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.