A Guide To Network Operations Center (NOC) Outsourcing

A Complete Guide to Network Operations Center (NOC) Outsourcing

With 91% of CIOs reporting that they experience downtime at least once a quarter,1 the importance of ensuring the availability and optimal performance of your company's network infrastructure is clear. Network outages can lead to significant productivity and financial losses – in fact, over two-thirds of all outages cost organizations more than $100,000.2 However, a well-managed network operations center (NOC) can proactively monitor and manage your network to minimize downtime and ensure smooth operations.

Unfortunately, many businesses struggle to maintain an effective in-house NOC team. Staffing a NOC with skilled personnel, keeping up with technological advancements, and managing operational complexities can be challenging, which is where outsourcing to a trusted NOC provider can help. In this blog, we'll explore outsourced NOC services, the benefits of NOC outsourcing, and what to look for in a NOC provider.

What Is a Network Operations Center?

A NOC is a centralized location responsible for monitoring, managing, and maintaining an organization's IT infrastructure, including networks, servers, applications, websites, and other critical systems. The services provided by a NOC typically include:

  • Event Monitoring: The NOC team responds to inputs from event monitoring and management systems, as well as calls, emails, and other sources. They monitor, detect, and process events and faults related to the organization's infrastructure and systems.

  • Incident Management: Using the NOC's IT service management platform or ticketing system, this process provides support when a network, system, or application event requires action. The event is recorded in a ticket with detailed information, and tickets are handled by NOC engineers and sent to other personnel as needed with updates until the incident is resolved.

  • Capacity Management: The NOC oversees the performance, utilization, and capacity of infrastructure components to ensure the company's business capacity, service capacity, and component capacity needs all continue to be met.

  • Troubleshooting and Resolution: NOC teams diagnose the root causes of incidents and formulate plans to resolve those problems. This typically requires reviewing trends, analyzing logs, and maintaining information about problems and workarounds.

  • Change Management: NOCs conduct changes to the supported infrastructure environment when necessary, including standard changes like resetting passwords, normal changes like upgrading devices, and emergency changes like rerouting network traffic in the event of an outage.


The primary purpose of a successful NOC is to ensure the availability, performance, and security of an organization's critical IT infrastructure so that it can continue operating without downtime. Some devices and systems NOC teams are responsible for include:


NOC teams monitor and manage various types of networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), metropolitan area networks (MANs), and cloud-based networks. They ensure network connectivity, performance, and security by monitoring traffic patterns, identifying potential bottlenecks, and resolving network-related issues.


NOC teams monitor and maintain physical and virtual servers to ensure their availability, performance, and security through server patching, configuration management, and capacity planning.


The NOC team monitors and manages business-critical applications to ensure their availability and performance. This includes monitoring application performance, troubleshooting issues, and coordinating with application development teams for updates and maintenance.


Firewalls are critical components of network security, and NOC teams monitor and manage these devices to provide proper configuration, firmware updates, and troubleshooting for any issues that may arise.

Wireless Access Points

In modern organizations, wireless connectivity is essential. NOC teams monitor and manage wireless access points for proper coverage, performance, and security.

Power and Facility Systems

NOC teams also monitor and manage power and facility systems, such as uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), generators, and environmental monitoring systems, to ensure the continuous operation of critical infrastructure components.

What Services Does a NOC Augment?

In addition to the core services provided by a NOC, these departments can augment or support:

Network Security

While a NOC isn't primarily responsible for the security of an organization's network, it plays a crucial role in supporting security operations. NOC teams can monitor and respond to security alerts from firewalls and security monitoring appliances, detect potential security breaches, and escalate incidents to the appropriate security teams.

Service Desks

NOC teams often work in coordination with a company's service desk, providing technical support and incident management. While service desks provide end-user support, the NOC interacts with IT staff and provides the necessary technical expertise.


What Challenges Do In-House NOC Teams Face?

