NOC as the First Step towards Controlling Your IT Environment

The market is hugely competitive, and the competition never sleeps. This means there is always an opportunity to lose a customer – prompting companies to seek reliable systems and applications with full availability under any conditions. According to the rule “be the hunter or the hunted”, you cannot afford operational failures in your system. Therefore, more and more enterprises decide to monitor their networks.

Full network protection comes at huge cost for an organization. This is not only because of the required investment in the equipment, but also due to the need to create a separate department and employ appropriately qualified specialists. Most enterprises simply cannot afford such expenses. However, there are cheaper alternatives on the IT services market that allow equally effective network monitoring and data security. From the administrator's point of view, the best solution is to centralize IT infrastructure monitoring to a single management system. And that is what network operations centers do best.

What exactly is a network operations center? It is a physical place, where administrators can oversee, monitor and maintain a network and all devices connected to it. Usually, the NOC is a secure room with big screens that display the detailed monitoring information and visual status of the network and associated devices. It is the central venue for troubleshooting, software updates, security patch distribution, router and domain management, as well as coordination with affiliated networks.

How does it work? NOC monitors the network for events that may require special attention in order to avoid impact on network performance. This includes power failures, communication line alarms, and performance issues. The NOC is capable of analyzing problems, troubleshooting, communicating with site technicians and tracking problems until they are resolved.

A network operations center has rows of desks facing video walls, which display significant details, ongoing incidents and general network performance. The back walls are glazed. An additional room is used by additional team members responsible for dealing with top priority and critical incidents. Individual desks are reserved for each specific technology. Technicians have numerous monitors in front of them, with extra screens used to monitor systems covered directly from the desk.

As an ITIL standard, a network operation center handles issues in a hierarchical manner – if an issue is not resolved in a specified time frame, the next level is informed to speed up the problem solving process.

If want to know more about NOC, read our new white paper Prevention is Better than Cure: Monitor and React with Network and Security Operations Center. Additionally, I encourage you to visit nextisoneplace.com to acquaint yourself with other improvements in ICiTy.

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