When first hearing network operations, the term may sound a bit vague and nondescript. Yet in fact, network operations encompass a plethora of tasks and activities that are completed and run daily within an organization. Network operations are actions completed within an organization’s network that consist of tasks such as monitoring, troubleshooting, capturing packets, provisioning network resources, responding to critical issues that arise and more. Network operations can look and behave differently in distinct networks, and each organization makes appropriate decisions for their unique needs and daily tasks.
Another term you may hear when discussing Network operations, is Network operations centers, also known as NOCs. A NOC is usually a central location where network engineers and IT team members constantly monitor the activity within their network, noticing and fixing any issues that may arise to ensure no down time or hiccups in function. A NOC keeps an eye on all things in the network such as security and firewalls to unforeseen network failures, working swiftly to resolve issues before they cause disaster within a network.
Network operations provides a cohesive, detailed, and actionable plan to keep a network up and running with minimal error. When network operations are well run and managed with a cooperative team or NOC, an organization’s network has strong security measures in place, visibility into what is happening within the network, and the ability and insight to prevent and fix critical issues. Other benefits include cost reduction and less time wasted.
Well run network operations greatly impact an organization's ability to perform day to day tasks and a professional network operations Center is crucial. NOCs can be “in house” or run by a third party via a remote location. Sizes of NOCs may depend on the scale of the organization’s network, with some NOCs being much larger and intricate than that of a smaller organization. Challenges that face network operations may include using and leveraging different technologies, complicated troubleshooting processes, and the need for swift and effective decision making to resolve complicated issues.