NaaS Market Evolution: How will it impact SD-WAN Consumption?

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NaaS Market impact SD-WAN

Overview of NaaS (Network as a Service) and its growing significance in modern Networking 

NaaS can be termed as the modern replacement of legacy configuration that fundamentally optimises an organisation’s network infrastructure. Businesses can easily subscribe to a suitable service provider and leverage the benefits of cloud-based networking solutions instead of building infrastructure themselves. This cost-effective approach gives businesses the flexibility to customise their services according to the changing business growth. 

Due to the growing popularity of the technology, the network as a service market has been reported to grow significantly more in the next five years, estimated at 78.38 billion USD with a CAGR rate of 32.36%. Along with the multiple benefits of cost optimisation, increased efficiency, flexibility, and data protection that NaaS offers, it also harbours a prominent role in modern networking systems. 

Some of the major significances of NaaS (Network as a Service) in modern networking may include the following: 

  • Scalability: Equipped with the latest technologies and solutions, businesses can rapidly deploy and scale their operations. 
  • Security: Advanced security measures protect all data transmissions within an organisation, securing critical information.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Business transition from capital expenditure (CapEx) to operational expense (OpEx) potentially improves expense rates. 
  • Automation: Simplified network management enables businesses to reduce manual errors, resulting in better operations. 

Evolution of traditional networking towards NaaS models 

Previously, networks used to be in hierarchical structures that followed the tree topology involving Ethernet switches. With the development of ARPANET in the late 1960s, the transition towards more modern networking systems began taking shape. As a result, several cloud-based services and virtual solutions came into existence. 

Here’s a breakdown of these key network solutions:

  • Software-defined Networking (SDN): SDN establishes virtualised network functions which replace the need for fixed hardware, resulting in the flexibility and agility that drive modern networking. 
  • Network Function Virtualization (NFV): NFV successfully extends the possibilities of dynamic resource allocation due to its virtualised functions that replace physical network appliances.
  • Edge Computing: The combination of edge computing with advanced networks like 5G or 6G can significantly improve data processing operations, resulting in decreased latency and an increase in performance. 
  • Cloud-Based Virtualization: Cloud-based solutions similar to NaaS offer simplified management and scalability that can automate future networking systems.

Since NaaS successfully meets the progressive demands of scalable network solutions and flexibility, it has been actively adopted into existing business operations. With the increasing number of mobile devices and IoT technologies, it provides an affordable and adaptable network infrastructure that can seamlessly support remote access. 

The Rise of SD-WAN in Enterprise Networks 

Since its official adoption, the SD-WAN solution has been a sought-after network technology due to its wide-area coverage and swift management utilising centralised controllers. Unlike legacy WAN solutions, SD-WAN offers multiple advantages, including connection independence that allows businesses to use different connection types, resulting in improved connectivity and cost deduction. 

Moreover, it optimises routing paths for the effective delivery of critical resources, supports cloud-based applications to improve performance, and has built-in security features with a next-generation firewall (NGFW) to increase security measures. These benefits accumulate to provide a multi-faceted network architecture that improves applications, simplifies management, and improves connectivity in business operations. 

Key factors driving the rise of SD-WAN adoption

Factor Reason
Digital Impact Since businesses are getting modernised and are expected to be present on all digital fronts, networks have been transitioning to more advanced technologies that are adaptable towards the evolving demands of the market. SD-WAN fulfils this demand by offering secure and flexible connectivity solutions for all cloud-based applications. 
Hybrid Work Models With the growing popularity of hybrid work models, the need for a dynamic working environment has been significantly increasing. SD-WAN networks can seamlessly offer secure connections across remote locations and multiple branch offices, satisfying the dynamically changing workplace approach. 
IoT Devices As more users rely on mobile and smart devices to manage their daily tasks, an enterprise solution that can effectively manage multiple endpoints is essential. SD-WAN can seamlessly fill the technology gaps in networking solutions to deliver effective endpoints that connect multiple smart devices to help users. 

Impact of NaaS Evolution on SD-WAN Consumption

Similar to the SD-WAN solution, NaaS represents a modern shift in networking by leveraging flexible cloud solutions that can be adapted according to business requirements. The technology does not replace SD-WAN service altogether but complements it to deliver better enterprise services. The collaborative shift to NaaS from SD-WAN represents a strategic approach towards a cloud-based consumption model that lets organisations rent network infrastructures from reliable providers. 

Key impacts of NaaS on SD-WAN consumption

  • Scalability: Businesses can seamlessly adjust their network services with NaaS’s multiple subscription-based models. Each model aligns with SD-WAN’s dynamic resource allocation, making the adjustment easier. 
  • Faster troubleshooting: NaaS can deliver faster troubleshooting protocols to prevent unforeseen damages with the help of SD-WAN’s centralised controllers. 
  • Improved security: With SD-WAN’s built-in security, NaaS can further extend a business’s security layers and reduce cyber threats. 
  • Reliable connectivity: NaaS can seamlessly integrate SD-WAN functions with other network services, enabling businesses to benefit from unified solutions and networking needs. 

Opportunities & Challenges for Leveraging NaaS-

enabled SD-WAN solutions

From adaptable services to seamless networking, the integration of NaaS-enabled SD-WAN service can potentially streamline any large-scale operation to deliver enhanced productivity and growth. 

However, the transition of these technologies must be critically examined to ensure successful deployment. Organisations are recommended to navigate through challenges and come up with strong strategies to procure the best opportunities. Outlined below are some of the major opportunities and challenges presented by NaaS-enabled SD-WAN implementation: 

Opportunity Challenge
Additional Network Services: 

  • NaaS simplifies management by integrating SD-WAN into other networking services. 
  • SD-WAN manages business operations with the support of NaaS’s expanded framework
Complex Network: 

  • Deployment and integration of the two technologies require intricate planning. 
  • Procedures to ensure each technical component remains stable may pose difficulties. 

  • NaaS allows businesses to grow along the latest marketing demands involving network resources. 
Growing Bandwidth: 

  • Balancing the bandwidth of cloud-based applications along with SD-WAN may strain the connection. 

  • NaaS’s subscription models include SD-WAN services, making it an affordable investment. 
  • The collaboration minimises the burden of IT teams. 
Service Provider: 

  • Not all SD-WAN solution providers will offer NaaS implementation.
  • There may be certain provisions and network impacts. 
Improved Security: 

  • SD-WAN’s built-in security features combined with NaaS’s private traffic routing reduces cyber threats.

  • NaaS’s revised compliance adherence may pose problems for SD-WAN services due to its strong control mechanisms. 

Future evolution of NaaS and its impact on SD-WAN adoption

Due to the recent AI developments, NaaS technology is expected to adopt advanced artificial intelligence in its future models. Customised models for leading industries, including finance and healthcare will see significant developments with AI-driven functions of enhanced network automation and self-healing operations.

NaaS is expected to extend the managed SD-WAN use case by aligning most of its functionalities into its infrastructure, resulting in much-refined processes. With the existing transition from individual SD-WAN solutions to comprehensive NaaS platforms, it is evident that NaaS aligned with modern edge computing will potentially lead businesses to new networking success. 


From offering scalable solutions, and security, to stable connectivity, Network as a Service (NaaS) has modernised the way businesses operate using networking solutions. Moreover, its advantageous integration with SD-WAN has streamlined management tasks, leading to better performances and less manual effort. As the market evolves to fulfil another growing network demand, business owners must understand the investments surrounding NaaS solutions for a future of progressive success.