NaaS (Network as a Service)

Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) is one of many Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) solutions that allow customers to access tools and technologies via a subscription model. XaaS business models, which include Platform-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and Software-as-a-Service, promote cost savings, resiliency, and convenience. Network-as-a-Service is no different.

Like other as-a-service options, NaaS models require more operating expenses (OpEx) than capital expenses (CapEx). Ultimately, this scenario allows companies to have greater flexibility and choice over their operations. In a traditional network setup, companies pay for all physical infrastructure, including routers, licenses, switches, and on-site IT staff. 

NaaS allows companies to pay only for what they need – when they need it. By employing virtual network services, organizations can scale up or down as needed. They can also meet customers’ demands with greater alacrity and sensitivity.

Network-as-a-Service falls under the umbrella of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) options, though IaaS also encompasses compute and storage needs. As a subscription-based networking solution, NaaS is particularly ideal for companies without an in-house team of skilled IT workers. By employing outside services, businesses can reconfigure their networks on demand and as needed. They do not need to make permanent changes to their hardware.

NaaS typically utilizes a software-defined networking (SDN) architecture. In this environment, the SDN controller provides a centralized view of the entire network. NaaS providers typically run multiple data centers across several geographic locations – a strategy that proves useful in the event of a localized shutdown. 

NaaS offers many benefits, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Greater scalability 
  • Reduced capital expenses (CapEx) in favor of greater operating expenses (OpEx)
  • Strong IT security from NaaS providers well-versed in best practices
  • Access from anywhere and at any time
  • Visibility into application performance and the network’s overall infrastructure 
  • Flexible payment options to suit the enterprise’s needs
  • Support for lean IT practices elsewhere
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