The Network-as-a-Service Future

The power of “automation” is on display everywhere across the tech industry these days, from self-repairing robots, to AI tools writing code, to CI/CD deploying software into robust applications in production environments. The goals are simple – Simplicity, Speed, and Cost Savings. 


Today’s Communications Service Providers (CSPs) which carry data – the vital life-blood of today’s economies – between systems and users are no exception. Cloud computing has proven just how quickly IT can grow and transform, and sets a high standard for the networking industry to follow. In order to avoid becoming bottlenecks, today’s communications networks, both public and private, need to fully embrace automation. The key to doing this is through open source, cloud native, disaggregated “Network-as-a-Service” (NaaS) solutions. These are deployed on-premises, on a hybrid-cloud, and/or on multi-cloud and support workloads in edge and data center environments. This concept is laid out comprehensively by LF Networking and IBM in this Ebook: Network-as-a-Service – A Practical Approach for CSPs to Implement Cloud-Native Multi-Cloud Networks for Enterprises, and we strongly encourage you to read it.

Value Add

Massive industries don't transform themselves unless there is compelling value greater than the costs of transformation. In this case, the value of network automation derives primarily from:

  • Acceleration of digital services 
  • Highly distributed and accessible support
  • Adaptable security 
  • Operational efficiency 
  • Open-standards based solutions

The value of this transformation applies to all the major players in the communications industry – from CSPs who can avoid vendor lock-in and capture more of the value chain – to Hyperscalers that need to support complex workloads spread across cloud locations, edge, and on-premises – to Enterprises looking to move away from the business of managing their networks to focus on their core competencies – to the ecosystem of Vendors and SIs seeking to provide best-of-breed, interoperable solutions grow the size of the overall market. 

Open Source

Open source projects also serve as ‘de facto’ standards and ‘reference implementations’ allowing ecosystem participants to adopt emerging standards into their products and services. Several LF Networking projects such as ONAP, EMCO and Nephio are already addressing the needs of Enterprise NaaS, providing necessary functionality and features, including: 

  • End to end network orchestration
  • Observability and closed loop automation
  • Distributed edge workload placement
  • Intent based network configuration
  • Uniform automation control plane 

The Role of Aarna Networks

We at Aarna see our role in the industry as open source practitioners, pioneers, and collaborators. We literally wrote the book on ONAP, have assumed primarily leadership in EMCO, and are community leaders in the exciting new Nephio project. We see open source as the key to a Network-as-a-Service future and have built our flagship products – AMCOP and AES on these open source projects along with others, including those from the CNCF and the O-RAN Alliance SC. More specifically, AES is a commercialized version of the Akraino PCEI Blueprint, which can be thought of as a Network-as-a-Service use case. Our work around the blueprint was awarded first prize at last year’s MEC Hackathon along with our partners at Equinix. This approach brings significant flexibility to enterprise networks and the ability to run cutting edge applications such as AI, IOT, and more. 

Keep an eye on this exciting space as it evolves. If you’d like to learn more about the state of open source networking today, contact us for a free consultation. 


Ebook: Network-as-a-Service – A Practical Approach for CSPs to Implement Cloud-Native Multi-Cloud Networks for Enterprises

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