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I think you are referring to messages distributed by the Fast Application Notification facility. If you don't use FAN, you do not need to start the ONS.
Oracle Certified Master DBA
1. Oracle Notification Service (ONS) : This function facilitates a bridge between middle-tier servers or applications to transport these events to application logic for handling or reaction.
2. ONS is part of FAN (Fast Application Notification).
3. srvctl utility can be used to create, manage and remove ONS.
Hope it helps...