While some individual NaaS components have been around for many years, NaaS itself is recently emerging as an increasingly popular option. IDC predicts that by 2025, Network-as-a-Service will make up about one third of all enterprise network infrastructure globally.
What Is Network-as-a-Service?
Networks as a Service, or NaaS, is a cloud model that allows organizations to utilize network solutions without owning, building, or maintaining the infrastructure itself. This delivery model allows technology teams to scale up and down as needed and work with experts to rapidly deploy services or security solutions in reaction to changing environments and business needs. In addition, NaaS alters the paradigm of costs in the network as it allows customer to eliminate the upfront hardware costs and pay via recurring monthly expense.
As an infrastructural component to a virtualized cloud environment, NaaS usually involves a VPN, SDN, or SD-WAN setup. It also frequently (though not always) includes Storage-as-a-Service, Compute-as-a-Service, and/or other value-added managed services.
The Benefits of Managed Network-as-a-Service
NaaS, when implemented well (more on this later), can offer improved agility, better business outcomes, and lower overall costs (IDC theorizes a potential five-year savings of 27%) when compared to an on-prem, single-tenant network.
NaaS Means More Predictable Monthly Billing
Traditional networking means high capital expenditures—all for an on-prem, single-tenant solution. These upfront investments can also suffer if there is unexpected growth or complications brought on by end user needs (such as COVID-19).
Advances in cloud and virtualization technology over the past several years have made it economically feasible for small and mid-size businesses’ IT organizations to get the same level of connectivity, security, and digital agility that large enterprises have long enjoyed.
The result: improved cost structures and simplified business-planning cycles. Network-as-a-Service offloads the CAPEX to the provider and replaces it with OPEX-based continuity—i.e., a more predictable monthly bill covering all usage and maintenance needs.
Improved Staff Efficiency
The 80/20 Rule of IT dictates that a typical IT department can expect to spend 80% of their time and resources on “keeping the lights on” (i.e., critical day-to-day maintenance)—leaving only 20% of time and resources for innovation and growth.
Legacy on-prem hardware can exacerbate this problem, especially in cases where you are expected to make the hardware last longer than it should. It can easily take multiple network administrators to keep an on-premises, single-tenant IT infrastructure operating smoothly 24/7. Even then, it can be challenging to meet ongoing monitoring, reporting, troubleshooting, and cache management needs.
With NaaS, managed IT services help “keep the lights on”—relieving in-house IT teams of much of that burden. This means that otherwise burnt-out IT departments can spend less time on infrastructure and more time on innovation, further adding to business agility.
A More Resilient Network
With this increased operational agility also comes decreased operational fragility. A virtual, cloud-based network controller—the central and typically most fragile part of a network architecture—is less likely to suffer hardware failures than is legacy networking equipment.
And when things do go wrong (or are about to go wrong), remote monitoring and management (RMM) from a Network-as-a-Service provider can help diagnose and repair problems faster and often in a less costly manner than a typical DIY on-prem model.
Expert Solutions with Expert Support
It’s surprisingly easy to get NaaS deployments wrong—especially when not working with a managed IT services provider. The wrong product, the wrong software, the wrong integration, the wrong services plan—any or all can sink a network implementation.
When partnered with a good as-a-Service provider, however, an organization deploying NaaS can enjoy access to dedicated experts with reliable monitoring and maintenance —helping to ensure minimized downtime and optimized network operations.
ComportSecure’s 24/7 service team, for instance, works to proactively partner with you on maintenance—solving, mitigating, and even reducing emergency needs. They’ll also partner with you on planning and implementation to en sure that you have the right technology while avoiding provisioning errors.
With this kind of NaaS partnership, you can expect to keep your costs low, your productivity high, and your users happy with your network.
To explore NaaS options and its benefits, contact us to get started.