Organizations are moving at a more furious pace than ever to provision and manage their increasingly complex networks. With rapid growth of cloud and remote workforce connectivity making things ever more diverse, the demand for self service provisioning and simple network management is growing. Enter the latest buzz in the connectivity world, something known as Network as a Service (NaaS). Like most new technology solutions developing from the primordial ooze, the specifics around the feature sets of solutions in this space are still emerging. That said, it’s still important for network practitioners to understand the fundamentals and be aware of what is coming to market. While the solutions are so young, customers who are having early conversations with vendors can help shape the direction of this space.
So what is NaaS?
The essence of NaaS is building out network connectivity which looks a lot more like public cloud does: self service, on-demand and dynamic. There are a few flavors coming to light with solutions focused on embedding themselves into existing public cloud infrastructure that the customer manages, others building dedicated high performance traditional networks in strategic, densely connected data centers and some building their own purpose built software in their own cloud just for connectivity. Each approach has its own pros and cons which must be weighed to select the best fit. The one thing that is universal with each solution is that it is a mixture of software and hardware that creates a self service platform for clients. The power of this is that it enables network operators to integrate and secure many different networks with ease, without intervention required by service providers.
What is the use case?
NaaS will primarily ease interconnecting and securing disparate public single and multi-cloud infrastructure. For example, let’s say there are multiple regions on a single cloud provider or multiple different cloud providers that need to be interconnected. Perhaps there are multiple services on different networks that need to be segmented or to have security services applied. You can segment and apply security policy to these within the NaaS. Outside of cloud services, one may need to integrate and design a secure perimeter or segmentation for datacenter, SD-WAN or other WAN connectivity as well. Feeding all of this into a NaaS solution makes configuration, management and most importantly visibility of your traffic possible.
Is it for you?
If you are dealing with increasing complexity and having issues managing your datacenter, WAN and cloud connectivity infrastructure, you will want to explore what NaaS can do for you. There are many solutions emerging that WAN Dynamics works with today. If you would like to learn more about what NaaS can do for you, contact us! We’ll be happy to talk you through the options available to you and identify the best fit.
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