It is a network operations center or NOC that is pronounced as “knock”. This is a centralized place where the IT technicians straightly support the struggles of remote monitoring & management or RMM software. The NOC team is heavily used in the directed IT service space and the immense driver of assistance delivery for numerous MSPs or managed service providers.
The technical team is keeping a watchful eye on top of the endpoints where they are monitoring and managing, independently resolving the problems that arises and taking preventative moves to make sure that the issues will not occur. The NOC teams are heavily involved also in the high-level defense actions and backup & disaster recovery or BDR efforts, making sure of 24/7/365 uptime for those MSP’s clients.
What are the responsibilities and the roles of the NOC technician?
The NOC technicians and engineers are both responsible for monitoring the infrastructure, health, capacity and security of the clients’ environment. They are making adjustments and decisions to make sure of optimal network performances and organizational productivity.
If there are any intervention or actions from the MSP that will be required, the NOC technicians will make alerts or “tickets” which will identify and sort the problem based on severity, alert type and some other criteria. This will depend on the connection between MSP and NOC of the technical teams will then work together in resolving the problem and in identifying the root that causes to prevent any future issue.
The technicians are classified based on the “levels,” that indicates the severity and the complexity of the troubles they are dealing with. Levels are being numbered from one (minor problems, easier issues to solve) and increase in the ability with the most complex of IT issues. One example is in the situation of a hardware breakdown, an alert can be assigned initially to the Level 1 technician. However, upon further examinations, if the issue goes beyond a failed hardware, a ticket can be escalated to the Level 2 and Level 3 technician.
The NOC technicians constantly research anomalous actions on the network and create a technical adjustment and will marshal extensive resources—there are some that would be used rarely through the in-house IT service provider—to react to emergency situations.
Added NOC capabilities include:
- Antivirus inspection and remediation
- Antivirus scanning and remediation
- Application software installations, updating and troubleshooting
- Backup and storage administration
- Email management services
- Firewall and IPS or intrusion prevention system monitoring and management
- Network discovery and assessment
- Optimization and worth of service reporting
- Patch management and also white listing
- Policy enforcement
- Performance reports and upgrading recommendation
- Shared threat analysis
- Video traffic and voice management
When working at peak effectiveness with a handled IT service partner, the end-user isn’t aware of the presence of the NOC. The NOC technicians coordinate with the MSP only or the solution provider they are supporting—not directly with the end client. This makes the user skills where the MSP may seamlessly deliver the problem resolution and the world-class support with seemingly boundless supplies.
Outsourced VS In-house
The infrastructure costs of the building and the fixed labor of an in-house SOC, NOC or the help desk team had been naturally too much to conceal while maintaining a growing, profitable business. Even while completely staffed, it will not be capable of shifting to meet a peak and troughs of the demand while all together preparing for the everyday maintenance of IT duties that needed to be taken out.
As a substitute, MSP should take into consideration to partner with the third-party NOC that will take on most technical work that needed to be completed in the growing MSP practices. Instead of the unwieldy in-house operations, the NOC acted as an expansion of the existing workforce of MSP, leaving the primary technical staff of MSP to concentrate on high value and high ROI projects.
Resolving the skills opening and scaling with the NOC
Provided with the shortage of qualified, experienced and skilled technicians that are able of dealing Level 1–3 (typically identified as an IT skills gap), utilizing the NOC is the cost-effective and an efficient option than to hire technicians for ranging. Taken into consideration the skills gap, to numerous MSPs it is exceptionally difficult or simply not possible to staff the businesses with enough technicians with the right skill sets to develop their industry profitably. And, given a great command for these technicians, an ideal technician command the salary that had also grown commensurately, makes a profit margin even harder to achieve while trying to staff at balance.
But, the NOC eliminates a skills gap through giving every resource an MSP, will need in their scientific staff for the flat fee every month. And as an MSP’s business raises more resources may be added to climb up, protecting the MSP margins whereas giving 24x7x365 outcomes.
NOC vs. help desks
Despite the numerous things that the Network Operation Center is, there is one thing that absolutely it is not—the help desk. It is an essential distinction, and the one that will simply confuse business owners when not properly clarified.
The big difference is that the helpdesk interacted with the end-clients; while the NOC interacted with MSPs.
A NOC offers back end maintenance, trouble resolution and support that an MSP will respond to problems as it will arise and make sure of the client uptime. Alternatively, the help desk is the call center styled to field the front-line inquiries directly from the end-client who had been actively encountering some troubles. In other words, when the end-user is dealing with some problems, they may phone a help desk. If an MSP is having some issue, they can contact the network operations center.
NOC vs. SOC
Although it may sound and look the same, there are chief differences in the objective of the NOC and the security operations center, also called as SOC.
The key criteria that mutually SOC and NOC have in common will be that they are working with an MSP to answer IT-related issues, not with the end consumer. But, where the NOC can concentrate on a remote monitoring and preservation of the IT environment of the client, to meet SLA and to make sure customer’s uptime free of mechanical malfunction, the SOC is a more security focused. SOC monitor for attack vectors, emerging threats and vulnerabilities on the client’s network, and are geared up identify anomalies and alleviate cyber attacks when they arise.
Most of the SOC employed the security information & event management or SIEM process that aggregated information from the different security-focused system information streams. Everything from the network discovery and the vulnerability assessment system, governance, risk & compliance (GRC) system, penetration testing gears, intrusion detection & prevention systems, network behavior analysis, log management systems; and much is gathered and parsed by the SOC technicians, who themselves are trained security experts.
SOCs and NOCs performed many services and all of it is mission-critical worth to the MSP—however, there is bit overlap in the objectives or missions. Instead, by engaging the teams to offer the wide varieties of services, MSPs took greater benefit than trying to merge the duties connected with these teams into a hybrid team.
NOC and the ConnectWise program
ConnectWise deeply integrated its NOC in its hub platform, seamlessly, giving the combination of services and intelligent software to make the solution that is not paralleled in the business. This deep combination permits MSPs to cultivate more profitably than the peers and maintain infrastructure costs down through giving the entire suite of technology, skill and labor needed to add the new clients quickly whereas giving exceptional service.
Published by Airich Estopin