How NASA Can Help You NOC Out Network Problems

Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” – Jack Swigert, Astronaut

When Jack Swigert spoke those famous words (changed to “Houston, we have a problem” for the 1995 feature film Apollo 13), he made what some folks might consider the most famous tech support call of all time. You can actually learn a lot about the benefits of a Network Operation Center (NOC) by studying the Apollo 13 mission.

At 56 hours and 205,000 miles away from Earth, the three-man Apollo 13 crew experienced a catastrophic system failure and radioed NASA’s Mission Control Center (MCC) for assistance. With so many calculations and variables during the rescue mission, it is highly probable that without the collaboration of NASA’s MCC, the crew of the Apollo 13 mission would never have returned home.

This scenario naturally evokes all sorts of feelings of fear and awe. And it should. The oxygen tank that exploded aboard the Apollo 13 is the cosmic version of the worst-case-scenario that all IT providers work diligently to avoid. The NASA Mission Control Center is a model that has been applied to IT services to create a more efficient network and to track any possible anomalies or intrusions that may occur. Here’s how that works…

When you see the big room at NASA with all of the monitors and dozens of people intensely staring at computer screens, that’s the Mission Control Center. NOCs operate in a similar way and can be customized to fit each client’s monitoring needs.

For instance,a financial institution that encountered an after-hours intrusion would be notified by the NOC so that proper corrections could take place to remedy the error. Network monitoring is a 24/7 service that alerts IT technicians of any potential network issues that need to be addressed. The last thing you want is to be one of the “54% of companies [that] reported they have experienced downtime from a single event lasting more than 8 hours”.

The NOC can also be a network security hub. With industry forecasts reporting that cybercrime damage costs [will] hit $6 trillion annually by 2021, it’s more important than ever to spot intrusions early before they have time to do damage.

Picture an Apollo 13-esque IT scenario. It’s the day you run a Black Friday sales campaign and marketing has done an amazing job. The overflow of customers shuts down the site 20 minutes into the sale of the year. It’s 7AM and your IT guy can’t be reached. Let’s look at two possible outcomes:

  1. The website totally crashes. The sale is a bust. You lose out huge in profit. Your customers are angry and an influx of customer service complaints fill the queue.
  2. You decided to engage an MSP who has created a 24/7 NOC to monitor your network. The traffic anomaly is flagged instantly and technicians are able to switch over to your backup servers to handle the increased traffic. The sale is a huge success. You make a lot of money. You renew your MSP contract for another year, NOC included, because you’ve just found out first hand how valuable your NOC service is.

There’s no need to be a lonely astronaut…

Whether floating out in space or streamlining a network, it’s a great idea to have dedicated professionals available to monitor every bit of your progress. Please contact us to learn more about how to get network monitoring for you business.

“Houston, we’ve solved your problem.”