Despite being an essential component of the technical support operation that keeps businesses running, many NOCs fail to deliver the desired service levels while draining significant financial and operational resources. In many cases, this is because NOC teams tackle a massive amount of tasks – while facing several challenges. Some common challenges an in-house team may face include:

Overburdened Staff

In-house NOC teams can quickly become overburdened with the volume of work, leading to burnout, decreased productivity, and increased risk of errors. When staff are overloaded, it can lead to slower response times, missed alerts, and an overall decrease in the quality of service.

High Costs

Staffing, training, and maintaining an in-house NOC team can be extremely costly, especially for smaller organizations or those with limited IT budgets. The costs associated with recruiting, onboarding, and paying employee salaries for skilled NOC professionals can add up, and the need for redundancy and backup personnel further increases these expenses. Additionally, the monthly cost of maintaining the necessary infrastructure and tools for a NOC can be substantial.

Poor Metrics Tracking

A lack of proper metrics tracking can lead to blindspots in the NOC's performance, making it difficult to identify areas for improvement or potential issues before they escalate. Without reliable data on response times, resolution rates, and other key performance indicators, optimizing processes and making informed decisions about resource allocation and prioritization can be difficult.

High Turnover

NOC positions can be stressful and demanding, leading to high turnover rates that further exacerbate staffing challenges and increase costs. High turnover rates can disrupt the continuity of business operations, as new staff members need to be trained and brought up to speed on procedures and systems. This can lead to a loss of institutional knowledge and expertise within the NOC team.

Difficulty Hiring

Finding NOC professionals can be a significant challenge, especially in highly competitive job markets. NOC roles often require a unique combination of technical expertise, problem-solving abilities, and strong communication skills, making it difficult to find qualified candidates. Plus, the demanding nature of NOC work can make it challenging to retain top talent over the long term.

Unstandardized Processes

Without standardized processes and procedures, in-house NOC operations can become inconsistent, leading to operational inefficiencies and increased risk of errors. Lack of standardization can result in different team members approaching similar issues in different ways, potentially leading to confusion and inconsistent outcomes. This can also make it more difficult to train new personnel and ensure smooth knowledge transfer within the team.

Lack of Business Continuity Plan

Many in-house NOC teams lack a comprehensive business continuity plan, leaving their organizations vulnerable to disruptions and prolonged downtimes. Without a well-defined plan for handling unexpected events, such as natural disasters, power outages, or cyber attacks, the NOC may struggle to maintain critical operations and minimize the impact on the business.


What Is Outsourced NOC Support?

Outsourced NOC support services are offered by specialized providers, where they take on the responsibility of monitoring, managing, and maintaining an organization's IT infrastructure. This service can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the organization, ranging from complete NOC outsourcing to augmenting an existing in-house NOC team.

When Should a Business Consider Getting Its NOC Outsourced?

Organizations should consider outsourcing their NOC support when they face challenges in maintaining an effective in-house NOC team or when they want to focus their resources on their core business activities. Some common scenarios where NOC outsourcing services can be beneficial include:

  • High operational costs of maintaining an in-house NOC team
  • Difficulty in attracting and retaining skilled NOC professionals
  • Need for 24/7 NOC monitoring services and support
  • Lack of expertise in managing complex IT infrastructure
  • Desire to focus internal resources on strategic initiatives
  • Need for scalability and flexibility in NOC operations

Pricing for outsourced NOC support services can vary depending on the service provider and the organization's specific requirements. Typically, pricing models are based on a fixed per-device or per-node fee, or they can be based on the actual NOC activity levels and support requirements over time.

What Are the Benefits of Outsourced NOC Services?

Outsourcing NOC services can provide businesses with several advantages, including:

Reduced Network Downtime

Outsourced NOC providers employ advanced remote monitoring tools to proactively identify and resolve potential issues, minimizing downtime and ensuring business continuity. By leveraging the expertise and resources of a dedicated NOC service provider, your organization can significantly reduce the risk of extended downtime and the associated costs and productivity losses.

Lower IT Costs

By outsourcing NOC services, you can avoid the high costs associated with staffing, training, and maintaining in-house NOC staff while still benefiting from expert support. Outsourced NOC providers can often achieve economies of scale and leverage specialized tools and processes, resulting in significant cost savings for their clients.

