For an enterprise, configuration and operation of routers, wide area network (WAN) optimizers, and other components, for instance firewalls, is likely to be complicated. Network as a service is a virtual networking business model, where a third-party network as a service provider virtually offers wide area network services to the enterprises, on a payment basis. Customers are individual businesses and enterprises that make payment to the Network as a Service provider on a pay-per-use basis, i.e., buyers pay only for the capacity and resources used.
Factors driving the network as a service market are increasing inclination toward cloud technology, while, poor infrastructure development and high installation costs are key factors restraining the network as a service market in underdeveloped and developing economies.
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The network as a service market has witnessed significant expansion over the last few years and is further expected to expand, due to the increasing usage of bandwidth on demand (BoD), software-defined networking (SDN), and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies. Lower costs with pooled wide area network (WAN) is expected to provide growth opportunity for the network as a service market. Among all network as a service technologies, network virtual function is expected to expand at a rapid pace due to its advanced approach of releasing the data from a control plane, instead of traditionally distributed control planes.
Deployment of network as a service comprises of cloud and on premises. High operational and maintenance costs are incurred by users when network as a service is installed on premises. While, cloud deployment solutions allow enterprises to focus on their core competencies and strategic goals. Network as a service is expected to find increasing acceptance due to security, ease of use, cost effectiveness, and compliance with standards.
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North America is expected to drive the network as a service market due to considerable research and development in technology related to network expansion, and technological maturity of data center and network infrastructure in the region. Moreover, the massive size and expansion of private and industrial sectors in the region are likely to boost the market. Europe has profited primarily due to the extensive initiatives taken by the government. The market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand prominently by 2020. Development activities in emerging markets of China and India, with IT services and systems requirement, are major reasons fueling the market in the region. Factors such as wide broadband penetration and the emergence of local players in the networking market are further expected to offer growth opportunities in the region. Government initiatives for motivating vendors & startups to venture into network as a service market are also likely to boost the market and increase consumer adoption.
Network as a service becomes highly appealing to small/ medium-sized businesses and new businesses, as it avoids several capital investment expenses for network hardware. Network as a service also reduces the man-hours, training, and skill requirement of network staff needed for the maintenance of a network. In network as a service business model, the staff manages the organization’s network through a portal. Hence, the internal costs are reduced, and operational limitations are eliminated with optimal allocation of resources.
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As various telecom operators are expanding their network, IT & telecommunication is considered to be a major industry driving the network as a service market. Other industries using network as a service business model include banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), manufacturing, government, healthcare, transportation and logistics, and retail.
Major players operating in the network as a service Market include Juniper Networks, Inc., AT&T Inc., Akiri Inc., IBM Corporation, ALE International, Aerohive Networks, NEC Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., Ciena Corporation, Brocade Communication, VMware, Inc., Aryaka Networks, Inc., LG Networks, Inc., Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., and Level 3 Communications, LLC.
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