SD-WAN deployments set to surge in NZ

Frost & Sullivan says 61 percent of enterprises plan to deploy SD-WAN in the next 12-24 months

Frost & Sullivan says 61 percent of enterprises in New Zealand plan to deploy a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) in the next 12-24 months, with banking and financial services companies leading the charge.

"SD-WAN is doing to enterprise WANs what cloud did to enterprise data centres almost a decade ago," F&S said.

"As the enterprise WAN networking space gets altered in an irreversible manner, adoption trends for SD-WAN cut across various network functions."

These predictions comes from New Zealand responses to a global survey undertaken by F&S on behalf of SD-WAN vendor, Silver Peak.

The top three reasons for deploying SD-WAN given by NZ respondents were: to apply granular security policies; to move from a router-centric to an application-centric WAN architecture with centralised management; to achieve superior WAN and application performance.

Survey respondents ranked SD-WAN in third position in their list of top technology priorities after hybrid cloud services and network and application security.

"SD-WAN addresses hybrid cloud connectivity needs in a secure manner, and the market seems to realise that," F&S said.

F&S country manager for New Zealand, Andre Clarke, said these technologies and SD-WAN were intertwined and directly support the top business driver of improving the overall customer experience.

According to F&S, organisations are embracing SD-WAN appliances with integrated routing and WAN optimisation functions, but keeping existing customer premises equipment-based solutions at other sites until maintenance contracts expire.

"It is no longer a matter of 'if' businesses will embrace integrated SD‑WAN and routing, but only a matter of 'when' due to existing contracts."

Sixty five percent of New Zealand respondents also reported they were looking to embrace cloud-based security services supported by their SD-WAN vendor so as to retire or augment CPE-based firewall solutions at different company sites.

Also, F&S said despite the hype about SD-WAN making WAN optimisation redundant, a large number of New Zealand respondents indicated that WAN optimisation remains critical for them.

"They either want WAN optimisation as an integrated function with SD-WAN (48 percent) or at a minimum for the SD-WAN solution to interoperate with their existing solution (60 percent)."

IT decision makers rated “cloud-based network management” as the top criteria they use during vendor selection.

"With SD-WAN enterprises have the choice to deploy the network management/orchestration tool in their own data centre or host it in the cloud," F&S said.

"However, with cloud-based network management they can eliminate the need for deploying and managing the orchestrator, and instead access the capability in an as-a-service model."

NZ SD-WAN deployments

In recent months:

- Mental health and wellbeing services provider Wise Group has announced plans to deploy an SD-WAN across 54 New Zealand sites, based on Cisco Meraki equipment.

- Rabobank has announced plans to deploy a VeloCloud SD-WAN supplied by Telstra across New Zealand.

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