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Role of Network Operations Center (NOC) in the Modern Enterprise

Gone are the days when one network administrator tried to install, troubleshoot, or maintain the systems within an office setup. This decade has seen the concept of network operations evolve into a more complex and crucial business function. Businesses increasingly depend on network analysts, operations engineers, and administrators. This has been amplified due to hybrid and remote working, offices across the globe, and the need for 24x7x365 monitoring. There is an extensive need to monitor and manage servers, databases, firewalls, internal systems, external devices, and connections. Hence, businesses are always looking for robust network operations. This helps them avoid minor issues or significant network outages that can lead to downtime and reduced productivity. This sets the context for our blog on Network Operations Center (NOC)

What is Network Operations Center(NOC)?

With the onset of cloud connectivity, establishing a secure network for businesses has become more accessible. However, network operations are more complex and evolved, including many critical activities, and are not just limited to a maintenance role. Businesses, especially medium—to large enterprises with extensive network systems, usually depend on a Network Operations Center (NOC).

A Network Operations Center (NOC) is a centralized location involving the IT and Network Administration teams. Here they monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot communication and networking systems.

Functions of NOC

NOC services could be on-premises or outsourced to a third-party service provider catering to the well-being of overall network health through the following functions:

Network Health and Performance Monitoring:

This involves monitoring the network 24/7 for threats and unauthorized access to the organization’s network. It helps identify any underlying problems and diagnose concerns in advance to avoid significant system loss or damage. It also ensures optimal network and application performance, thus supporting day-to-day business communication.

Network Incident Resolution:

NOC services range from time management of incident response to effective resolution of any network disruption, intending to maximize the uptime of the network. The KRAs may vary depending on the setup of the NOC and its integration with the security operations center.

Change Management:

The network operations team makes changes in the network infrastructure, such as installations, updates, and process upgrades, to improve network efficiency. NOC services require the right tools and software installations, patch management, automated solutions, network overlay, and standalone tools, along with relevant certifications, to ensure the network’s seamless functioning.

Firewall Management:

A firewall management system for any enterprise is essential, irrespective of the size of the business operations. Organizations generally fortify their network using firewalls to protect the systems from phishing and malware intrusions. The policy and process of firewall management will vary according to industry standards, business requirements, and data security needs.

Reporting and Compliance:

NOC services also include generating reports based on network and firewall logs to analyze and understand network security and bandwidth usage, aiming for process improvements. The NOC team maintains a comprehensive reporting and compliance posture. Firewall reports, traffic reports, security reports, and reports on protocol trends, etc., are a few examples of how they do it.

Benefits of Network Operations Center (NOC)

An effective Network Operations Center (NOC) will provide the organization with complete insight into its network, helping to detect anomalies promptly and resolve issues quickly.

The primary benefit of a NOC is centralized management of an organization’s network, providing easy access to the collaborative expertise of network analysts, administrators, security, cybersecurity, and hardware engineers.

Besides this, enterprises gain numerous benefits from an effectively managed NOC, like 24×7 monitoring, immediate incident response, optimized performance, and enhanced security against network attacks.

Another advantage of a network operations center is its cost-effectiveness and scalability. Because of the preventive nature of the service, a NOC can help enterprises reduce or save costs incurred due to the loss of critical data or even a single minute of downtime. Whether internal or outsourced, the NOC’s function provides an advantage to enterprises.

A well-managed Network Operations Center ensures monitoring and security measures. It also handles compliance management and audits through regular reporting and adherence to well-established compliance standards such as ISO 27001.

Tools used by a Network Operating Center (NOC)

The combination of tools required by a NOC service can differ based on the enterprise’s needs. The tools will vary according to the nature of the business, the network infrastructure (physical, virtual or cloud-based), and whether the NOC is integrated with a security operations center.

Tools that enable effective automation, ticket management, incident management and scalability enable a robust enterprise network through seamless network administration and management.

A holistic NOC will include a combination of tools for network monitoring, alerting and notification, diagnostic functions, configuration management, automation, and cyber security. It will also include a centralized dashboard for visual insights and reporting.

Difference Between Network Operations Center & Security Operations Center

There is a set distinction between the functions carried out by a Security Operations Center (SOC) and a Network Operations Center. Based on the requirement of the enterprise NOC and SOC can work as separate entities or as an integrated service. However, the two functions will always be collaborative within every organization. The services independently focus on different aspects to identify, investigate, and resolve issues at the earliest.

The Network Operations Center is focused on maintaining network performance and assessing its health and availability. In contrast, the Security Operations Center comprises tools and mechanisms that scan, detect, and analyze an organization’s security health 24 x 7 x 365 days.

The network technicians and analysts who provide the NOC services constantly monitor the network for issues. They try to keep up the network speed and resolve issues if any occur for the organization’s smooth workflow. Meanwhile, the technicians of SOC services are assigned the task of rooting cybersecurity threats and responding to them accordingly. SOC services also protect the clients’ and customers’ data along with the organization’s intellectual property.


In today’s technology landscape, network intelligence addresses many challenges associated with an enterprise’s smooth functioning. A business following the best practices in network operations is at an advantage of enjoying optimal network and application performance. Some enterprises cannot set up a Network Operations Center (NOC) within their premises as they lack in infrastructure or expertise. To cater to their needs, many professionally managed NOC services are available with customized solutions as per business needs.

In the current era of cloud-based networking, the NOC is one of the most critical functions. It is pivotal in maintaining healthy network performance and ensuring cyber security.

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