Cloud computing and the delivery of cloud services such as software, platforms, infrastructure and storage has greatly simplified operations for a wide range of companies and organizations by eliminating the need for on-premises hardware. Furthermore, it allows them to pay incrementally based on what is needed and used instead wasting resources on unused portions of packaged capacity, long-term contracts and lengthy processing times.
Now this philosophy is being applied to data networking with a relatively new cloud computing practice called Networking-as-a-Service (NaaS). Solutions of this type allow customers to flexibly purchase network capacity in increments as small as an hour and even set periods for capacity to automatically spike up or down for special circumstances, such as for a large-scale data backup. This trend is effectively “one of the final frontiers in cloud computing,” according to a recent article on the subject
Networking bandwidth under a NaaS setup can also be configured according to physical location, an essential capability in today’s business environment where data and applications are spread around the world and across the Internet. NaaS relies on another modern trend — software-defined networking (SDN) — to separate the network control function from the directionality of data and allow applications to dynamically manage their own networking requirements. This is especially effective for managing data and its connections between datacenters and cloud storage environments.
“NaaS makes it possible to consume network services without the need to own any of the infrastructure,” commented Malcolm Loro, Director of Industry Marketing and a network specialist at Ciena, a provider of carrier Ethernet solutions for broadband and telecommunications service providers. “All an organization needs is a computer to order the service and a sufficient Internet connection to enable service delivery.”
Modern network infrastructures are commonly criticized for their inflexibility, an attribute that is increasingly visible as consumers’ demand for faster network services outpaces infrastructural development. NaaS takes a unique approach that considers network and computing resources as a unified whole in order to optimize resource allocations and eventually bring cutting-edge technologies such as 100 Gbps services to the consumer sphere.
Ciena is one of many providers focusing on fleshing out the opportunities offered by NaaS and revolutionizing data transmission for companies around the world, with its sights set on eventually offering these benefits to consumers.