Scalability and Flexibility

Outsourced NOC providers can offer scalable, flexible services that can adapt to your organization's evolving business needs. As your IT requirements change, your NOC services can easily scale up or down to ensure seamless operations without the need for costly in-house expansions or reductions.

24/7 Technical Support

Outsourced NOC monitoring services offer around-the-clock monitoring and support, so any issues are addressed promptly – regardless of the time of day or day of the week. This can be particularly valuable for enterprise businesses with global operations or those that require continuous uptime for critical systems.

Access to Specialized NOC Experts

Outsourced NOC providers employ highly skilled and experienced professionals dedicated to monitoring and managing IT infrastructure. These experts are typically well-versed in various technologies, tools, and best practices, enabling them to provide comprehensive NOC support and proactive recommendations to support your in-house teams.

Focus on Core Business

With the burden of NOC services off your in-house IT teams' shoulders, they can concentrate on strategic initiatives that drive business growth and innovation rather than being bogged down by day-to-day monitoring and maintenance tasks.



What Should You Look for in an Outsourced NOC Provider?

Finding the right outsourced NOC partner to support your organization's unique needs can be challenging if you're not sure where to start. Here are some essential qualities to look for:

24/7 Monitoring and Support Capabilities

Outsourced NOC services should include around-the-clock remote monitoring and support to ensure your organization's critical systems are continuously monitored, and any issues are addressed in a timely manner. This level of vigilance is essential for minimizing downtime and ensuring business continuity.

Skilled and Certified Professionals

Look for providers that employ skilled, certified professionals with extensive experience in monitoring, managing, and troubleshooting complex IT infrastructures. These professionals should possess a deep understanding of various technologies, tools, and industry standards.

Scalable and Flexible Services

Your organization's IT requirements are likely to evolve over time, and outsourced NOC monitoring services should scale to adapt to your changing needs. Whether you need to scale up or down, a reputable provider should be able to adjust their support levels seamlessly to help your IT operations remain efficient and cost-effective.

Advanced Monitoring and Management Tools

Effective NOC services rely on advanced monitoring and management tools. Evaluate potential providers based on their toolkit capabilities to ensure they can provide comprehensive visibility into your IT infrastructure and employ proactive monitoring techniques to identify and resolve issues before they escalate.

Customizable Service Levels and Reporting

Outsourced NOC providers should offer customizable service levels and reporting capabilities to align their services with your specific needs. This may include tailored alert thresholds, escalation procedures, and reporting formats that provide you with the insights you need to make informed decisions.

Robust Security and Compliance Measures

Outsourcing your NOC services should not come at the expense of security and compliance. Look for a service provider that has robust security measures in place, such as data encryption, access controls, and regular security audits, to safeguard your sensitive data and network systems. Additionally, make sure they adhere to relevant industry standards and regulatory requirements to maintain compliance.

Transparent Communication and Collaboration

Evaluate potential outsourced NOC monitoring providers based on their communication protocols, responsiveness, and willingness to collaborate closely with your internal teams. A transparent and collaborative approach can foster a strong partnership and enable efficient issue resolution.

Overcome IT Challenges With TailWind’s Outsourced NOC Services

Maintaining an effective and reliable NOC is crucial for ensuring the availability and performance of your organization's IT infrastructure. However, managing an in-house NOC team can be fraught with challenges, such as high operational costs, staffing difficulties, and the need to fill a skills gap. Luckily, partnering with a trusted provider like TailWind for outsourced NOC services can help you overcome these challenges with expert, around-the-clock support.

TailWind helps enterprise businesses solve network problems quickly – or avoid them completely – with our local, scalable NOC as a service (NOCaaS) solution. Our skilled, U.S.-based professionals become an extension of your IT department, so you can quickly scale to meet your organization's planned and unplanned network expectations.

Ready to take the first step towards streamlining your multi-location enterprise IT? Reach out to TailWind today to learn more about our NOCaaS solutions.


  1. https://opengear.com/press-releases/new-research-only-9-of-global-organizations-avoid-network-outages-in-an-average-quarter/
  2. https://datacenter.uptimeinstitute.com/rs/711-RIA-145/images/AnnualOutageAnalysis2023.03092023.pdf