Exactly what is NaaS?

Today, NaaS means an all-around moving target that’s vulnerable to hyping. There are however some very strong definitions of NaaS (Network as a service).

A NaaS model combines hardware, software, licenses, and support services that are delivered flexibly on a consumption or membership basis.

Network service providers own, install, and use the gear, rather than companies having to buy, install, and use the hardware, and companies pay for the network services through a monthly membership.

A NaaS may include one or more of the following levels:

Membership equipment:

Instead of buying directly (Capex), you pay a monthly membership (OpenX) for the equipment, but still, install and use it.

Managed Service:

Equipment is available on a subscription basis and a managed service for its use.

True NaaS:

The service provider owns, installs, and uses all the equipment, and you just pay a monthly fee for the turnkey service.

Newer service providers are creating SD-WAN or other NaaS offerings without owning any of the underlying infrastructures.

Even within a single enterprise, the delivery of a virtualized network infrastructure that is separated from basic network infrastructure could be described as a NaaS.

NaaS relies on network virtualization, which allows network structures to be separated (or disconnected) from physical network gadgets and the gadgets that use them.

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In essence, NaaS allows organizations to consume and scale their products and services based on what they need based on the necessities of their businesses.

NaaS: how is it implemented?

Cisco Plus is an excellent example of how NaaS can be used within an organization. It presently offers two flavors of Cisco Plus service, which the company hopes to expand to include a deluge of Cisco Plus options in the future.

A Cisco Plus Hybrid Cloud solution combines computing, networking, and storage resources for the organization’s data center, along with third-party software and storage components, which are all controlled by Intersight’s cloud software. A user can select the level of planning, design, and installation service they want through the API. In Cisco’s Cisco Plus Hybrid Cloud, which will be available mid-year, a membership fee will be charged as well as orders delivered within 14 days, Cisco mentioned.

Another Cisco Plus service combines Secure Access Services Edge (SASE) components such as Cisco SD-WAN and cloud-based Umbrella security software.

There are other ways to deliver NaaS services. In many organizations, traditional telecommunications network providers provide services that can be considered as NaaS offerings.

Metropolitan Ethernet services, L2VPN networks, L3VPN networks, including IPsec and MPLS VPNs, and all the more recent SD-WAN services give a virtualized connection service that gathers the hidden physical network. Additionally, some contributions to network availability incorporate virtualized features like virtual CPE, firewalls, and remote gateways.

Megaport and PacketFabric, for example, own the network infrastructure but focus on providing a narrower range of highly adaptable and practical NaaS contributions, sometimes called software-defined interconnection services. They are primarily motivated by facilitating connections between public clouds and other service providers at large investment destinations and Internet passageways.

Providing NaaS contributions like SD-WAN or other technologies without owning any basic infrastructure is becoming increasingly popular among upcoming service providers.

A NaaS provider such as Alkira can offer a completely virtualized platform that is based on the infrastructure of a public cloud provider. When someone says “NaaS,” they might immediately think of a service offering like that, but it would be a mistake to define NaaS solely as such.

Companies can either pay for a NaaS in advance or through monthly or yearly invoices, with the buying process typically taking one to five years. Pricing is determined by components such as the number of users, square footage, and bandwidth used, or by all of the above.

The importance of SD-WAN in networking services:

Organizations are searching for solutions to improve their networks’ adaptability and responsiveness to their needs as change continues. When it comes to managing IT infrastructure, business leaders often face the following challenges:

  • Cost management for networks
  • Streamline networks by reducing complexity
  • Also, improve the performance of the application while increasing its adaptability

There is no way to put into words the significance of these issues, which is one of the reasons SD-WANs occasionally existed around the mid-2000s. The SD-WAN started flourishing to resolve these problems just around 2014.

Through the insight into these networks, WANs can be scaled much faster in response to changing business needs thanks to a much greater level of independence.

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