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What is Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) and its Benefits?

  • Yashoda Gandhi
  • Feb 04, 2022
What is Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) and its Benefits? title banner

Network as a Service


Network as a service (NaaS) is a subscription-based business model for delivering enterprise-wide area network services.


Configuring and running routers and protocols, WAN optimizers, and other components like firewalls and software-defined WAN endpoints can be difficult. Those obligations are taken care of by a third-party provider and then made available to enterprise customers through NaaS.


Depending on the service provider, infrastructure functionality may be included in a single NaaS flat charge, or the organization may pay separately for each service, which may include optimization, firewall — or other security — and SD-WAN. Some NaaS providers specialize in certain areas, such as ultra-secure connectivity, ultra-simple configuration, or services for mobile and temporary locations.


Small and midsize organizations, particularly those without a previous WAN investment, are typical NaaS purchasers. Larger enterprises have become more interested in the possibility as a result of the advent of so many other service models in the previous ten years. NaaS appeals to new business owners since it eliminates a large portion of the capital investment cost for network gear. 


NaaS also minimizes the amount of time that network workers must spend maintaining the network, as well as the level of training and competence that network staff must possess. With NaaS, the network effectively becomes a utility, similar to electricity, water, or heat, that you pay for.


Instead of a hodgepodge of network management tools and stacks of hardware, IT employees control the organization's network through a portal in the NaaS business model. A new location can be connected to the WAN by connecting it to the NaaS provider's nearest point of presence (POP) through a leased line to a nearby data centre or via the internet.


(Must read: Introduction to Application Security)


How is NaaS different from PaaS and IaaS?


A vendor controls storage, hosting, compute, and networking resources for a corporation on a per-use basis with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The rates could be determined by the hour, week, or month.


Kelly Baig, director of As a Service Marketing for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise subsidiary, describes NaaS as a subset of IaaS. "Infrastructure as a service" (IaaS) is a term that refers to the flexible consumption of all infrastructure hardware, software, and services, such as computational power and servers, storage, and networking.


Instead of other infrastructure, a NaaS platform provides networking equipment as a service, similar to IaaS and another subscription option, Platform as a Service (PaaS). Butler explains that PaaS is mainly about application development environments. "Any form of infrastructure that is provided as a service is referred to as IaaS." So it might be computer storage, networking, or a combination of the two." (source)


According to Butler, the difference between NaaS and IaaS is that networking providers supply NaaS while cloud providers provide IaaS. NaaS can be integrated into an IaaS subscription or sold separately to businesses on-premises.


"NaaS will be a paradigm for organizations to consume their networking resources as a service versus Infrastructure as a Service, which is a manner of consuming infrastructure components as a service, more widely, typically in a public cloud," he continues. "However, it could be in a private cloud." 


Benefits of Using NaaS for business


Network demands for security, speed, and agility are rapidly increasing as the public cloud becomes the primary host for an increasing number of mission-critical applications. NaaS can solve these issues by providing simple, secure, and flexible business-critical connections that are available when and for as long as you need them.


Ethernet connections are provisioned directly by users through a customer portal, bypassing traditional manual service delivery processes and reducing wait times from weeks to minutes. It gives customers complete control over network assets, as well as the ability to adjust bandwidth requirements in real-time.


Employees use a virtual network managed by an external vendor but provisioned by the company to connect directly to their cloud services with NaaS.


  • Improves service quality


NaaS offers a variety of advantages, including higher sound quality, more effective call routing, and better network administration. Customers can concentrate on the quality of their work rather than being distracted by IT concerns.


The ideal NaaS partner will assist you in optimizing your network streams and ensuring that your data reaches the cloud in a timely manner. Your partner should conduct an in-depth research and documentation process before installing the solution, working with you to create a blueprint of your IT system.


  • Maximized performance and increased productivity


IT personnel (and other employees) can accomplish their everyday jobs more efficiently and effectively when your network is working at its best, with fewer problems and downtime. This increases overall productivity. The right NaaS partner will offer you monthly reports in advance, allowing you to spot problems and crucial trends.


