Introduction

  1. What is Network as a Service?
  2. How NaaS is delivered?
  3. Features of Network as a Service (NaaS)
  4. Why isn’t NaaS widely adopted?
  5. Latency Equalization as a New Network Service Primitive
  6. Network as a service examples:
  7. Advantages of Network as a Service (NaaS)

1) What is Network as a Service?

Ans: Network as a Service, NaaS is either the sale of network services from third parties to customers or providing networking infrastructure to the customers, who are not interested in building their own networking infrastructure or their own applications.  

NaaS is a cloud – model, which provides network services over the Internet on a pay-per-use subscription model.

Network as a Service in cloud computing involves the optimization of resource allocations by considering the computing resources and the network, as a consolidated whole.

2) How NaaS is delivered?

To access a NaaS architecture, a customer is required to login to the web portal, to receive an online API. The customer :

  • Can customize a route.
  • Has to pay for the service used. 
  • Can turn off the capacity at any given point of time

3) Features of Network as a Service (NaaS)

Network-as-a-Service, NaaS, using virtual network infrastructures, permit access to network infrastructure directly and securely; making it possible to deploy custom routing protocols.

The providers of NaaS cloud computing manage the network resources, thereby decreasing the workload of the clients, reducing the level of training and skill required. As NaaS takes over, a network essentially becomes another utility, the clients pay for, like electricity, water, etc

NaaS has often been touted as a cost-saver since it functions in a virtual environment, but in reality, there are very little cost savings, arising out of migration, especially for small businesses. 

Astonishing, but true that in many cases, NaaS may have a higher cost than the one that is functioning alone. 

However, if labour cost is factored then NaaS can either provide some savings or be cost-neutral. Generally speaking, companies who subscribe to NaaS, don’t really ask for cost savings, but rather they look for ample technological and business benefits, as the machine has the feature of remote access. 

The organisations which witness sudden or seasonal outbursts in workload, NaaS aids in an instant ramp up or ramp down of the network utilisation or capacity, with just a few clicks.

4) Why isn’t NaaS widely adopted?

NaaS is not a new concept, but mainly due to 

Apprehensions surrounding the issue of availability of SLAs and concerns on security, data privacy and regulatory compliances, the business enterprises have been slow to embrace it. 

5) Latency Equalization as a New Network Service Primitive

Today, consumers use networks as an interactive platform for multimedia communications and entertainment. As a result, multiparty interactive network applications, viz. online gaming, teleconferencing, and online trading platforms are gaining significant currency among the netizens. 

To receive good interactive experience, these applications demand that delay – difference among the multiple verticals of service is lowered or minimized.

However, these approaches aren’t sufficient to address the needs of the multiparty – interactive – network – applications which to improve interactivity, require bounded delay difference across multiple clients.

In distributed live music concerts, individual musicians located at different geographic locations experience perceptible sound distortions on account of the latency differences among the participating musicians, severely downgrading the quality of the music.

The earlier techniques used to minimise lag times were:

  • Dead reckoning – the system uses previously received event updates to represent the new positions of a player. 
  • Bucket synchronisation mechanism – the packets received are normally buffered in a bucket – till the end of each bucket cycle, the server calculations are delayed. The performance of this method is significantly sensitive to the size of the bucket (time window) employed.
  • Timewarp synchronization scheme – Here before the execution of each event, snapshots of a game – state are taken. When late events occur, the game state is rolled back to one whose snapshots were taken, and the game is re-executed with new events. However, this method doesn’t scale well for fast-paced – high-action – games. 

In a recent research paper, on this topic, a team of three members has proposed a Latency (LEQ) Service, which has the ability to equalize the perceived latency of a multiple venue event or persons taking part in an interactive – network – application. 

Network support is very much essential to effectively implement the above mentioned LEQ Service service. The LEQ architecture generally puts a few routers in a network as hubs. They redirect packets of interactive applications along the paths, with a similar end-to-end delay. 

The team first formulated a hub selection problem, explored and proved its NP-hardness, and finally to solve, applied a greedy algorithm. 

Through sizeable amounts of simulations, the team showed that the said LEQ architecture was able to significantly bring down the delay difference under sundry optimization criteria, that either allow or disallow compromising, the per – user – end – to – end delay. 

The team concluded that its LEQ service can be incrementally put to use in networks, requiring only software modifications; to edge routers.

6) Network as a service examples:

In a holistic way, NaaS can be applied to a group of applications and services. Eg. Aryaka and Pertino provide WAN and secure VPNs as a service, Amazon, on the other hand, offers web-hosting, storage and private cloud as a service, while Akamai offers CDN as a service and some service providers offer “Bandwidth On Demand” in addition to the hosted networks as a service.

The benefits arising out of  NaaS is driving its market expansion. For example, in 2016, the Network as a Service market was valued at $1.85 billion, as per data from Stratistics MRC and by 2022 it may reach a massive $22.5 billion valuation; at a compound annual growth rate of 51.60%, over a six-year time period.

However, NaaS has to make sense in the context of a company’s infrastructure.

7) Advantages of Network as a Service (NaaS)

It reduces the time taken by the staff to maintain due to which the business grows.

The other benefits are:

  • Reduces costs. 
  • Proactive maintenance. 
  • Beef up of security. 
  • Increased levels of uptime. 
  • Improved Quality of Service. 
  • Maximize performance and increase. productivity. 
  • Optimize systems.

Conclusion

The team showed that through the addition of a few programmable hub nodes, it is virtually possible to achieve at the same time: LEQ routing and low latency routing service. 

The main features of the proposed programmable LEQ-routing architecture is:

  • Configurable deflection of packets at the edge nodes, 
  • Their flexible control and packet handling at the intermediate nodes. 

This will help the service providers to: 

  • Easily define the contours of new network services, 
  • Enable incremental deployment and finally, 
  • Reduce the time taken to market new services. 

It is also a cost-effective solution for trial deployments since the services are being configured over the same physical substrate network.

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