Network as a Service

What Does Network as a Service Mean?

Network as a service (NaaS) is a subscription-based delivery model that combines infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) with network and security services such as load balancing and unified threat management (UTM).


The delivery model allows NaaS customers to scale infrastructure up and down as market demands change and reduce operating expenses (OpEx) for network licenses, hardware, software and management tools.

The adoption of NaaS is being driven by advances in software-defined networking (SDN) and a need to simplify enterprise WAN management. Vendors in this market space include Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks and IBM.

Techopedia Explains Network as a Service

Network as a service arose out of a very specific IT phenomenon. Around 2015, companies started to look more closely at the concept of SDN or software-defined networking. As this software-defined networking advanced, instead of utilizing hardware switches and nodes to drive network activity, companies started to virtualize the network process and use virtual logic entities to control the network. Network control became more centralized. Companies figured out how to untether network functionality from the physical infrastructure that used to be a prerequisite for company networking.

Network as a service represents a specific benchmark in the IT field, where it is no longer necessary to have physical servers and hardware running out of a business location in order to enjoy all of what those servers and hardware did for companies in traditional networking setups. With network as a service, a lot of the network administration can also be outsourced, giving a company flexibility and freedom to manage a network with less in-house technical expertise. Network as a service will continue to be one of the most interesting new IT options for companies that want to do more in terms of a software architecture, without hiring engineers and building physical hardware setups.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…