Ask an expert: Is Network as a Service right for my organisation ?

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29/04/19

Jacob QnA

Jacob Billings

Technical Solutions Architect, Softsource

Every organisation is attempting to keep their employees and customers connected on more devices, and in more locations. Guaranteeing that connectivity isn’t always easy or cost-effective. At the same time, we’re seeing the rise of software defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) and the new model of Network as a Service (NaaS) which are both promising to solve many common networking issues for growing organisations.

To find out how these solutions can keep your organisation connected, we spoke to Jacob Billings, Technical Solutions Architect from Softsource.

What are the most common network problems you often see?

Typically, with the number of mobile devices growing alongside cloud apps, it’s usually a network that can’t cope with the overall growing demand. That, and a lack of visibility and governance.

Aruba Central solves part of the problem through simple and secure cloud management for multi-site organisations. Aruba ClearPass also provides dynamic role-based access control for seamless security enforcement and response across wired and wireless networks.

Organisations are sometimes hesitant to implement new infrastructure because of the associated complexity. How challenging is it to implement a SD-WAN solution?

SD-WAN overall is much easier to implement than people realise. It is simple to install, simple to manage, and simple to run.

Aruba in general is an easy fix. Access points and switches take very little time to install, and with a cloud-managed solution, all the management side of things can be handled from a single dashboard. But if it’s still too tricky, Softsource can handle it all for you in the form of a fully managed service.

What led Softsource to develop the NaaS solution?

We noticed there was a growing need for this type of offering. Many organisations were looking to scale up their operations and introduce new sites, but were finding their legacy network infrastructure was hampering their progress.

More organisations were moving to consumption based models across their technology environment, and we know that many businesses now prefer to pay for infrastructure on a subscription model, as opposed to over extending themselves on capital expenditure.

Which types of organisation are best suited to use a NaaS solution?

Basically, any organisation can benefit from a NaaS solution. Also, for WAN as a Service, we’re seeing the benefits really kick in for customers that have three or more sites, and a distributed workforce. There is a strong case for organisations who are trying to get new sites up and running, and are trying to cope with exponentially growing demand across their network.

We know that the network has become one of the greatest sources of frustration for IT teams who need to deliver always-on services to an increasingly mobile and dispersed workforce. Rather than over-investing in network infrastructure outlays, they need a flexible and scalable option to meet their current and future needs.

What benefits will organisations see in the short term?

For a simple monthly fee, a NaaS solution provides all of the service and connectivity you need, and you can adjust your network capacity from month to month. This level of control offers our clients the financial agility they need to explore new opportunities as they arise.

As part of the service, you can expect increased bandwidth, low latency, and all the benefits associated with a reliable, always-on network. From a user management perspective, it also provides a more seamless and secure on-boarding experience, so the network is no longer the number one cause of IT headaches.

A NaaS solution also drastically reduces the complexity of managing network infrastructure. Very few businesses would’ve built their competitive advantage around troubleshooting network problems. So there is no reason to waste resources and time on the basics of keeping their network running smoothly when someone else can do it for them.

For a simple monthly fee, this is a fully scalable solution that:

  • • removes network management complexity
  • • delivers advanced security
  • • optimises network operations for increased capacity, flexibility and performance
  • • increases service velocity lowers operational costs while freeing up IT personnel
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Is a NaaS solution a viable long-term option?

Because a NaaS solution is built on a software defined platform, it is both highly scalable and affordable. Being scalable, it’s a smart solution for addressing your immediate network needs, and will also allow you to scale up your network as demand dictates in the future.

Capital outlays for network infrastructure can be astronomical if we have to provision for what we may need in the future. A NaaS solution allows organisations to free up capital for investing in the technology that will actually provide longer term value for them.

Are there any other tech developments coming in the future that will have a significant impact on the way organisations consume network services?

The Internet of Things (IoT) will have a massive impact on people’s networks in the coming years. Numbers are expected to skyrocket from an IoT perspective, and all these devices will need to have access to the network.

This means demand is only going to increase exponentially over the next decade, so having a network that is highly scalable is a strong business decision for both the short, and long-term.

Softsource now delivers Aruba’s industry-leading SD-WAN through the cloud for a simple monthly fee. To find out if our industry-leading NaaS solution is the right fit for your organisation, simply book a consultation with a Softsource Network Specialist to discuss your current capabilities and strategic direction. Our team of network experts will then make recommendations, and architect the best solution to meet your specific requirements and budget.