Network Operations Centres, better known as NOCs, are like the nervous system of a company, acting as the first line of defence in matters of security in relation to telecommunication networks.
To help you fully comprehend what they are and how data analytics play a role in simplifying its efforts, here’s a guide you for!
Network Operations Center or NOC (pronounced as ‘knock’) is primarily a centralized location where management and monitoring of events takes place 24/7. This continuous practice heavily affects the technology infrastructure and services taking place.
The location can either be managed by the direct service provider or by an outsourced third party.
Originated in the last 1970s, they were then constricted to the displaying of statuses of circuits, routing, switches, etc. However, today, they have expanded to multiple and wider aspects such power, service, environment, and cloud.
NOC is principally entangled with two main jobs – event management & monitoring.
However, there are other activities as well such as:
· Traffic analysis
· Fault detection & response
· Network configuration control
Event management direct its attention towards monitored changes of the state that are defined as an event by an organization, deciding their significance, and helping in identification and initiation of the right response to them.
Relevant parties also get information that is recorded and stored about the events.
Monitoring revolves around sensing conditions of possible worth in configuration items, then tracking and recording their condition and sending this information to the relevant party.
Other service management practices wherein performance, uptime and visibility are integral are triggered via event management and monitoring activities.
· Deployment Management – shifting service components towards live environments
· Information Security Management – by understanding and managing risks associated with integrity, availability and confidentiality of the information, an organization is protected
· Incident Management – reinstating normal service operations as rapidly as possible to minimize the negative impact of an incident
· Service Continuity Management – in case of a disaster, ensuring service is available and offers a good performance.
· Release Management – bringing new and improved services and features to the table
A NOC engineer is expected to undertake the following
· Know about the working of things
· Using analysis and experience, they should be able to bring forth the origins of issues
· Patch management and backup activities
The challenges faced by telecom businesses are many but there is hardly anything that cannot be solved by incorporating Data Analytics in their every day run.
Amongst the various challenges faced by the NOC, the top three critical ones include manual operations, digital experience visibility and root cause analysis. However, Data analytics has the answer to all of these and then some.
Any NOC environment looking forward to staying ahead of other networks need this critical component – Artificial Intelligence to IT Operations, more popularly known as AIOps.
1. Integrated Response
Irrespective of the company’s maturity level, AIOps should be a part of their NOC strategy.
For smaller companies, adding AI to SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) solutions helps in increasing a company’s ability to identify as well as respond to any rising issues.
For larger companies, integrating AIOps-enhanced SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation and Response) into their network operations will help achieve visible improvements in network operations efficiency, all the while aiding in enabling network automation for active optimization and monitoring of highly dynamic and complex environments.
2. Higher End-to-end Visibility
AIOps connects and leverages a varied set of control points and sensors across the network that offers real-time visibility throughout the distributed network for rapid monitoring of user experience metric and SLAs (Service-level Agreement).
3. Root Cause Analysis
MTTI (Mean-Time-To-Identify) issues in the network can be reduced via AIOps solutions by automatically correlating WAN, LAN and cloud environments and data across devices. Such an interface breadth facilitates the finding and understanding of anomalies in the network (including user-to-application) via a single console.
Since AIOps systems learn and incorporate the operations of a network and then combines them with security policies, an increase in efficiency will occur. Prediction and automation of remediation of issues will lead to lowering of incidents.
Understanding NOC is a huge task since the job it undertakes is quite huge too. But we are here to answer all your questions around the topic and for that, you need to stay tuned as our next blog will entail how NOC is beneficial today in the telecom industry.