NOC NOC: Who’s Monitoring Your Network?

By Jeremy Ladner 5 min read

Blind faith in the stability of your network communications is an open invitation for disaster. Every operator knows that in addition to having redundancies in place, the best way to avoid downtime and maintain network availability is to continuously monitor performance and preventatively address maintenance issues.

A couple years back Forbes released an article quoting a Gartner study that estimated the per hour cost of network downtime at approximately $340,000. While the real-world price tag for outages will vary widely depending on the industry you operate in and the size of your organization, there is no doubt that prevention is preferable. 

For small to mid-sized networks, having a dedicated onsite Network Operations Center (NOC) staffed round-the-clock by experts doesn’t make financial sense – the upfront and ongoing costs are simply prohibitive. Unfortunately, that can leave network operators with the feeling that the only alternatives are to implement a layer or two of redundant architecture and then cross their fingers hoping for the best. 

Hope For The Best, Plan For The Worst 

A far wiser option than crossing your fingers and making regular sacrifices to the fickle network deities is to partner with an off-site service provider like Ceragon. Ceragon’s Managed Services offer affordable round-the-clock monitoring, management, and maintenance oversight giving you the confidence to concentrate on your core business while trained personnel are ensuring your network’s health.   

Recently Ceragon partnered with Kongsberg Maritime to provide Teesport, a large maritime port operator in the UK, with high-capacity low latency wireless connectivity for their microwave network. Teesport relies on the wireless network to operate its Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) systems, various RADAR sites, metrological sensors, hydrological sensors, and multiple CCTV security cameras. Countless customers rely on these connectivity services for a friction-free experience while traversing the port.  

To give you a sense of scope and scale, 28 million tons of cargo pass through Teesport’s facilities annually resulting in an estimated £1.4 billion contribution to the UK economy. Any network downtime for Tessport can have a devastating domino effect that can quickly ripple around the globe.   

Always On Guard 

During a scheduled network upgrade and expansion, Ceragon’s professional service team identified an undetected failure in the primary link path that had triggered the automatic rerouting of network traffic to the redundant backup. Because of Kongsberg’s inability to monitor the network in real-time, they were unaware that the issue existed, and that critical repairs were needed. Even more worrisome was the fact that without improved network visibility, they would have had no way of knowing about the failure until the temporary redundant path eventually failed, bringing down the entire network. 

Kongsberg recognized that the danger of future undetected network issues was far too great. Finding a cost-effective way to ensure the network was continuously monitored, managed, and maintained in real-time was critical. With no budget to set up and staff an onsite Network Operations Center (NOC) and no room to take risks with network health, Kongsberg turned to Ceragon for options. Ceragon responded with a tailored Managed Services solution perfectly suited to Kongsberg’s remote Network Operations Center needs. 

Partnering with the Right NOC Provider 

Ceragon’s NOC Managed Services provides a cost-effective solution for network operators of every size that require the peace of mind, performance, and cost savings that come with continuous 24/7 monitoring, management, and maintenance oversite. Ceragon’s dedicated NOC experts provided Kongsberg and Teesport with front-office and back-office services, handling everything from the simplest incident tickets to the most complex network challenges, ensuring the network is always operating at peak performance.  

When alerts or alarms do occur, Ceragon can often resolve them remotely. For more complex maintenance issues, Ceragon can advise field personnel during onsite maintenance visits.  

Peace Of Mind At Affordable Prices 

Using Ceragon’s 24/7 Cloud Hosted Remote Network Operations Center provided Kongsberg with all the monitoring coverage they needed to ensure optimal performance without the need to invest the CAPEX and OPEX in building and staffing their own onsite NOC. Happy with the savings and level of service since the initial implementation of the NOC, Kongsberg has expanded and extended their Managed Services contract. 

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