Who is selling NaaS, and what do you get?

Network as a service comes in five distinct flavors depending on whether it’s offered by hardware vendors, telcos, cloud providers, muticloud vendors, or WAN-transport carriers.

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With Megaport One, customers don’t make any changes to their SD-WANs or SASE implementations; they simply run SD-WAN or SASE traffic over the Megaport 700-PoP private network, rather than the public internet.

Megaport’s secure cloud connectivity as a service comes with benefits of NaaS including a subscription payment model, scale-up/scale down options, fast deployment, real-time reporting and analytics, and automated ordering, provisioning, and orchestration of network resources in the cloud.

Use cases include high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure, networking from on-prem-to-cloud or cloud-to-cloud, and more efficient deployment of applications in the cloud.

With Megaport serving as the vendor-neutral middleman, customers can pick and choose best-of-breed options across cloud providers and networking-gear vendors and connect to all cloud-based resources through a single physical SDCI port.

Perimeter 81: Converged network and security

Perimeter 81 offers a cloud-based converged network and security platform as-a-service that includes a VPN alternative, firewall-as-a-service, secure web gateway, malware protection, software-defined perimeter and Zero Trust Network Access.

In terms of architecture, the Perimiter 81 NaaS has three parts: the client that runs on the end user device, the controller that enforces access control, and the gateways that encrypt traffic. To deploy, IT logs in via a web browser, sets up gateways to the closest Perimeter 81 PoP, then creates encrypted tunnels to the cloud or local environment. Next comes the onboarding of users and the creation of groups that can access specific parts of the network based on their credentials, device postures, IP address locations, and other granular qualifiers.

Benefits include fast deployment, support for popular SaaS applications, unlimited bandwidth, automatic Wi-Fi security, DNS filtering, two-factor authentication, auditing and reporting. The Perimeter 81 pricing model is per gateway and per end user.

5. Multicloud

Alkira: Cloud Area Networking

Alkira offers a service that integrates networking and security gear from vendors including Cisco, Fortinet, Palo Alto, and HPE-Aruba across the hyperscale cloud environments of AWS, Azure, and Google.

Alkira CTO Atif Khan says, “Modern organizations have a tough time managing a messy sprawl of sites, regions, users, SD-WAN fabrics, and clouds. They need a quick way to connect all these pieces together. Cloud Area Networking does that.”

The Alkira service provides firewall-as-service, network segmentation, and routing among cloud regions, on-premises, and SaaS applications. The subscription-based service doesn’t require the purchase of hardware, and there are no software agents to install.

Alkira has built what is being described by some analysts as a supercloud; a service that runs across multiple clouds, leverages the cloud-native tools of each hyperscaler and abstracts the underlay of each cloud platform in order to provide a unified experience for customers.

Khan says, “Think of us as the Alkira cloud, but it sits inside the hyperscaler infrastructure by using raw capabilities of the hyperscalers, and that gives us unlimited scale.”

Aviatrix: Navigating multiclouds

Aviatrix provides an overlay control plane that enables customers to manage network, security, and connectivity to multiple clouds from a single interface.

With Aviatrix, customers deploy a controller that can operate on any cloud platform. The controller automatically spins up a gateway that provides embedded security, traffic inspection and policy enforcement. The gateway software forms a network data plane that manages features such as network telemetry and troubleshooting, Layer-4 firewalls, NAT gateways, network segmentation, threat detection and mitigation.

Aviatrix CoPilot is the user interface for centralized cloud networking and security. CoPilot uses common network management tools such as traceroute, packet capture, and NetFlow analytics to help network teams stay on top of network issues in multicloud environments.

The pay-as-you-go service is available on the cloud providers’ marketplace, with no contract negotiation and no upfront commitment. Aviatrix charges for connections and services provided on those connections.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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