Network as a
Service: How to
optimize network

Author: Kevin Casey

Today's networks serve an increasingly diverse and demanding set of users—from customers to collaborators to employees, all who could be distributed anywhere around the globe. They are connecting to a rich portfolio of modern applications that consume vast amounts of data that can span across multiple locations often requiring 24/7 availability. To put it another way: A robust network is the lifeblood of your organization—and the need to optimize network performance has never been greater.

Modern applications and users demand a modern network

Today's applications are increasingly decentralized due to transformative paradigm shifts such as containerization, microservices architecture and cloud-native software development. They run across multiple centralized public and private clouds and on-premises environments at the edge. These elastic and often data-intensive applications can place complex and variable demands on your network.

The increased adoption of remote working during the pandemic only exacerbated the already existing trend. One survey of C-level executives and IT professionals found the two most cited technical challenges from employees working from home were:

  • Bandwidth limitations hindering access to, and performance of, cloud-based applications, data and systems, such as video conferencing platforms and productivity tools
  • The difficulty of maintaining security and compliance for remote workers while having reduced visibility into network access

The ultimate impact of this loss of visibility, control and security can lead to a degradation of performance, user experience and customer satisfaction. Whether it's an employee unable to access the application they need to get their work done or a customer unable to access your site to purchase an item, the end result isn't just a technical headache—it is a business problem that threatens your company’s top and bottom lines.

Choosing the right network optimization techniques

Many organizations fail to properly monitor and optimize network performance often as a result of a lack of modern network optimization techniques. Applying point solutions and one-size-fits-all legacy approaches are unlikely to keep up with the demands of modern applications and users.

Without adequate network optimization techniques in place, an organization could struggle to onboard new applications or to properly manage the existing systems. A lack of tools to manage and understand a company’s applications portfolio and user behavior could mean not only delivering suboptimal applications and user experiences, but the organization might not even know it and not have the insights needed to do anything to address the issues.

How a Network as a Service approach can help optimize network performance

Because the Network as a Service (NaaS) operating model can provide the tools to gain insights into application performance and user experience, it has gained considerable interest in the industry. Market research firm Markets and Markets has determined that the global NaaS market is expected to grow at a 29.4% compound annual growth rate to $39.5 billion by 2026. That anticipated growth “can be attributed to the accelerated adoption of cloud services among large and small enterprises, increase in the development of data center infrastructures, and increased SDN integrations with existing enterprise networks.”

A robust NaaS solution encompasses advanced technologies, tools and architectures that enable modern network optimization techniques. By transforming your legacy network with a cloud-native, application programming interface (API)-enabled architecture, a NaaS model becomes the dynamic backbone to support your entire IT portfolio and organization. This empowers you to optimize network performance and deliver myriad benefits to your applications, customers and employees, including:

  • Enhanced performance: Bolstered by machine learning and automation, a modern NaaS can automatically optimize network path and content caching to shrink application load times. This further allows greater data-driven decision-making to better manage infrastructure costs.
  • Increased scalability and elasticity: The cloud-native, as-a-service architecture can dynamically adapt to the changing demands and resource requirements of multi-cloud, multi-region applications and users.
  • More efficiency: Software-defined wide-area network technology can automatically determine the most efficient way to route network traffic.
  • Faster, more frequent deployments: The API-centric as-a-service model extends to how you deliver applications and services to your end users, whether your customers, partners, employees or other stakeholders. You can spend less time installing and more time deploying workloads when and where they're needed.
  • Complete visibility: Centralized management tools bring 360-degree visibility and monitoring to distributed applications, infrastructure and users. This ensures your team and network can respond rapidly to changing conditions and needs.
  • Consistent experiences: Replace disjointed user experiences caused by legacy networking with a consistent, elegant user interface across multiple clouds, multiple regions and an evolving hybrid workforce.

Learn more about how Verizon's network optimization and application enablement can boost performance and productivity.

The author of this content is a paid contributor for Verizon.