HPE Aruba Networking Blogs

NaaS Insights and Automation Control Puts You in the Driver’s Seat with Your Network

By Kelly Baig, Director of Product Management, Aruba

We’ve worked with many hundreds of organizations to define the experience that they need with Network as-a-Service (NaaS), and we’re noticing a recurring theme: IT teams need automation and insights to gain better control of how their network is performing. In fact, COVID has accelerated the urgency on this for most teams, which have been stressed to new breaking points with the need to redirect network services to new communities, new uses, and the new edge.

With help from these organizations over the last 3+ years including early-adopter teams like our friends at Texas A&M University, we liken what we’ve defined with NaaS to being a high-performance driving experience.

Register for our webinar series: Aruba Service Intelligence for Network as a Service.

What’s in a NaaS Experience?

Let’s break that down a bit: when you work with a NaaS approach by definition it comes with new data analytics and information about how the network is performing. Well-defined NaaS experiences include well-designed summary dashboards with drill-down on individual and collective network performance – just like the instrumentation panel on a high performance vehicle.

High performance network summary dashboard with drill-down

High performance network summary dashboard with drill-down

Well-defined NaaS experiences, in short, should give you new insights and details on exactly what is happening in your network and comparisons with not only baseline performance within the network but also best-in-class and within-vertical best practice performance from other environments. Why is this important? So you can know if your network is performing at peak efficiency or could use a tune-up.

When you drive a high-quality automobile ,the balance of the auto and the road-feel should give you a sense of the journey ahead, a kind of sixth sense that we liken at Aruba to what is provided with Aruba ESP and AIOps. A NaaS experience is built on this network chassis, requiring this type of data telemetry and analytics built into the fabric of the network itself, and with richer insights that emerge over time with AI/ML acceleration. To this Aruba adds Intelligent Alerting based on monitored thresholds and patterns of indicators that signal the outages or disruptions that are expected around the next corner – so that changes can be made proactively and precisely, before any impacts are felt.

As we understand it, another key quality of the NaaS driving experience should be a well-tuned engine that is constantly optimized for efficiency and performance – without your team having to spend their time tinkering under the hood. You should still know every detail of what is happening, and approve every element of change. But, you should not have to make those changes yourself. Nor should you have to wait long in the pit for such changes to be made. We are also interested in how this approach can enable software-defined change to occur with seamless flexibility and on-the-go expansion with new capacity and capabilities in your network, without any slowdown nor disruption required.

How does Aruba ESP give us a better foundation for NaaS?

Aruba ESP is the modern architecture that brings together all of the network innovations and capabilities that you need, with a unified infrastructure, zero trust security, and AIOps insights taken directly from the network. This unique unified approach makes Network as-a-Service easier to deliver, because the high-performance tuning benefits can be massive. With a less robust chassis and engine, NaaS approaches might reveal information – but lack an actionable benefit. NaaS also accelerates all of the steps in the ESP lifecycle, making it easier and faster to deploy and tune Aruba ESP, as well as to add more components over time and to sustain their optimized value.

Where is NaaS headed next?

As NaaS is a newer workload under an as-a-Service approach in the market, there are plenty of ways in which it is fair to say that we are still designing the high-performance vehicle. We have a solid chassis with Aruba ESP and our engine being Aruba and lately Silver Peak networking innovations. Our steering wheel is fit-to-purpose with Aruba Central – and our NaaS adds that detailed instrumentation and tune-up experience managed for you.

I invite you to attend our new webinar series in which we will share our new instrumentation and experience options monthly, as we rapidly evolve NaaS forward.

We also want your input: what type of driving experience do YOU need from NaaS? Aruba continues to lead in innovation by listening with our customer-first, customer-last approach. Participate to help us build the network high-performance driving experience of the future with our NaaS instrumentation and tune-up experiences.