What is Network-as-a-service?
Instead of setting up your own networking, (ouch – heavy infrastructure costs), with a NaaS model, businesses can lease networking from a cloud provider. This results in an easier to manage OpEx (operating expenditure) business model where enterprises and operators can pay for what they need, and let a vendor handle the hardware side of things. While traditionally, organizations would need to lay out ahead of time on routers, switches and licensing fees – with a NaaS model, all of this is taken care of behind the scenes, and businesses can simply provision new services as needed on the fly.
What are the Benefits of NaaS?
Like with any cloud-based model, Network-as-a-service simplifies how your organization can manage and consume services, in this case – networking! Here are some of the main reasons organizations look to NaaS.
Aligning spending with what you’re actually using makes sense. As demands scale, you can add capacity or services, and you don’t have to spend on issues such as upgrades, feature changes, bug fixes or even security patching. NaaS offers CI/CD pipelines that get capabilities and fixes up and running immediately.
Automation allows organizations to delight customers with tight SLA for onboarding and optimization, and full life-cycle management from the vendor itself. AI-driven functionality ensures that these SLAs are adhered to, and that capacity is never exceeded to ensure best in class performance and availability for the end users.
Unlike single networks or complex and high-latency technologies like VPNs, NaaS can provide true global coverage from anywhere, with a global network of connectivity via local IMSIs, offering negligible packet loss for connecting applications, users or machines. NaaS for IoT applications for example would provide seamless global connectivity for healthcare, manufacturing or logistics, to name just a few.
Proactive network monitoring is really important when you have thousands or even hundreds of thousands of devices or users to manage. NaaS often comes with security policy enforcement for data privacy and compliance, advanced governance to spot anomalies or spikes in usage, and can even be integrated with Business Support Services (BSS) capabilities to provide a full view of ROI.
No more being locked into conventional hardware or infrastructure, the cloud is as flexible as it comes. Add new devices, users or regions in a fraction of the time it would take when you build in-house, and offer flexible billing options like BoBo (Bill on behalf of), pooled pricing, bundles, or hierarchical billing systems for your specific requirements of consumption.
What Can Organizations Do With Network Slicing?
NaaS vendors usually offer network slicing, software-based automation that provides distinct, self-contained network segments, partitioned on common infrastructure. In this way, logical components can be separated, abstracted and isolated from the underlying resources. As your requirements change in real-time, network capacity can be allocated according to your exact need. At all times, there are shared resources such as storage and processing being used, but for issues such as security, compliance and bandwidth, the slices remain separate.
While network slicing is nothing new, the advent of 5G has made its potential much greater. NaaS vendors can now offer truly tailored connectivity packages to meet tight SLA requirements or critical IoT use cases, such as for a hospital or a manufacturing plant. The options for customization include the speed of data transfer, the quality and performance of the service, the security and governance needs, and even the services themselves. You could allow higher rates of data transfer for video streaming for example, or define latency minimums for machine to machine communications for vehicle to grid automotive cases, or remote telehealth.
A single network can be used to offer various services, reducing not just CapEx but also OpEx, and delivering new 5G network services much faster. As just the right amount of each of your resources will be given to each network slice, you could have a single network with a slice offering high-throughput, and another slice in the same network aimed for low latency and data provisioning. Clever, huh?
Want to discuss your own 5G rollout, and see whether network slicing could take your offering to the next level? Let’s schedule a call.