What is Network Operations? Everything You Need to Know

A centralized network operations center is where you monitor and manage events affecting your technology services and infrastructure. It’s also a hub for documenting and escalating problems when they arise.

The right NetOps automation platform will help you scale your business and improve your team’s performance. It shifts rote tasks like troubleshooting and capacity planning to a network observability tool, freeing engineers to focus on more significant issues and security.

What is a Network Operations Center?

Network Operations Centers have been a staple for large enterprises for decades. However, as the number of affordable Network Operations Center solutions has risen, more small companies have taken advantage of this IT service. The primary purpose of a NOC is to provide 24/7 monitoring and support for a company’s computer networks. The goal is to catch problems before they cause significant downtime or data loss and resolve them quickly.

Additionally, network operations and management services can be delivered on-premise or remotely, depending on the needs of the business. As technology grows and companies scale, it becomes challenging to maintain all configuration settings to ensure the highest levels of security and efficiency. A NOC can handle this for clients, adjusting settings and protocols based on the growing business while providing a first-class customer experience.

A NOC differs from a SOC, responsible for detecting and responding to cyber-attacks. While a NOC works behind the scenes to prevent problems with data routes and ensure 24-7 network connectivity, a SOC is proactively looking for vulnerabilities, threats, and attacks on a client’s network.

Building, operating, and maintaining a state-of-the-art NOC is a complex undertaking with substantial labor and infrastructure costs. Taking on these obligations is not a good fit for many small businesses and MSPs, primarily as they focus on meeting their clients’ demands. Instead, a third-party managed NOC provides an affordable and reliable solution to meet the needs of all types of organizations.

What are the Roles of a Network Operations Center?

The network operations center monitors various computer, telecommunications, and satellite systems against disruptions and failures. They are the first line of defense for these networks, ensuring that customers’ core business productivity is not disrupted.

A network operation center (NOC) is the centralized location from which a company’s IT professionals monitor and maintain a company’s IT infrastructure, including its telecommunications and satellite networks. These teams work directly with companies to oversee their complex networking environments with 24/7 monitoring and respond to alerts promptly.

The NOC team’s responsibilities include providing quick incident response, network optimization, and spotting security issues. They also help improve the customer experience and enable internal productivity across your organization.

NOC staff identifies and prioritizes network performance issues by the impact on your business. In many cases, this includes determining which issues should be handled internally by the NOC team and which should be escalated to more experienced teams.

Additionally, they add new data routes and ensure that current ones work correctly. They are also tasked with troubleshooting problems during normal network usage, such as connection errors and slowdowns. They may also perform maintenance tasks like managing firewalls and other security software. In addition, they may also back up data in the event of a hardware or network malfunction.

What are the Technologies Used in a Network Operations Center?

Network operations teams work closely with the IT infrastructure to monitor and manage network devices, firewalls, servers, and other external solutions. They also interact with customer service technologies and may work internet protocols to keep them current.

The best practices for a Network Operations Center include clearly defined roles, effective means of communication, and frequent team meetings. The team needs to be able to prioritize the most pressing issues when they are busy and know when to escalate a problem with a more significant impact on a colleague.

More innovative automation can help to reduce alert fatigue and shift the burden of many low-level decision-making tasks away from engineers. This gives them more time to focus on resolving incidents and improving overall network performance.

Network operators need to deliver reliable services to meet client SLAs, enable core business productivity and improve their customers’ digital experience. Providing strategic network monitoring and management services on a managed IT basis enables VARs, MSPs, MSSPs, IT consultants, agents, and others to scale their IT environments without the overhead of building and maintaining an internal NOC. This allows them to deliver on two critical objectives—more revenue and happier customers. Achieving these goals requires a comprehensive platform that can quickly detect, identify and resolve issues across millions of endpoints. This is only possible with the right network observability tool.

What are the Benefits of a Network Operations Center?

A NOC can help you achieve higher levels of network performance. You can anticipate and avoid performance bottlenecks by monitoring your entire IT environment. This results in less downtime and greater overall productivity.

NOC teams are tasked with monitoring, troubleshooting, and managing the infrastructure of a company’s IT network to ensure uptime and meet service-level agreements (SLAs). They also work with hardware like routers, firewalls, and software used on end devices.

This is all accomplished 24/7 by highly skilled engineers who monitor the network for any issues. They can also manage software updates, monitor tools and alerts for quality assurance, provide reporting and dashboards, and more.

The benefit of a NOC is that it helps reduce your IT team’s costs. Instead of relying on automated monitoring solutions, your staff can spend time on more valuable tasks directly impacting your bottom line.

A well-run NOC is essential for any MSP or IT solution provider who wants to deliver world-class client support. Unlike a help desk, which fields end-user questions, NOC technicians work exclusively with the MSP or vendor they’re supporting and not directly with clients. This creates a streamlined communication process and enables the MSP to focus on meeting client uptime goals. The NOC can also help the MSP to stay on track with their service-level agreement commitments by quickly identifying and responding to issues as they arise.

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