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Is Network as a Service becoming a reality?

There is lots of talk today about Software as a Service and Platform as a Service, but will Network as a Service become a reality? What will that look like?

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Cloud is probably the most overused term lately. We work a lot with enterprise companies to help them move into the cloud, and what we're finding is that there's a lack of education around how cloud and networking actually work.

Cloud is the next step in virtualization, in a way, so when people think about virtualization, they typically think about storage and servers -- but they don't think about Network as a Service or network virtualization. More specifically, they don't consider what networking virtualization means and how it is going to affect different environments, which tools can run in those environments, or how to go about integrating with existing systems.

There are a lot of things going on right now where an enterprise will have an entrenched vendor base of hardware providers for data center networks -- like Cisco or Juniper. These folks are looking to provide software solutions for the same stack, and there are many cloud brokers or cloud service providers that are offering network stacks that don't have Network as a Service components as a part of them. This means a piece is missing when an enterprise attempts to leverage what's been built within an on-premises data center into the cloud.

About the author:
Kris Bliesner is CEO and co-founder of 2nd Watch Inc.

This was first published in August 2013

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