NOC – Network Operation Centre
A Network Operations Centre (NOC) is a centralised place where information technology teams can monitor the performance and health of a network on a continuous basis. The NOC is the very first line of protection against network disturbances and outages.
Organisations obtain complete visibility into their networks using a NOC, allowing them to spot abnormalities and then either take measures to avoid problems from occurring or swiftly remedy them as they arise. The NOC oversees technology and facilities (from wires to servers), wireless networks, databases, firewalls, other connected network devices (including Internet of Things devices and smartphones), telephony, dashboards, and reporting, among other things. In addition to tracking customer service calls and help desks ticketing systems, the NOC also integrates with clients' network tools, resulting in a significant contribution to a great customer experience.
A NOC can be created domestically and housed on-premises, frequently within a data centre, or the role can be leased to an external organisation that specialises in network monitoring and infrastructure management. Irrespective of the design, NOC personnel are responsible for identifying problems and making prompt judgments about how to resolve them.
What exactly is the function of a NOC?
The purpose of any Network Operations Centre is to maintain optimal network performance and availability while also ensuring continuous uptime. The NOC is responsible for a wide range of vital activities, including:
- Monitoring the network for problems that necessitate immediate attention, particularly those that originate from beyond the network perimeter.
- Management of servers, networks, and devices, including software installation, upgrades, troubleshooting, and distribution across all devices is included.
- Response to incidents, which may include dealing with power outages and communication line problems.
What are the most important responsibilities in the NOC?
The technicians working in the NOC include engineers, analysts, and operators. The personnel require specialised knowledge and abilities to monitor, manage, and promptly resolve performance issues within the network. That kind of expertise is often beyond the scope of the average information technology specialist. The technicians typically have a large amount of work experience, particularly in the areas of network monitoring and tool development. Many of them also hold advanced credentials in their fields of expertise.
Because many smaller firms do not have the resources to dedicate a big team only to network performance, third-party service providers provide managed network services as an alternative to in-house NOC.
What exactly is the distinction between a NOC and a SOC?
An organisation's security health is monitored, detected, and analysed around the clock by a Security Operations Center (SOC). It differs from a NOC because that is concerned with network performance and availability.
Identifying and correcting faults that could degrade network speed and availability is the responsibility of technicians in the NOC. Whereas technicians in the SOC are responsible for identifying cybersecurity threats and responding to incidents. The SOC is also responsible for the security of consumer data as well as the protection of intellectual property.
In contrast to the NOC, which is responsible for dealing with network events that are regular and occur naturally, the SOC is responsible for responding to external attacks that target the company's network.
Is it possible for a NOC to do SOC functions?
It is possible to use a NOC to monitor and fix security vulnerabilities when a separate NOC and SOC are not feasible. NOCs can detect security threats to network performance and respond quickly and effectively. But it's the latter point that matters. Technicians must be alert to potential security concerns and be prepared to deal with them. It's hard to find technicians skilled in both network performance and network security.
Aside from the right balance of skills, a security-focused NOC would need the right tools to solve security issues. An example of such technology is a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system, which provides total visibility into all network activity. Data is collected from a wide range of sources on a network and analysed in real-time so there can be acted on the findings. In short, SIEM automates a large chunk of a typical SOC team's work. This increases problem awareness while reducing false positives, allowing a fully staffed NOC to keep a closer eye on things.
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