This post was initially published on CX Expert. It has been updated and refreshed before being republished here.
A network operations center (NOC) is the central point of monitoring for your network. It helps to ensure uptime in your business. NOCs are not limited to networks. They can provide visibility into systems management, virtualized infrastructure, IT security and many more. In most cases, only large companies have resources necessary to create a NOC infrastructure that is effective. However, even small and medium businesses can gain visibility into the performance and availability of their networks by creating their own NOCs or using tools that NOCs use.
For you to create your NOC, you don’t need to have a modern room that is full of expensive and high technology gear for network surveillance. It is possible to create your NOC just about anywhere and have the ability to know where and how network issues occur in time for troubleshooting. We will look at some essential capabilities to build into your network management system and get a NOC field of vision.
Centralize Alert M
When dealing with a growing network with a lot of devices from different manufacturers, alerts can be useful. You should be able to receive them in a single and central location for actionable and easy access and insight.
Alerts may include but are not limited to:
- performance metrics,
- availability statistics,
- errors message,
- hardware thresholds, and a host of other relevant factors.
The primary challenge with alert management lies in receiving alerts on time and managing them at a centralized level to help in comparing alerts, tracking alert history, eliminating false positives and deducing alert functions.
Group your Network Elements
It is possible to have network hardware in different models, types, versions, from different and unique makers in different locations. They are compatible with different platforms. It is therefore difficult to get an understanding of the network issues given the medley of network devices. The best solution is to create logical groups of your devices. This will allow you to monitor your devices as a group and not disparate entities. You can also create static groups to help you add network nodes manually. You can also add network nodes automatically, but this is based on a pre-defined condition.
You can get a logical understanding of the situation by using grouping devices for monitoring networks. You can also use grouping to set parent-child dependencies between your network elements, and this can allow you to eliminate any redundant alerts and be able to understand the impact of any faulty device on its dependents.
Customize Your Network Diagnostics
You may find it hard and frustrating that even though you have the ability to get network performance and health, you are not capable of dissecting the information as fast as needed. This ties directly to the KPIs you are measuring but in many cases, this problem arises due to the dashboard view that is used to see the network performance data.
You need to use a web-based dashboard because it is the best and can be viewed from anywhere. The ability to customize the dashboard will also allow you to understand your data easier and faster because you will see the things that need attention fast such as:
- The top interfaces by traffic
- The top errors and discards
- The top interfaces by traffic
- Top interfaces that face maximum percent utilization
Map device topology
You are sometimes faced with the work of searching for the reason that caused your network to go down without any clue if you are a network administrator. However, it is straightforward to pin the problem on a map and trace the source of the problem. You just have to use the mapping topology. This will help you to monitor the availability by looking at a map. You can use the following steps to do it.
- Discover the nodes of your network such as interfaces, network devices, and servers
- Place the nodes of your network on a custom map
- Connect the elements of your network on the ARP table data to get a graphical depiction of both virtual links and physical links.
Unify Management Platforms
The budget is not the only thing involved but also the operational expertise, and management overhead are also needed to run different platforms for network management for different requirements. You can cut back on time and money if you unify the management platform.
Unifying your platforms can also give you a comprehensive view of the NOC functions. Therefore, it is important to look for a solution that can stand alone and still be compatible with other management modules for systems management, network configuration management, and virtualization management. You can simplify your operations if you have the same management platform. It also allows you to customize your interface and doesn’t require a lot of work to manage your NOC.
Make sure you can access the network performance monitoring data of your organization from the comfort of your workstation because this can be the most effective NOC that any network admin could ever have. Also, it is crucial to have the right NOC dashboard to get a comprehensive view that is always available to you. This clearly shows how the network devices are doing and the things that are causing your network downtime. You don’t need a chief network engineer when designing your NOC.
If your company manages multiple networks, then you should be aware of the challenges involved when it comes to monitoring them at once. The data from your clients and your data is private, and your networks should be running without any delays.
Unless you have a time in your business that can handle this high level of network management, you may want to outsource professional support. You can use NOC engineers and technicians to monitor the health of your infrastructure, the capacity of your infrastructure and the capacity of your infrastructure.
With all this important information, they can make informed decisions for your business and adjust the systems to optimize the productivity and performance of your organization. They will send out alerts in case of any issues based on the type, severity, and level of expertise needed to solve the issues and any other things your NOC team specifies. After resolving the issue, you can alter things in your system and monitor your system to prevent the problem from recurring.
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