Life in the Houston area can be a series of hard knocks – from Hurricane Harvey rolling in off the Gulf of Mexico, to unexpected power grid problems in the wake of February’s arctic freeze – but fortunately you can count on an important “NOC” to keep your network up and running.
NOC (pronounced “Knock”), short Network Operations Center, is PS Lightwave’s central nervous system.
“Our Network Operations Center is a group here at PS Lightwave that has a lot of responsibility including monitoring our network and interacting with our clients and customers,” said Swen Wulf, Senior Director of Network Operations, PS Lightwave.
PS Lightwave’s NOC is located near the Westchase District in Houston and is staffed 24/7/365 with administrators as well as data and support technicians supervising, monitoring, and maintaining the network.
NOC Staffed With Experienced Operations Teams
The NOC is staffed with PS Lightwave’s Tier-1 and Tier-2 experienced operations teams trained to provide nimble and responsive support. Customers and clients can easily open a ticket with the NOC by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 832.615.8000.
“It’s the first person you would talk to if you run into a problem and they also monitor all elements in the network,” said Wulf. “They are the central part that organizes and directs our in-house splicers and in-house crews if there is some kind of outage. They are the group that can escalate issues to the right departments.”
NOC employees undergo rigorous training to achieve their NOC and Tier-2 certification, a requirement for all PS Lightwave technicians.
Tier-2 personnel have a minimum of an Extreme Certified Network Associate (ECNA) certification and many pursue additional training and certifications.
PS Lightwave has a dedicated full-time trainer for Tier-2 personnel, keeping technicians up-to-date on the latest technology trends.
Day-to-Day NOC Roles and Duties
Even while you and your staff sleep, the NOC is managed by PS Lightwave employees who utilize sophisticated network management, monitoring, and analysis tools to make sure your business is always running.
Roles and duties the NOC assumes daily include:
- Answer inbound calls and provide quality assistance and support.
- Maintain and enhance data within all monitoring software to maximize efficiency.
- End-to-end trouble ticket handling, troubleshooting and resolution.
- Monitor network performance.
- Monitor network events and provide tracking information and notifications as required.
- Coordinate route detail and trace routes with the Field Operations Department.
- Coordinate notification and call outs with NetOps and Field Operations Department.
“Technicians do not leave the worksite until a problem is resolved,” said Wulf. “Everyone, from upper-level management to technicians in the field, work continuously to resolve any issues within hours, not days.
PS Lightwave acts as a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) via the NOC, helping clients and customers solve any issues and answer all questions. NOC staff can even address carrier issues that are not directly related to PS Lightwave services but run through the network infrastructure.
NOC is the Hub for Disaster Response
When natural disasters threaten the Houston area, the NOC is the hub of PS Lightwave’s response. From hurricanes to the COVID-19 crisis, the NOC is prepared and ready to respond.
“It starts with a plan and then you need to be prepared to execute it,” said Rhonda Cook, CEO and founder of PS Lightwave. “We reviewed and revised our Disaster Recovery plan prior to hurricane season, including planning for a potential storm while managing COVID-19.”
Last August, for example, PS Longwave put its Disaster Recovery Plan in action with two active storms brewing off the coast. NOC staff monitored the progress of the storms and took necessary steps to safeguard the network and connectivity of customers and clients.
While the storms thankfully dodged Houston, the NOC staff will be on standby and ready for the next potential natural disaster.
Benefits of NOC Support:
If your ISP and network provider does not have a fully staffed 24/7/365 NOC then your business will miss out on the following benefits:
- Monitoring all backbone links and network devices.
- Ensuring continuous operation of servers and services.
- Providing quality support for corporate customers.
- Troubleshooting all network and system-related issues.
- Tracking and documenting resolution of network requests and issues.
Contact PS Lightwave today to find out how our high-speed fiber optic network and our Network Operations Center (NOCC) can help your Houston-area business or organization.
PS LIGHTWAVE provides high-speed, fiber Internet for public and private commercial entities in the Greater Houston and surrounding areas.
Through our high-quality infrastructure, innovative technology and expert, locally based support, we deliver not only the best in connectivity and reliability but in scalability and redundancy. We invite you to learn more about our services, our history and our dedicated team.