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Demystifying The Different Types of Command Centers - (Updated 2024 & Pictures)

Updated: Feb 27

What is a Command Center?

Command centers serve as a centralized space to monitor, control and operate operations. Due to the sensitive nature of certain application, command center are often highly secured and designed to ensure the performance of daily operations under various circumstances 24/7/365. Often referred to as “CC”, command centers are used in multiple applications including air traffic control, network operations, security and process control. The command center being one of the most critical areas of organizations, each industry requires unique tools to effectively manage its operations. In this article, we will review different types of command centers based on different applications.


Network Operation Centers (NOC)

Also known as “Network Management Center”, network operation centers serve to monitor and troubleshoot specific network or software related issues. NOCs responsibilities may include the software distribution, router updates, domain management, software DDoS attacks troubleshooting, power outage and network failure repair. Tasks are performed by IT technicians over computer, telecommunications or satellite networks. IT service providers (MSP) use NOCs to ensure 24/7 service for their clients. MSP NOCs can be maintained in-house, outsourced to a third-party, or use a mix of both solutions. If an issue were to occur, NOC IT technicians are trained to quickly identify the origin of the failure and reduce down times which result in large capital or physical damages for organisations. In terms of the layout, IT technicians to work with multiple monitors thereby requiring specialized furniture solutions such as consoles, video walls portray details of highly significant alarms, ongoing incidents and general network performance. Other common equipment found in network operation centers includes KVMs, rack installations, IP-PDU setup, and server cabling that ensure the reliability of the network.

Learn more about Sustema's command center consoles & technical furniture.


Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) / PSAP

Emergency operations centers (EOC) are central command and control center facilities in charge of managing emergencies during critical events. EOCs are found in many nations at the government level as well as in corporations dealing with a large number of employees and assets. EOCs may be located near emergency communications center (ECC) also known as a public safety answering point or PSAP. PSAPs are in charge of answering 911 emergency calls and providing help to callers. 911 dispatchers redirect the calls to the relevant agencies; For instance, firefighters, police, medical and ambulance services. Organizations such as the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and the Association of Public-Safety Communications (APCO) are responsible for setting industry standards and advancing the implementation of new technologies in the industry. For instance, the Next Generation 9–1–1 (NG911) is an initiative which will enable PSAPs to respond to text messages, images, and video.

Learn more about Sustema's ergonomic dispatch consoles adapted to the needs of 911 dispatchers and call takers in the PSAP.


Security Operation Centers (SOC)

Security operations centers commonly knows as the SOC is a specialized facility in charge of managing security issues within a building, facility or operation. SOCs are often equipped with data processing technology to monitor and control various functions including alarms, doors, and entry barriers. Similarly, information security operations centers also referred to as ISOCs are dedicated departments in charge of handling critical information systems and endpoints surveillance. SOCs can be found in airport customs, law enforcement and various other agencies requiring some degree of 24/7 surveillance capabilities. The SOC ensures that security protocols are being followed during critical events as they are the first to be notified of incidents. For example in an airport, the SOC is responsible for handling issues pertaining to contraband, weapons, hazardous materials but also issues regarding flight delays, passenger injuries, and damaged equipment. SOC infrastructures are equipped to protect sensitive data and comply with industry or government regulations. For instance, technical furniture & consoles, firewalls, IPS/IDS, breach detection solutions, event management (SIEM) system, telemetry, packet capture, Syslog, and other methods so that data activity can be correlated and analyzed by SOC staff.

Sustema's control room consoles are ergonomically designed to handle multiple monitor for surveillance applications and include all the power/cable management system required in IT intensive environments.


Tactical Operation Centers (TOC)

The tactical operations center also known as TOC refers to a command post for law enforcement and military applications where a small groups of officers and military personnel guides members on the field providing them with tactical support during missions. TOCs are mainly comprised of security analysts responsible for analyzing and reporting incidents during critical situations. Since communication is crucial for the success of operations, TOCs are often designed to provide line-of-sight communication between team members and the operation officer or commander. TOC facilities will often be equipped with a video wall systems and 24/7 consoles to provide situational awareness for this matter. Considering the degree of sensitive information that is managed in this type of command center, TOCs operate advanced computer systems to keep track of operational progress and maintain active communications with personnel on the field. Note that smaller TOCs setups such as temporary tent outposts and vehicles/vans bring an array of supplementary security issues to consider.

Learn more about Sustema's tactical operation center consoles and modular video wall solutions.


Combined Operation Centers (COS)

Combined operations centers are large common areas overseeing the operations of various sub-divisions. This type of command center is often utilized for air and space traffic control, broadcasting and process control applications. For example, in the U.S., the Air & Space Operations Center (AOC) integrates multiple divisions into one strategic center to benefit from increased coordination among different actors and access to specialized information. The divisions managed under this COS include the strategy division (SRD), the combat plans division (CPD), the combat operations division (COD), Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Division (ISRD), and the Air Mobility Division (AMD). Whenever more than one military division is needed, for instance the naval or aviation divisions, these can be incorporate into the Joint Air and Space Operations Center (JAOC). In a case where the international operations (NATO) pertaining to the air and space sectors are needed, the AOC joins to become the Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC). The objective of the CSpOC is to form a centralized command hub to coordinate worldwide efforts such as space forces.

Learn more about Sustema's combined operation center consoles and modular video wall solutions.

About Sustema Inc.

Over the last 20 years, Sustema has successfully helped thousands of customers in North America to organize and manage their mission-critical command centers, 911 dispatch centers, war rooms, IT labs, data centers, and collaborative environments.


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