Services provided by the Network Operations Center (NOC)

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The NOC versus the Data Center

The definition of terms. Let’s define a NOC, how it relates to the data center, and what its primary functions are. Depending on who you ask, this can be a challenge.

The data center hosts and manages the organization’s computing resources, such as servers, virtual machines (VMs), databases, and storage. Moreover, they may be involved in some aspects of network management and security. The smallest centers are located at the organization’s facilities, while the largest centers are dedicated to coordinating resources such as hardware, electricity, air conditioning, and physical security.

What’s the difference between a NOC and that? NOCs serve primarily as management control centers. Its responsibilities include monitoring and integrating customer tools, implementing infrastructure changes and updating procedural guidelines, dealing with events and customer calls, as well as providing security, quality control, and assurance. The operations and support team necessary to deliver high-quality support are just as important as the technology within the NOC.

Data centers with dedicated NOC rooms manage, monitor, and fix IT assets and the network.

A NOC’s size (room and number of engineers) is usually determined by the size of the data center and its business criticality. The majority of data centers do not have staff available 24/7 in the NOC room, he says. As part of their efforts to reduce human involvement in those functions, smaller data centers often rely on automated monitoring and resolution software instead of a NOC.

Managing a NOC in a data center is a must for managed service providers (MSPs) and telecommunication companies because networks, applications, and data centers must be available. Additionally, businesses with large IT teams can probably afford to run their own NOC and keep costs at a manageable level. For smaller IT departments, outsourcing the NOC might make more sense.

It is critical for your IT team size, the network’s business criticality, and how sensitive the data or networks are to make a final decision. Regulation is another important point-industry groups such as utilities are required to have their own NOC.

Although they can be dispersed geographically based on user demand, data centers tend to be intra-enterprise. NOCs, on the other hand, are usually grouped in one uber data center that can monitor and manage multiple physical and virtual data centers.

A NOC is widely used in network security, defense/spy/homeland security, unified communications/digital video (physical security), and managed/hosted/cloud service providers

Typically, data centers house servers, storage, networks, and telecommunications equipment; they also serve as the interconnection points between various carrier networks. Considering everything from cooling to security to network power requirements, the facilities are designed to be efficient and dependable.

NOCs, on the other hand, are control centers where technical staff continuously monitors and handles incidents affecting the health and performance of infrastructure belonging to data centers, enterprises, and service providers.

It is almost always the case that a data center has a support operation operating 24×7, at the very least to provide physical access to clients and to be the on-call resource for cable and equipment troubleshooting.

Datacenter managers have the choice of operating an internal NOC or outsourcing those functions to a NOC service provider. To implement the first option, the data center would need to expand its internal functionality to provide infrastructure monitoring in addition to 24×7 operations.

A data center that has a relatively simple technology environment consisting of a limited number of equipment vendors and relatively repetitive configurations and tasks may choose to go internal. Additionally, this is the best choice if enough work is available to keep the staff engaged.

Datacenter managers who manage their own NOC are almost always required to keep two people on hand at all times. The cost alone in terms of personnel is high since you need to have shifts that run 24 hours a day.

Managers of data centers need to realize that they may not have enough work to keep their personnel busy to ensure their NOC is profitable. Outsourcing the NOC might be a better option in that case. One of the barriers to putting a NOC in-house is the hefty price tag that is sometimes associated with infrastructure management tools. If the data center does not already have these management functions, it may be cheaper to obtain them externally. In the same way, a scarcity of internal talent can change the cost equation – hiring experienced NOC staff won’t be inexpensive.

It saves the company money and time to not have to purchase and maintain software tools, hire additional staff, train and manage them, and develop workflows. Consider outsourcing if your staff is busy enough to keep them busy at all hours if your technologies are complex or numerous, if it is difficult to hire and maintain staff, or if management lacks experience running a NOC.

Datacenter managers will review the total cost of ownership (TCO) for both internal and external NOC scenarios before finalizing any decisions. For the most part, the results tend to be clear-cut. Outsourcing of the NOC makes more sense if it would be expensive to implement or expand one internally as opposed to passing the functions onto someone else. By utilizing the same equipment and people across multiple organizations, NOC providers, says Prosen, typically capitalize on economies of scale. Additionally, they may be able to provide a big reduction in telecom costs because they may have more connectivity options and providers at their disposal.

Make SD-WAN work for you

Do you really believe you can adopt innovative technology simply by purchasing and connecting? In spite of the undeniable fact that all technology is becoming more complex and sophisticated, is this still true? Software-defined WANs are such technologies, and not all SD-WANs are the same, so some research needs to be done to make SD-WANs unique.

An overview of SD-WAN costs

If you’re starting from the top, do it that way. Small sites and enterprises were originally connected by SD-WAN. MPLS VPNs are too expensive or not available at traditional sites. An SD-WAN creates routing overlays, or networks above IP, in order to route traffic. The virtual network header is usually added to IP packets by SD-WAN software and appliances. A packet’s header can contain anywhere from a few bytes to a few tens of bytes, depending on your implementation. Routes are determined based on overlay header addresses of SD-WAN devices. Due to the fact that these addresses can originate from the same address space as your MPLS VPN, SD-WAN effectively adds the site to your company’s VPN.

SD-WAN headers are rarely an issue with business applications, but they can be a problem, especially with applications generating little data. VoIP packets are about 200 bytes in length, so for example, a 12-byte SD-WAN overhead increases by about 6%. In IoT, packets can be much smaller, ranging from 30 to 50 bytes, resulting in an increase of 24% to 40% of packet size. By increasing packet overhead, the available bandwidth is reduced by that percentage, so overhead can further slow down small sites with limited broadband capabilities.

The overhead and the way packets are routed should be a concern for future SD-WAN vendors. Not all SD-WAN vendors include routing headers in all packets but in all sessions, which causes the least amount of overhead between the user and application. To choose the best SD-WAN solution, ensure you have accurate information about the routing of sessions and packets, as well as the overhead attached.

Performance of SD-WAN offramps

SD-WAN often hides another problem, which is how the traffic enters the data center via the SD-WAN overlay. Are you familiar with the saying “What goes up must also go down”? If those small sites try to connect to the data center or to the cloud, then SD-WAN access must be shut off. The performance of this off-ramp varies significantly between SD-WAN implementations. Traffic on the off-ramps must be carried by a large number of uphill elements due to performance limitations. Offramp elements increase operational complexity and cost, so know how many you need and what you need to do.

Do you manage it yourself or do you take the help of a managed service?

Lastly, you should consider how you will manage this kind of situation. It’s hard to find on-site staff with sufficient knowledge to resolve problems with small sites which you just connected to while you’re having difficulty hiring staff for your network operations center. Imagine what that would be like. SD-WAN applications requiring international SD-WAN capabilities will often lack management capabilities. In contrast to purchasing and deploying your own hardware and software, we recommend that you obtain an SD-WAN from your service provider or managed service provider (MSP). Learn more about managed SD-WAN options by browsing Comcast’s recent acquisition of MSP Masergy.

SD-WAN from NS may seem like a good idea, but you’re wrong. If you wanted to purchase Your own SD-WAN solution that met all your requirements, even the ones you didn’t think about. By performing preliminary research into requirements and features, you can avoid costly and destructive mistakes.

The NOC Engineer versus the Help Desk

NOCs and help desks are unique and cannot be negotiated. Managing customers and resolving first-line issues are the responsibilities of the help desk. When SMEs or Managed Service Providers experience network problems, they contact the NOC team. Through this communication, defects are immediately rectified by the NOC team, and the working hours of the customer are communicated.

 

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