Sergej Khackimullin - Fotolia
Businesses are moving toward IT as a service or on demand largely because of managed services and cloud-based computing. On-demand options change consumption from a capital model to an expense model, making IT costs more stable and predictable.
Servers and storage endpoints have been virtualized for years, making them easy to consume in on-demand models. Networking lagged, however, because it was a mesh between these endpoints. Now, networking is becoming virtualized, with software-defined networking, WAN, perimeter, security and more -- all of which make networking easier to consume in on-demand models.
Network on-demand models
Network on demand -- or on-demand networking -- can be delivered as either a managed network service or as cloud-based networking. In a managed network service model, a third party manages, meters and bills the infrastructure. In a cloud-based networking model, a business contracts directly with the cloud provider and makes all the decisions about its network.
In either model, on-demand networking changes the dynamics from a Capex model in which customers pay upfront and amortize to a consumption-based model where users pay monthly for what they consume. Network on-demand options can be more flexible, enabling businesses to scale their network bandwidth and provision up and down to match business needs. In the on-demand world, burdens shift toward more planning and monitoring of service-level agreements and consumption versus hardware and traffic.
Target customers for network on demand
The most logical customers for on-demand managed networking services are smaller businesses that don't have the internal resources to adequately handle networking. The most logical customers for on-demand cloud-based networking are larger businesses that have moved much of their infrastructure to cloud-based services models.
For businesses in the middle that haven't made the leap to cloud and are still deploying on-premises or virtual servers and storage, the best option for now is to keep the network on-site and manage it in line with other IT components.
Dig Deeper on Network services
Related Q&A from John Fruehe
As virtualized network functions become more and more common, will that change NFV and VNF roles in businesses? Probably not, but other roadblocks ... Continue Reading
Organizations may consider pairing SD-WAN and UCaaS services to avoid complexity from multivendor services and gain potential synergy. But the combo ... Continue Reading
As networking pros evaluate SD-branch vs. SD-WAN, they'll notice a key distinction between the two technologies, namely how network functions are ... Continue Reading