You run a small business and understand that managing your IT team’s workload can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. Using a Network Operations Center or NOC Services, you can streamline projects and optimize your network while cutting costs.
NOC (pronounced knock) is a physical room where IT professionals can monitor and alert you to the overall health of your company’s IT environment. The NOC is often the first to alert when things aren’t right, but it’s much more than just monitoring and alerting.
What is a Network Operations Center (NOC)?
A Network Operations Center is a facility that monitors and manages network devices and systems. A NOC can be a part of your business, housed within the company building, or outsourced altogether. Regardless of the location, the NOC comprises expensive hardware and software, including large screens for monitoring networks.
The NOC focuses on endpoint monitoring and managing your company’s servers, workstations (desktops or laptops), and other devices. Technicians use tools and techniques to monitor and manage those networks, along with systems and applications. The techs monitor traffic levels to identify potential problems, monitor endpoint and server performance, track response times, and identify errors.
NOC techs proactively monitor and manage networks to help avoid bottlenecks and other performance-related issues, meaning fewer interruptions for you and your team. The NOC is part of the monitoring and remediation environment in IT management. The techs work using a ticketing system that prioritizes issues based on severity.
What Happens Within the NOC?
The NOC is responsible for 24/7 monitoring and support of your organization’s network infrastructure. The NOC comprises professional technicians who work to identify and resolve issues before they can cause significant disruptions to your business. A network operation center is a valuable resource for any organization. Depending on the size of your business, it might make sense to outsource this service.
The NOC keeps the network running as smoothly as possible by configuring equipment, troubleshooting, and managing upgrades and changes. Within the network infrastructure, the NOC will touch everything from routers and switches to firewalls and even the physical cables that connect all these devices. Real-time monitoring keeps all the assets running properly, safe from cyberattacks, and prevents network outages.
A NOC tech holds a valuable and unique set of skills required to complete the job. From a technical perspective, they must understand how networking technologies function and know computer operating systems, databases, and wireless technologies. A NOC technician must have excellent troubleshooting and customer service skills as they sometimes communicate with IT professionals within your organization.
What are the Benefits of a NOC?
Whether your NOC is in-house or outsourced, NOCs offer companies like yours many advantages. From more efficient IT departments to scalability to less downtime, your company should be working with a NOC. Below is a summary of the benefits.
Efficiencies: reduce the time and labor of your internal IT team so that employees can focus on other projects and initiatives.
Scalability: the NOC can grow with the needs of the business as it expands. If you’re outsourcing NOC services, you’ll also see a reduction in operating costs.
Reduced downtime: the nature of the NOC means that someone is always there to ensure your IT environment is functioning at total capacity.
Rapid incident response: means that the NOC can quickly identify issues and head them off before they become more significant problems like network outages.
Network optimization: get real-time reporting on the health of your company’s network, so you can identify areas of improvement and build a more robust network.
NOC vs. SOC vs. Help Desk
When researching IT solutions for your business, you run across many acronyms, services, and products. You’ll often find results for SOC and Help Desk services when Googling NOC. SOC and Help Desk differ from NOC services, and here’s how.
NOC services maintain network performance and make sure your IT infrastructure meets all service level agreement (SLA) requirements. NOC services happen in the background, often unnoticed by the end user, your employee.
SOC (Security Operations Center) services protect your business against cyberattacks. The SOC is actively going after or hunting those threats, while the NOC isn’t necessarily hunting threats but often in their work, alerting and raising red flags.
Finally, an IT Help Desk is a supportive service helping users with technical issues related to products and services. A help desk is often staffed by customer service or technical support staff, whereas network engineers or other IT professionals staff the NOC. Folks in an IT Help Desk role will speak to your employees not working in an IT capacity.
The Cost Savings of Outsourcing NOC Services
A company can create an internal NOC; however, the cost savings and benefits of outsourcing NOC services far outweigh building an internal team, and here’s why.
First, outsourcing NOC services helps to address the IT skills gap of your organization. It would help to have technicians at various IT infrastructure levels in-house, but that’s not always possible. By outsourcing NOC services, your company will easily avoid bottlenecks and downtime.
Speaking of costs, outsourcing NOC services can help you save money on hardware, software, and hiring. You’ll need at least two NOC technicians; the average national salary for a NOC tech is about $70,000. If you’re creating an internal NOC, you must spend money on hardware and software. Hardware and software costs can range from $1,000 to $35,000, and let’s not forget about licensing for network monitoring software.
Still Have Questions about NOC Services?
ONE 2 ONE operates a NOC room right here in Lancaster, PA. We monitor and manage clients’ networks across Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our team works hard to prevent outages, provide effortless software updates, and more.
We’d love to talk with you and learn more about your company’s IT needs. If you still have questions about outsourcing NOC services, set a time by clicking the schedule button below, and someone will be in touch to answer your questions.