Table of Contents
The era of cloud consumption and digital transformation has greatly increased the demands placed upon enterprise networks. Time was, all your critical business applications lived on-premises, and this made connectivity (and security) fairly simple in most cases.
Today connectivity is anything but simple, with hybrid-cloud, multi-cloud, and SaaS forcing companies to think about networking in new ways. The Internet is critical infrastructure, physical connectivity is often impossible, and security is at the forefront. Most IT departments are ill-equipped to deal with the protocols, peering, and complex network topologies (often across infrastructure they don’t control) required to meet these challenges.
In response, we’ve seen a multitude of network-as-a-service (NaaS) products and platforms spring up to fill the need. NaaS comes in several flavors, but they all deliver value by making networking easy again—often easier than it was in the pre-cloud world, and certainly faster. NaaS, like most other XaaS offerings, does this by outsourcing the architecture, engineering, and operation of the physical infrastructure to a specialist, freeing you to focus on your business’ true differentiators, while also providing more visibility and control than you probably would have otherwise.
NaaS can be provided in several forms, such as those sometimes defined as “middle mile,” which includes vendors providing the following overlapping services: software-defined interconnection (SDI), software-defined cloud interconnection (SDCI), and software-defined Interconnect (SD-IX). In addition, the service can be provided by data center operators, software-defined-perimeter (SDP) vendors, managed software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) providers, and, finally, traditional telecommunications carriers (often using SD-WAN technology themselves). For a look at unmanaged, DIY SD-WAN options, check out the SD-WAN Key Criteria Report, also available from GigaOm.
The term network-on-demand (NoD) can be used synonymously with NaaS, as both refer to networks that are software-defined and can be programmatically altered. They also possess centralized administration tools and the ability to quickly turn services up and tear them down.
While NaaS can greatly simplify connectivity, and speed turn-up from months of build out to a few simple clicks, it does come with its own set of challenges. Before you choose a particular NaaS, there are several key elements to think about. What type of NaaS is right for you, and which specific platform meets your network and security needs? Are you looking to connect directly to your users, or is site-based connectivity more important? Do you need to connect a globally distributed set of data centers, or are you primarily focused on cloud connectivity?
This GigaOm Radar report details the key NaaS platforms on the market, identifies key criteria and evaluation metrics for selecting a NaaS, and identifies vendors and products that excel. This report will give you an overview of the key NaaS offerings and will help decision-makers evaluate existing platforms and decide where to invest.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Vendor Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.