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The Elusive Network-as-a-Service Becomes Reality

Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) has always been a myth — but a myth we’ve been relentlessly focused on making a reality.

And we’ve seen many valiant entrants — technologies and solutions delivering some of the key components of a successful NaaS framework. But never all.

Think about it. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) succeeded in shifting the focus from CapEx to a more flexible OpEx-based, pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise campus networks have never been able to fully adopt this approach. Today’s as-a-service models are a kluge of services, semi-neatly (and definitely not simply) packaged together and offered in bundles that can be consumed in a multi-tiered subscription model. It lacks the service performance as guaranteed by SaaS, it lacks the integrated security as delivered by SaaS, and it lacks the simple singular consumption model as delivered by SaaS.

The result? A network still mired in a complexity that is costly and unsecure. We continue to drown in the sea of SKUs trying to figure out what hardware to purchase, trying to stay afloat on the latest software upgrade or security patch without impacting network performance, and are persistently at the mercy of hiring experts that understand the coding and configurations of 3 decades of layered, threaded, and thus complex infrastructure.

The Real Role of Automation and AI
Networks have a universal mandate: to provide always-on connectivity, everywhere, for every person, on every device.

IT’s role is to deliver this in a secure fashion.

And yet, the complexity of our enterprise network extends from chaotic costs, overwhelming management, frantic protection, and unpredictable performance.

This is where automation and AI come in to simplify the IT experience. Today’s AI attempts to automate sifting through the plethora of network monitoring alerts, to automate ticketing when problems occur, to automate on-boarding users securely, even to automate delivering the right access to the right users on the right devices. Automation tools and Natural Language Processing (NLP) AI may seem to simplify the IT-life, but in reality network alerts still exist, information overload still exists, and connectivity tickets still need resolving. We’ve just added more tools to see a little clearer into the sea of problems.

The true goal of automation and AI should be a balance to:

  1. Simplify the network experience for IT and
  2. Optimize the network experience for the end-user.

To do this, it is essential to integrate automation and AI from the beginning and use them to simply deliver outcomes — exactly how a SaaS model delivers.

Imagine even extending the capability of automation and AI further into AIOps to drive network design, or automate BOM creation, automate procurement, automate to eliminate network troubleshooting, or even automate all hardware-software-security upgrades.

These are the key steps toward delivering true NaaS. NaaS that needs to be defined, not as a bundle of existing individual products, but one designed to deliver outcomes.

Defining NaaS
To deliver NaaS, it’s mandatory to focus on basic requirements that check simply 4 boxes:

#1. Deliver Performance.
IT should expect networks to guarantee a service. “Service,” in this case, means outcomes that deliver always-on connectivity.

#2. Make Ops Invisible.
IT shouldn’t be bogged down with operational tasks. NaaS must be inclusive of the entire lifecycle, from network design to Day 0 through Day N operations.

#3. Be Secure.
The NaaS framework needs to be inherently secure — ideally, a framework that extends the concept of true Zero Trust into the campus network.

#4. Simplify Consumption.
NaaS must exist in a singular, holistic consumption model inspired by SaaS. A NaaS consumption model alleviates the unpredictability of network costs.

Introducing Nile as a Service
Nile brings these key pillars together, setting the highest level of service outcomes:

#1. Guaranteed network performance with SLAs around availability, capacity, coverage. We have completely reengineered the network leveraging deep automation and AI.

#2. Complete Network Operations. Day 0 through Day N operations, inclusive of network design, monitoring, software updates, and hardware refreshes is all delivered.

#3. Engineered around Zero Trust. Nile’s solution extends Zero Trust into the campus network deterring cyber-security threats like social engineering, man-in-the-middle attacks, and malware proliferation.

#4. Simple pay-per-user model. No add-ons, no tiers, no hassle. Scale up or down as you use.

It’s as simple as that.

Nile delivers the first true network-as-a-service. And, this is just the beginning. Learn more about Nile’s NaaS and how you can experience inherently secure, always-on connectivity.

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