOC Capabilities You Need to Know
- Application software installations, troubleshooting, and updating
- Firewall and intrusion prevention system (IPS) monitoring and management
- Backup and storage management
- Email management services
- Network discovery and assessments
And more 👇
- Antivirus scanning and remediation
- Policy enforcement
- Shared threat analysis
- Optimization and quality of service reporting
- Voice and video traffic management
- Performance reporting and improvement recommendations
When a NOC operates at peak efficiency with a managed IT service partner, the end-user won’t be aware of its presence. NOC technicians coordinate only with the MSP or solution provider they’re supporting—never directly with an end client. This creates a user experience where the MSP can smoothly deliver top-tier support and problem resolution with nearly unlimited resources.
How NOC Cuts Down On Costs
Ensuring NOC services provisioning 24/7/365 is expensive. However, if you engage with dedicated NOCaaS providers like Mercku, this won’t be the case. This results in reduced and more predictable operational costs in terms of people and management time.
Compared to an in-house option, each company won’t require a dedicated team. Instead, they can share a team with other clients. As a result, resources will be utilized better, and costs will be significantly reduced.
Another factor of importance is the reduction in truck roll required for ISP’swith a NOC setup. Most WiFi-related problems can be diagnosed and fixed remotely. Simply put, businesses won’t have to send out technicians for every difficulty they encounter, which will reduce their operational expenses.
NOC VS Help Desk
Despite the many things that a Network Operations Center is, there’s one thing it is not—a help desk. This is an important distinction and one that can easily be confusing if not adequately explained. In short, the difference is that a help desk interacts with end clients, whereas a NOC interacts with the MSPs.
The NOC provides back-end maintenance, problem resolution and support so that the MSP can respond to rising issues and maintain client uptime. The help desk, on the other hand, is a call center designed to tackle front-line questions directly from end clients who are actively experiencing some issue. If an end-user is having a problem, they can call the help desk. If the MSP is having trouble, they’ll contact the NOC.
NOC VS SOC
A NOC and a Security Operations Center are similar in that they both work with the MSP to solve IT-related issues, not with the end-user. However, a NOC will focus on the remote monitoring and maintenance of a client’s IT environment to meet SLAs and ensure client uptime free of technical malfunction. Whereas SOCs monitor for vulnerabilities, attack vectors and emerging threats on a client network and are prepared to detect anomalies and nullify cyber attacks as they arise.
SOCs employ a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) process that aggregates various security-focused systems data streams. This includes
- Network discovery and vulnerability assessment systems
- Risk and compliance (GRC) systems
- Penetration testing tools
- Intrusion detection and prevention systems
- Log management systems
Network behaviour analysis and much more are collected and parsed by SOC technicians, and trained security experts.
The NOC and the Mercku platform
Mercku deeply integrates its NOC into its core platform, effortlessly delivering a combination of intelligent software and services to create a solution that rules the industry. This NOC allows MSPs to grow more profitably than their peers and keep infrastructure costs down. This is because NOC provides all the technology, labour and skill required to add new clients quickly while delivering exceptional service.
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