What Should You Look For in a Network Operations Centre Provider?
Network Operations Centres or NOC’s, operate from a central location to provide IT services that monitor and manage endpoints. Endpoints for a company typically include servers, workstations and networks, and can have an extended meaning to include databases and firewall. NOCs are the first line of defence against cyber incidents.
Network Operation Centres need a different skillset and infrastructure than a typical IT network support. Bigger companies may have in-house NOCs, but most organisations prefer to employ a Managed IT Service provider. In this article, our IT network specialists help you understand the services provided by a NOC and what you should look for in a NOC provider.
What are the services provided by a Network Operations Centre?
While a NOC may provide custom-made services for your organisation, they typically provide the following services.
Endpoint Monitoring – Monitor all endpoints, including server, workstations and network-connected devices.
Patch Management – Patch management is essential to ensure that a company is functioning smoothly. Keeping all software updates with the latest patches requires assistance.
IT security services – A NOC provides antivirus/antimalware deployment and management and monitors network security software and firewall. Most reputed NOCs provide Incident Detection and Management.
Backup management – NOCs ensure that secure backups are created at all times.
Event management – A company’s network can suffer a glitch and lead to downtime at any time. Recognising and preventing them and responding quickly in case of an ongoing downtime are all managed by a NOC.
Maintenance – Hardware is easily outdated. Every time hardware is replaced, Network Operation Centres troubleshoot, install and update the company data into the new hardware.
Reporting – Creating reports of a company’s health is another essential work a NOC does. It creates different types of reports for different aspects, like the performance of the network and possible optimisation.
What should you look for in your Network Operations Centre (NOC) provider?
Round the clock monitoring – Network troubles can happen anytime. It is, in fact, more important to monitor networks outside business hours to avoid cyber incidents. A good Managed IT service provider should be able to provide 24/7 monitoring and be available on call whenever you need them.
Event prediction capabilities – A good NOC provider should be able to predict issues, especially for key infrastructure like servers and network storage. This helps in gaining sufficient time to remediate issues before they occur and prevent downtime.
Hardware health monitoring – Does your IT Support Provider monitor hardware system health? Networks are not just about software. Systems get obsolete or create performance issues as they near the end of life. A NOC provider should be able to monitor and report on systems reaching the end stage so that companies have sufficient time to plan and budget for upgrades or replacements.
Ongoing training – IT is a dynamic field with technologies getting obsolete faster than most other industry verticals. It is essential that your NOC provider undertakes regular training for employees to keep up with industry standards and stay ahead of cybercriminals.
Flexibility and scalability – Your business may need a full-stack Network Operations Centre. Or you already have an in-house IT department but lack the resources to maintain critical infrastructure. Or you need to quickly build up IT capabilities as you expand or power down for some time. You should look for a NOC provider who can offer you flexible solutions suitable for your requirement.
The Computing Australia Network Operations Centre Advantages
- Proprietary CloudSuite package for 24/7 monitoring of your computers and critical infrastructure.
- Artificial Intelligence for predictive management of issues.
- Continuous patching to keep your systems up to date.
- Dedicated escalation teams.
- Vendor relationships to manage third-party applications.
- Investment in client documentation.
- Focus on prevention and permanent solutions to problems.
- Quality control systems.
- Ongoing commitment to staff training and mentorship.
- Use the Remote Monitoring and Management solution of your choice, or you can use ours.
Patches – A set of changes to update, fix or improve a computer program.
Firewall – A network security system that monitors and controls internet traffic based on pre-set security conditions.
Incident – Unauthorised access of systems, data, software, hardware or network