The ideal design will give the NOC its own dedicated room. A wall may be covered by video screens, each of which shows a real-time view of overall network performance, along with accidents and active alarms. The video displays are set up in a grid and connected so that they can function as a single high-resolution unit. The size of the physical space and NOC equipment depends on the size of the organization and the data center.
The video wall is where alerts will appear the first time, particularly showing technicians where a problem occurs and which device or line is affected. Video displays can also broadcast news and keep track of time to allow technicians to plan for current issues that may affect larger network operations. The video wall is also connected to individual workstations throughout the room, where technicians are responsible for monitoring a specific technology or critical point. From there, technicians can delve into related problems and follow the protocols that have been developed to resolve the incident.
Each workstation includes multiple monitors, making technicians analyze information and respond faster and easier. Each station is also connected to a type of public address system, which allows technicians to communicate with each other and share information in a timely manner. Technicians can also enter alert details on the video wall screen for all to review.
In large companies, you will often find a separate room dedicated to a team that handles serious network incidents.
Typically, a NOC will take a hierarchical approach to incident management. Technicians are classified - Level 1, 2 or 3, generally - based on their ability and experience in solving specific problems. Once a NOC technician discovers a problem, they will create a ticket that classifies the problem according to the type and severity of the alert, along with other criteria. If the NOC technician assigned to a specific problem level cannot solve it quickly enough, go to the next level and continue to escalate until the current problem is completely resolved.
The combination of powerful equipment and highly specialized personnel operating according to very specific protocols allows the NOC to operate non-stop.