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Setting Up A Network Operations Center

It took an integration of humans and machines at Mission Control to get Apollo 13 safely back to earth. Yes, a little exaggerated, but that’s the essence of a Network Operations Center (NOC).

A Network Operations Center is too important to fail. At Nasa, you can ‘scrub’ a launch for a variety of reasons beforehand, however, once it’s in flight, you can’t. Your business or agency is a 24/7 live, breathing and functioning operation. Your credibility and reputation are always on the line and need to be online, up and running and operational.

At Data Projections, that’s what we do. We create and design Network Operations Centers (also known as a Network Management Centers) to keep your company operating efficiently—from routine phone calls to communicating with field service reps to crisis management.

SETTING UP A NETWORK OPERATIONS CENTER IS NOT FOR THE AMATEUR ELECTRONICS ENTHUSIAST

The biggest issue is thinking you can do it yourself. This is something best left for our professional staff of A/V integrators. At Data Projections, our A/V Integrators can help design and construct your equipment needs based around your current and future organizational needs to maximize your operations.

  • Do you know the right equipment for your needs and purposes?
  • Can you maintain that equipment?
  • Do you have clean rooms and climate control?
  • Do you have a contingency plan if something does fail?
  • Can you replace it quickly and efficiently?
  • Most importantly, can your business afford for your equipment to fail?

BUSINESSES, PUBLIC UTILITIES, AIRPORTS, WEATHER MONITORING, SECURITY COMPANIES, UNIVERSITIES OR GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

If you have customers, employees or the general public that depend on your network, it can be critical to your operations to have the ability to navigate through an array of options to avoid issues down the line for a Network Operations Center.

A/V Integrators are experts in simplifying the options in a critical space and time of monitoring a vast array of possible inputs (information) and combining it with the ability to analyze, predict, communicate and store that information for future use.

This can range from NASA to Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) in a Network Call Center fielding customer service questions or complaints.

COMMON ISSUES

  • The Internet goes down.
  • A power outage.
  • Computers or tele-communications go down.
  • Instant crisis alerts over your network.
  • Routine network monitoring.
  • But most importantly—planning, planning, planning.

A NETWORK OPERATIONS CENTER IS MISSION CONTROL

It’s the central optic nerve. Desks typically set in rows, and all persons at these desks have a specialty—they may all need to view and see live monitors (video walls) in real time. These monitors are communicating everything from airplanes to bandwidth and broadcasts to cloud formations. Every specialist also has their own monitors or screens, but they can also see how their specialty plays a part in the bigger picture.

What if any one of these monitors goes dark? Your company needs to be designed to get you back up and running quickly. Our A/V Integrators at Data Projections can help you design the space and choose the equipment needed to create and keep your NOC running.

PREDICTABILITY

What if your operations depend upon service technicians? Maybe you just need to monitor general performance of your network. Or, maybe, there are recurring incidents in a particular area. Or, an alarm bell sounds on one of the monitors. Having the right equipment to be able to monitor your company’s operations is critical to the success and customer and employee satisfaction of your company.

We have the ability to design and install Network Management Systems that will help you see and predict issues before they become problems for your network communications.

NETWORK OPERATIONS CENTERS ARE HUMAN INTERFACE CENTERS

Just as every human has a spinal cord, every Network Operations Center has a backbone. One of the most common names is a Central Apparatus Room (CAR). However, these NOC backbones can go by different names, including:

  • Central Machine Room
  • Central Equipment Room
  • Central Technical Area
  • Rack Room

THESE ROOMS TYPICALLY STORE YOUR SERVERS TO ALLOW INFORMATION TO FLOW IN REAL TIME TO YOUR NETWORK OPERATIONS CENTER (THE OPTIC NERVE)

But, they can and do house more equipment, such as:

  • GPS Receivers
  • Integrated Receivers and Decoders (IRD)
  • Broadcast Delays
  • Camera Control Units (CCU)
  • Multiplexes
  • Network Switches
  • Video Routers and Servers
  • Audio Monitoring Tools and Audio Routers
  • Encoders
  • Fiber Optic Transmitters
  • Plus, many, many more equipment options.

Depending on your operation, if any one of these devices fails, it can and does inhibit your ability to see and interact with your customers or employees.

CONFIGURATION AND INTEGRATION

This is vital not only for live operations, but also for service-ability. Equipment can and does go down. If a server fails, can you get a replacement up and running again quickly? Just for normal operations, you want a Central Apparatus Room designed and configured so your equipment can be interchanged and serviced quickly and efficiently.

What if you are on a growth trajectory? Is the room configured in a way that is scalable as your company grows?

This all happens in the design and layout stage. Our A/V integrators can help you to develop these layout and design configurations, as well as hardware and software needs on the front end.

CLIMATE CONTROL

A Central Apparatus Room can and does generate a lot of heat with all the electrical equipment. What if a server goes down, and then another, and then a video screen, and then a PC monitor goes dark? It can have a domino effect. Heat, humidity and ventilation are all important considerations when designing your company’s NOC.

Just as they say in the restaurant industry, location, location, location, at Data Projections, we believe in planning, planning, planning. Every NOC needs to be built in with not only layout, design and functionality, but also contingencies in place.

NETWORK SWITCHING CONTINGENCIES

A hurricane, a tornado, or a tree falling over a power line can create a power outage in a local area. It’s important to know on the front end what you might need down the line.

Your organization may currently have multiple call centers or multiple Network Operations Centers with the ability to transfer monitoring, crisis management or routine phone calls to another location if one happens to go down. A properly designed NOC or network of NOCs will allow you to continue to monitor, take calls and remain operational.

At Data Projections, we can design with you to place your potential future plans up front for your NOC, or design with multiple NOCs already in place to keep your network flexible, operational and scalable.

Again, an NOC is something that is just too critical to allow to fail. Response time is now one of the most critical deciding factors for customers and employees alike. Be on the cutting edge with Data Projections and let us help you design and build a Network Operations Center with our professional staff of A/V Integrators so you can keep your operations issue-free.

Robby