A revealing look into life within a Network Operations Center
Network operations centers, commonly known as NOCs, are increasing in number, largely due to the growth of the service provider sector. Application Service Providers (ASP) - companies that provide paid applications on the Internet - and Network Service Providers (NSP) - companies that offer paid network management services - are the two main groups that create NOC Network faster than they can't find IT professionals. Make them work.
For good reason, the NOC is often seen as the heart of ASP and NSP, as well as ISPs and telecommunications companies. However, few people know what's really going on inside a NOC, not to mention the type of IT professionals who are facing the challenge of working in one. In this article, we will take a look inside a network operations center and see what types of NOC workstations they offer.
An overview of NOC operations
For the benefit of those unfamiliar with the daily functions of a typical network operations center, let's start with an overview of my business, the real-time IT support center. The Real-Time IT Support Center is an NSP that provides real-time paid network services to small and medium-sized businesses.
As with practically all NSPs, Realtime has a NOC. Real-time NOC relies heavily on advanced management and reporting tools to provide a watchful eye 24/7 to the networks of their many customers. The overall success or failure of the network operations center, however, does not depend on sophisticated hardware or software, but on the IT professionals who manage it. Realtime NOC is managed by Doug Beamer, head of the network operations center and a team of network professionals. Doug and his team both have years of experience and have various certifications from Microsoft and Cisco.
Doug's responsibility as head of the real-time network operations center is to define and document the processes and procedures that follow his engineering teams. Daily activities involve everything from data backup management to monitoring critical frame relay circuits. His team solves or aggravates network problems in accordance with Doug's service level agreements and documented procedures.
There are many days in real-time NOC for everything to go well and the team keeps an eye on the networks. So there are a few more difficult days, like when a telecommunications operator accidentally left a frame circuit or a critical messaging server decided to call it stops for the same day. It's only 9:00.
Like most NOCs, the real-time IT support center network operations center does not know the term "opening hours'' and must operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Doug and his engineering team should always have a pager and cell phone with them. Like most computer workstations, they get little praise when systems work as they should, but they become the center of attention when things go wrong. The work is demanding, but the NOC must work properly for Realtime to satisfy existing customers and bring new ones.
Computer stations in a NOC
Many service companies actively seek qualified IT professionals to fill positions in their network operations centers. Companies that employ individuals to work within their NOCs are interested in IT professionals who have experience in supporting network infrastructure for a large organization and who have experience with a variety of network management tools.
These companies are looking for IT professionals for different types of positions. Network operators are required to manage daily operations that are always important and to provide proactive monitoring of all network systems. Companies wishing to manage a NOC are also looking for network engineers to solve problems and provide technical support on a variety of network problems. Overall, they are looking for network engineers with an emphasis on network management. These engineers can also develop and implement site-specific disaster and security recovery procedures based on corporate standards.
Another crucial position is that of the NOC manager, like Doug in Real-Time. The NOC manager is responsible for the daily management of the NOC's operations. Develop and maintain staff schedules and prioritize NOC tasks. This person must understand the NOCs and be able to plan, build and maintain them. The most successful NOC managers worked as office support, server administration and network engineering. This type of IT professionals will have a global vision of corporate networks and will be able to use and develop network management tools.
The skills listed above are generally considered "general skills". Network operations centers often draw up detailed lists of technical skills or "technical skills", although it is almost impossible to find IT professionals who have them all. However, to name a few, IT professionals who want to work within an NOC need to know IP routing, Ethernet switching, TCP / IP, routing and switching, system administration and the best Convenience for business. common such as backup, virus protection, and network security.
The recent growth of the service provider sector and the consequent proliferation of network operations centers have created new demand for qualified network professionals. Now that you've looked into a NOC and know what kind of IT professionals these service providers are looking for, you can decide whether working for a NOC is right for you.