The Network Operations Center (NOC) is the lifeline of a business’ services. This is where critical networks and systems live, continuously monitored for availability and performance. The NOC environment — everything that makes up the NOC, from tools to workers — varies from business to business. And usually, that means some are “healthier” than others.

Everyone at Federos understands the pains experienced in the NOC because we’ve been there. We know what’s needed to keep the NOC environment strong, but many don’t. That’s why we’re going to break down the aspects of a healthy NOC, so you can get an idea about your own.

People of the NOC

In first thinking of the NOC, we think of the people. They’re the ones in the chairs, watching over the company’s services, taking (often angry) escalated calls, and are pressured to do more with less. But when a NOC environment is healthy, this is what you’ll see:

  • A couple of stress-free NOC employees 
  • Zero sticky notes on monitors 
  • NOC employees working from only two simple screens 
  • No “swivel chair friction” from switching between several apps and tools
  • Only one or two support calls a day (if that)

This sounds like a dream, but it’s possible. 

Read how we reduced ticket volume by 75% for Network Data Systems.

Read Case Study

Processes of the NOC

Next, we look at NOC processes. When an incident takes place, do you have a well-defined process that you follow to fix it? How much visibility do you have of the root cause? Is this process manual or automated? 

In a healthy NOC, processes are automated to optimize the performance of services and networks. But businesses need automation that goes beyond orchestration of services. The NOC needs processes that automate how the network identifies and resolves service-impacting incidents in real-time. Or, even better, that can prevent incidents before they happen.

By automating processes, you avoid these symptoms of an unhealthy NOC:

  • Widespread outages
  • Alarm and ticket noise
  • Customer churn
  • Human error
  • SLA violations 
  • Employee turnover

Here are a few other questions you can ask yourself about your NOC, to see where you stand on processes:

  • In the last week, how many tickets were escalated to tier two support?
  • What is our mean time to detect issues?
  • What is our mean time to repair issues?
  • How many outages have we had in the last year?

Tools of the NOC

Remember when we mentioned automation? The role of automation is critical to a healthy NOC, but to achieve automation for service assurance, you have to have the right tools. What kind of tools are you operating with daily in the NOC? And how many? Because having too many isn’t ideal. Tool consolidation is also part of a healthy NOC.

Historically (and for many still today), network and service management teams have only had access to domain-specific, siloed legacy software tools, known for being costly to operate, lacking flexibility, and not being able to scale. That’s a problem, especially in the face of more complex, hybrid, and data-intensive environments brought by 5G, IoT, SDN/NVF, cloud, and other next-generation technologies we see today. 

This is why we created Assure1: to address the shortcomings of legacy solutions while leaving the door open for future services. Furthermore, Assure1 enables true closed-loop assurance.

Read more: Transitioning Legacy Systems as Part of Digital Transformation

Assure1’s Closed-Loop Assurance Streamlines NOC Operations

Closed-Loop Assurance is the seamless flow of monitoring, identifying, adjusting, and optimizing the performance of networks automatically. It is what will make your NOC the healthiest it can be. 

Assure1 provides fault, performance, topology, and service management functionality in a unified, open, and high performing platform optimized by AIOps. It applies Machine Learning for advanced correlation, root cause analysis, and automation across domains — in real-time and at scale — delivering actionable insights and closed-loop assurance at reduced costs.

At its core, closed-loop assurance reduces error, time and effort, and cost for the business. And ultimately, businesses need a closed-loop assurance solution with capabilities you can’t find in legacy systems:

End-to-end visibility

Proactive and real-time network and service management

Greater automation with AIOps

Major cost-efficiencies

Legacy tool consolidation

Scalability to meet 5G and IoT demands

Smooth integration

Curious about your NOC’s operational efficiency?

Take our NOC Health Assessment