A branch office hundreds of miles away, for example, maybe suffer significant latency as a result of a large software upgrade that the IT department is implementing all at once rather than staggered over time. You can take action to remedy the problem and prevent it from happening again by identifying the fundamental cause.


(Also read about: open cloud computing interface)


  • Access to expertise and experience


When you work with a NaaS provider, you gain access to an expert team of experienced, diversified, and qualified employees. From the planning stages to execution and long-term support, your chosen partner will be by your side throughout the project. 


When it comes time to hand over responsibility to the customer at the end of the project, your partner will assist you with training and knowledge transfer so you can operate the infrastructure on your own.


  • Reduced costs


Many IT expenditures are reduced using NaaS, including infrastructure, hardware, software, operations, and maintenance. The savings come not only from outsourcing but also from the knowledge and skills that NaaS providers may supply. 


The proper NaaS partner can help you get through the transition as painlessly as possible, reducing costs and errors while you deploy new procedures and equipment. Furthermore, most NaaS providers charge a periodic subscription-based fee, which helps you plan your monthly IT budget. (source)



Top Network as a Service provider of 2022


  1. Aryaka smart services


Aryaka offers a managed networking and security service based on SD-WAN and SASE architectures for global and regional deployments. The service is based on a scalable network consumption model based on OpEx. 


It only takes a few minutes to learn. Enterprises can use Aryaka's SD-WAN-as-a-Service offering to consume network services via its cloud-first network infrastructure.


Key features:


  • SD-WAN services can be delivered anywhere in the world in 48 hours.

  • A service's global point of presence (PoP) footprint.

  • It provides a variety of cloud edge services.

  • Aryaka's global NOCs are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure enterprise network uptime. 

  • Depending on the SD-WAN and SASE designs, specialized L2 connections as well as a controlled networking and security solution are available.


  1. perimeter 81


Network management and security are integrated with local and cloud-based resources like AWS, Salesforce, Azure, and Google Cloud through Perimeter 81's NaaS service. 


Authentication, Wi-Fi security, zero trust, DNS filtering, and breach prevention are all included in this cloud-native NaaS. It reduces network latency by bringing network resources closer to the point of use.


Key features:


  • Split Tunnel: IT professionals have the option of tunnelling all or specific subnets of their network traffic from client apps to the network-as-a-service.

  • Create profiles for users, groups, and groups:

  • Team members can be added and groups can be created to separate network access.

  • Encryption is used for all content and traffic sent over the network.

  • Connect their Cloud and on-premises systems with a connector or an IPsec site-to-site tunnel. 


  1. Cloudflare Magic WAN


With Cloudflare Magic WAN, legacy WAN designs may be replaced with Cloudflare's network, which provides global connection, cloud-based security, performance, and control through a single interface. 


It connects any traffic source, including data centres, offices, devices, and cloud properties, to Cloudflare's network in a secure manner. Users can create public and private routing policies to get traffic where it needs to go.


Key features:


  • The Magic WAN setting is stored on every server in every data centre at Cloudflare's edge. 

  • Collaborations with network on-ramp providers such as VMware and Aruba, as well as data centre providers such as Digital Realty, CoreSite, and EdgeConneX, to help businesses migrate their networks to the cloud using existing infrastructure.

  • Connect to Cloudflare using any available hardware.


  1. Cisco plus NaaS


The Cisco Plus brand encompasses a number of cross-architecture solutions that are offered as a service. Currently, these are a patchwork of tools with unified subscriptions, but that is quickly changing. 


Cisco Plus Hybrid Cloud, for example, delivers data centre networking, compute, and storage technologies in a consumption model.


Key features:


  • Cisco's SASE technology combines networking and security in the cloud.

  • Bare metal computing, edge computing, VDI, and virtualization are other NaaS variants in data centre networking.



  1. Akamai Aura Managed CDN


Akamai's Aura Managed CDN is a SaaS version of the company's flagship CDN solution. These managed CDN services include the ability for users to provide video streaming services and optimize their network for content delivery. They reduce deployment time and upfront costs.


Key features


  • Reduce complexity with an Akamai turnkey CDN service that is managed and controlled 24 hours a day.

  • The Aura Operator Interface is a performance and activity monitoring and reporting portal for network operators.

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