NOC: An MSP’s Guide to Network Operations Centers

MSP, MSP Tips
NOC- Network Operations Center

Network operations center (NOC) services, in the context of modern-day IT managed services, typically involve the delivery of IT services that focus on endpoint monitoring and management. Endpoints, in this context, refer to servers and workstations (desktops and laptops) as well as network (SNMP) devices.

A NOC services company is a third-party resource that delivers these IT services on behalf of the MSP. Usually, the NOC services company provides 24x7x365 services. This 24×7 support can, in and of itself, be a value add for the MSP.

MSPs commonly provide many of the same services to their clients. However, the problem arises when their technicians get overwhelmed handling service tickets and alarms that take up most of their time. It’s often difficult for MSPs in this situation to grow their business. They find themselves under pressure to hire additional technical staff to manage a larger number of endpoints, but either cannot afford to do so or are unable to find qualified people.

Work Overload for MSPs
Work Overload for MSPs

To ease the workload on their technicians, MSPs can offload certain endpoint monitoring and management tasks to a NOC services provider and divert their technician time toward more strategic, revenue-generating activities. The diagram below illustrates how the NOC provider absorbs a large percentage of the alarms coming from the customer base. Only valid alarms that cannot be resolved by the NOC team are passed on to the MSP.

Offloading Endpoint Monitoring Services to a NOC Provider
Offloading Endpoint Monitoring Services to a NOC Provider

NOC services typically have relatively low costs compared to the costs involved in hiring additional staff. As a result, the gross margins can be significant.

Learn more about how you can leverage NOC services to accelerate growth and increase profitability right here.

What Does a Network Operations Center Do?

A typical NOC services provider offers services like:

  • Server and workstation monitoring and management of alarms
  • Network device (SNMP) monitoring
  • Server and workstation patch management
  • Backup management
  • IT security services, such as antivirus/anitmalware (AV/AM) deployment and management
  • IT project-based services, such as new customer onboarding

NOC vs. SOC

As shown in the list above, a NOC services provider concerns itself with monitoring and managing endpoints. This can include some security-related services such as AV/AM management and software patch management. However, a security operations center (SOC) goes much deeper into the business of protecting its clients’ infrastructure and data from cybersecurity threats. This can include everything from basic security tools like firewalls to SIEM solutions. The SOC provider looks for potential threats, such as anomalous activity on the network, and investigates them. It then takes action to prevent or contain the threat.

Companies, of course, need NOC and SOC technicians working together, as they are both vital for business continuity.

How is a Network Operations Center Different From a Help Desk?

An IT help desk is generally an in-house team of IT support technicians that troubleshoot end-user issues. Technicians respond directly to the user to resolve technical problems as they arise, and hence, are mostly reactive.

Unlike NOCs, help desks do not proactively monitor client networks for potential issues. Some NOC services providers do include the help desk function as part of their offerings. However, many MSPs prefer to retain the help desk function rather than off-load this to the NOC services team because they prefer to keep control of the customer-facing functions.

Kaseya NOC Services

Kaseya NOC Services enables MSPs to expand their customer base and footprint without expanding their resources.

Kaseya NOC Services
Kaseya NOC Services

It includes round-the-clock endpoint alarm management, backup management, patch management, and AV/AM management.

With Kaseya NOC Services, you can:

  • Grow your business without adding to your headcount
  • Enhance your profitability with 24*7 services
  • Reduce delivery costs and drive sustainable gross margins
  • Free up resources for strategic growth

Kaseya NOC Services’ à-la-carte’ pricing model allows you to choose the services that matter to you. You can mix-and-match the modules that suit your needs.

Learn more about Kaseya NOC Services by downloading the product brief here.

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