A NOC (Network Operation Center) Analyst plays a crucial role in analyzing system issues and breakdowns the moment they occur across enterprise networks of clients and other users. This analyst undertakes research to resolve the issue or alerts and escalates it to network engineers and senior systems administrators should it prove complex.
To begin with, NOC is a centralized location from which one or more telecom networks are keenly observed, administered, and maintained by administrators. The primary role of administrators is to ensure the optimization of network operations on various mediums. Typically, NOCs are managed by large network service companies by using the software. These centers administer telecommunications, IT, and television broadcast networks.
NOCs also oversee performance issues and power failures which affect the performance of networks.
It is the responsibility of the analysts to perform research and document best practices to keep problems in check. They, therefore, need to have in-depth knowledge of current client technologies and understand how their network’s operations may get impacted. Importantly, they need to work flexible hours, as issues crop up unannounced.
Besides addressing issues round-the-clock, NOC Analysts may need to undertake simple system administration assignments, including strengthening operating systems and applications and resolving network or system problems. They carry out technical analysis of breakdowns and system issues across networks of their clients. Analysts resolve all network issues promptly, classifying them for assigning to the proper technical teams who would detect and identify and, following that, would prioritize troubleshooting problems as per clients’ business objectives.
They sense, detect, and prioritize incidents as per the requirements of the clients' businesses and how it impacts them. Analysts then perform research to troubleshoot and resolve the issue or, depending upon complexity, escalate the issue to higher-level systems administrators and network engineers. The NOC Analysts are responsible for researching and documenting various mitigation strategies and must maintain current and thorough knowledge of customer technologies and their significance to customer operations.
Included in an analyst’s job is also gathering and assessing various systems’ performance reports, in addition to describing application performance and hardware trends to assist higher-level technicians in anticipating future issues or outages. Their responsibilities also encompass the observation of information from various sources and network systems, such as routers, switches, LAN/WAN systems, firewalls, servers, operating systems, and backup and so on.
Moreover, NOC Analysts also document all tasks as per client policies and processes, and they inform clients on breakdowns, the status of resolutions, and issues. They gather and analyze performance reports for systems to report trends in application performance and hardware to aid senior technical team members to forecast future problems or downtimes.
To successfully carry out the tasks mentioned above, analysts would need to work along with technical and service teams within the organizations and outside of it to create documentation for future use by complying with the standard policies and procedures of the organizations.
They perform elementary testing of systems and operational tasks, including the installation of patches, testing network connectivity testing, execution of scripts, etc.
Analysts are the point of contact for technical teams which will work to escalate issues for resolutions. They coordinate with different technical teams to manage uptime requirements. Analysts act as the intermediaries between clients and people who fix issues.
As part of NOC monitoring, they monitor all devices round-the-clock that connect to the Internet to ensure that it is functioning efficiently.
Education and Certifications
The minimum educational qualification for NOC Analysts is a high school diploma or equivalent with at least three years of experience of monitoring servers and networking systems in a large setup.
It is helpful if NOC Engineers have a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences. They must have prior help-desk experience.
Certifications from CompTIA in Network + and A+ and CCNA from Cisco are beneficial along with knowledge of network monitoring protocols, such as NetFlow, Syslog, SNMP, and others.
Besides, more companies are availing NOC services so that they can reap the following benefits.
- To get a quicker response for troubleshooting network issues.
- For tackling advanced security vulnerabilities.
- To reduce risks cost-effectively.
How much does a NOC Analyst make?
According to payscale, NOC Analysts earn $19 per hour, and their median salary is $20.82 per hour. The future seems bright for these people, as the BLS (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects jobs to grow by 11 percent during 2014-2024 for computer support technicians, including NOC Analysts because further support services will be required as enterprises keep upgrading their hardware and software.
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