Friday, October 10, 2014

Network-as-a-Service (NaaS)

Network-as-a-service (NaaS) is a business model for delivering network services virtually over the Internet on a pay-per-use or monthly subscription basis. From the customer's point of view, the only thing required to create an information technology (IT) network is one computer, an Internet connection and access to the provider's NaaS portal. This concept can be appealing to new business owners because it saves them from spending money on network hardware and the staff it takes to manage a network in-house. In essence, the network becomes a utility, paid for just like electricity or water or heat. Because the network is virtual, all its complexities are hidden from view.

For a NaaS model to be used in DCs, we believe that the following requirements must be satisfied:

Requirement 1:
Integration with current DC hardware. Existing DCs constitute a significant investment. The use of
commodity networking equipment, which typically lacks programmability features, reduces the cost of large DC deployments. For NaaS to become successful, it must not require expensive, non-commodity, networking hardware.

Requirement 2:
High-level programming model. NaaS should expose a programming model that is natural for software developers to use, hiding low-level details of network packet processing and not exposing the full complexity of the physical network topology in the DC.

Requirement 3:
Scalability and multi-tenant isolation. Compared to existing software-based router solutions , NaaS must be able to support a multitude of different applications, written by different organisations and running concurrently, unaware of each other. Therefore, to be successful, a NaaS model requires strong isolation of the different network resources offered to tenants.

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