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A network operations center (NOC, pronounced “knock”) is a location from which network administrators can monitor and manage one or more networks. It is sometimes referred to as a network management center. Some examples of the kind of networks that are controlled via NOCs are television broadcast, telecommunications, and computer networks. A NOC engineer is responsible for monitoring a network from this location and resolving any network-related issues.
In more detail
NOC engineers are constantly monitoring and troubleshooting one or more networks. They must therefore be aware of standard procedures, and coordinate with clients, vendors, and IT teams to ensure the best performance. This is especially true when the issues are too complex to be resolved quickly by the NOC engineers themselves. Then, they must refer to upper management or other experts.
Throughout their work, they are frequently in touch with customers, and help them with both technical and non-technical issues. This requires good communication and interpersonal skills. Finally, NOC engineers must provide detailed documentation about the issues and their resolutions, using a ticketing system to keep others up to date. It is a position that can vary a lot from day to day.
NOC engineers must be skilled in network support, administration, and management, and switching and routing. Prior experience in IT support or other relevant role is greatly beneficial. Other required skills include knowledge of VoIP technology, system administration, and Linux. Typically, companies seek candidates with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related field. Additionally, they should be analytical thinkers, and capable of solving problems creatively.
NOC engineers must also be comfortable talking to clients, possessing good communication skills. Good written communication skills are a plus, given the amount of reporting that this position consists of. Finally, NOC engineers must be interested in learning and stay on top of new developments in the field.