Stands for "Network Operations Center." It is the central location where a company's servers and networking equipment are located. The NOC may reside either within a company's campus or at an external location. Smaller businesses and organizations often have an internal NOC, in which local technicians administer and monitor the servers. Larger companies may have a NOC setup at a location developed specifically to house server equipment.
Network operations centers, often called datacenters, are almost always connected to a high-speed Internet connection. Large NOCs, such as those used by Web hosting companies, are often connected directly to the Internet backbone. This gives the servers the most bandwidth possible.
While NOCs are used by all Web hosting companies and ISPs, they are also useful to companies whose services are not related to the Internet. Many companies use a NOC to manage internal communications, administer employee e-mail accounts, and backup data. Because maintaining an Internet connection is vital to most businesses today, most NOCs are monitored 24/7, with automatic alerts that notify technicians when servers or network connections are down.