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A network operations center (NOC) is a central location from which network administrators manage, control and monitor one or more networks. The overall function is to maintain optimal network operations across a variety of platforms, mediums and communications channels.
Large network service providers are associated with network operation centers, which feature a visual representation of the networks being monitored and workstations where detailed network statuses are monitored. Software is employed to help manage the networks. Telecommunications, television broadcast and computer networks are controlled through network operations centers.
Network operations centers are also known as network management centers.
A network operation center monitors the telecommunication network for alarms or certain conditions that may require special attention in order to avoid impact on network performance. They monitor power failures, communication line alarms and performance issues that may affect networks. NOCs are capable of analyzing problems, performing troubleshooting, communicating with site technicians and tracking problems until they are resolved. Network operation centers serve as the main focal point for software troubleshooting, software distribution, and updating router and domain name management in coordination with affiliated networks and performance monitoring.
Network operation centers include rows of desk facing video walls, which display significant alarm details, ongoing incidents and general network performance. The back walls of network operation centers are glazed and an attached room is used by members of the team responsible for dealing with serious incidents. Individual desks are assigned to specific technology. Technicians have numerous monitors on their desks with extra monitors used to monitor systems covered from the desk.
Network operation centers handles issues in a hierarchical manner so that if an issue is not resolved in a specific time frame, the next level is informed to speed up the problem solving. Most of the network operation centers have multiple tiers, which define the skill of a network operation center technician.The issues that go through an NOC are escalated in a hierarchic manner. When an escalated issue is not resolved within the stipulated time, it is escalated once again to the next level to ensure speedy resolution.
Almost all Web hosting companies and Internet service providers use NOCs to control and manage internal communications and manage email accounts.