A Network Operations Center(NOC), also known as the control room or center office, is a centralized location where IT professionals monitor and manage the network. It served as the first line of defense against network failures. NOC services usually range from detecting a problem and finding a solution for the problem affecting the network.
The NOC plays a huge role in ensuring a positive customer experience by providing management services and required equipment, smartphones, and databases.
NOCs can either be built internally and on-premise by custom software development companies or by an external company. Wherever it is based, the function remains. The design of the NOC doesn’t affect the responsibility that the NOC staff is required to do(noticing issues and providing quick decisions to handle them).
In this article, Hanna Shnaider gives you an insight into the key roles of a NOC and how it can benefit development companies. You can view her profile here.
What Are Best Practices For a NOC?
There is no specific way to set up a NOC because different development companies have different issues that they deal with. However, most custom software development companies follow a similar guideline for better results. Take a look at the first three keys to consider:
Network security: For a data center, you need tight security. It is normally the first line of defense, so you should include strong firewall protocols. Also, make sure that only recognized users are given access to sensitive data. If the IT team notices unrecognized access, they track down the origin of the network disruption and take action. All NOC technicians should only have access to the specific area that they are performing their duties.
For added security, there should be a digital log of all the technicians entering the NOC; the time they enter and leave, their purpose of entering the NOC, and who they paired up with. Because the NOC has full access to the company’s information, it is necessary to keep the NOC as secure as your network at all times.
Logging: Make sure that every device logging into your network provides detailed logging information. This way, the NOC technician can easily spot abnormalities that might cause a problem and tackle it immediately. Unauthorized users will have no chance to illegally enter the network unless it recognizes them.
Monitoring: Once a security issue is identified, the NOC technician must work towards providing a solution. To do that effectively, the technician must keep a record of all the activities in the network.
There are two types of monitors; infrastructure and user experience monitoring. The IT team should know the different types and their productivity for a better NOC strategy. Infrastructure monitoring displays the health of the entire network, which makes it easier for the NOC technicians to identify problems and create solutions. User experience monitoring allows NOC technicians to experience the problems that users face and find solutions for them.
How Do You Design a NOC?
When designing a NOC, the first two things to consider are scalability and redundancy. When talking about availability, we refer to the number of users that will be allowed to connect to the NOC simultaneously.
Redundancy refers to keeping extra copies of critical data stored in different locations. It makes it easier to save data and avoid loss. For instance, when a user gets disconnected from a NOC, he can access another copy of the data on a backup device.
The ideal design of a NOC has the power to classify it as its special room. One wall of the room will feature video screens showing active alarms and general network performance. The video screens are displayed in a grid view and connected to form one high-resolution unit. The size of the NOC and IT team depends on the software development company.
Network alerts will first show on the video screens, notifying the IT team of the network disruption. It will also display weather and news so that the IT team can work around the current news if it affects the broader network distribution. The video wall is also connected to individual workstations where technicians monitor a particular pain point. Here, the technicians can work on the problems noticed, follow protocols, and provide a solution.
Each workstation will have different monitors, making it easier for the IT team to identify and tackle problems quickly. These workstations are connected to a PA system where the IT team can communicate and distribute information. Any technician can also leave alert details on the main video wall for the rest of the IT team to review.
Large development companies usually have a separate room for high-end professionals to handle critical network issues.
A NOC usually takes a hierarchical approach to network management. Technicians are usually classified into three levels; level 1, level 2, and level 3, which is based on their level of experience. A NOC technician usually classifies a network problem based on severity and alert types. Once the NOC technician assigned to a specific network problem in a level cannot solve the issue, it is transferred to another NOC technician in the next level. It keeps going that way if the next NOC technician is unable to solve the issue.
We make use of upgraded tools and applications in the modern era that we currently live in. This improvement has helped a lot of businesses and software development companies. Some software development companies have made it compulsory for them to operate. Fortyseven IT understands the importance of applications and tools to their company, and it drives us to achieve close to 100% network uptime. A good way to approach this level is to provide 24 hours a day every year NOC strategy. NOC will help to promote the health of their network and prevent issues. Do you find it hard to find your way around the benefits of NOC and how to set it up? You can always count on the Fortyseven software professionals for help.