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SD-WAN gains momentum with enterprises in Australia

As Australian businesses accelerate migration to the cloud, the underlying network will play an increasingly important role and nearly 60% of enterprises in the country have already implemented SD-WAN

Due to the migration of last-mile access to Australia’s long-criticised national broadband network (NBN), software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) has taken off more quickly in the country than in some other markets, says a study from GlobalData.

The research reveals that nearly three-fifths of IT enterprises with more than 200 employees have already deployed SD-WAN and one in three are considering implementing it in the next 12 months. Yet it also found that as the market is highly competitive, companies need to have a long-term network strategy to adapt swiftly to the evolving traffic patterns, and that such strategies are not universal.

GlobalData’s research found that SD-WAN has changed the competitive landscape of the WAN market in Australia and opened up the playing field. Several system integrators see “corporate networking” as a natural adjacency to their cloud, IT, security or professional services business.

Together with wireless connectivity, SD-WAN supports remote working in terms of agility, employee wellbeing and business continuity. SD-WAN over internet, especially through 5G, can deliver a better work-from-home experience, but the market is highly fragmented, with many technology suppliers offering their products in Australia.

“While cost saving has been part of the motivation to adopt SD-WAN, better security and network management is also a key benefit,” said Siow Meng Soh, senior technology analyst at GlobalData. “With several SD-WAN vendors trying to gain market share, they are working with different channel partners, including system integrators, value-added resellers and local providers. Expanded choice is changing buying behaviour.”

In terms of those gaining that market share, GlobalData found that Cisco and VMware were ahead of the pack and neck and neck, but Aryaka, Silver Peak and Fortinet were also popular, with each having over 10% market share in Australia. The research also found that nearly one-tenth of the enterprises were interested in buying SD-WAN directly from the supplier and nearly 20% indicated the telecom operator as their preferred option. 

It also revealed that as businesses accelerate the migration of IT to the cloud, the underlying network will play an increasingly important role in connecting applications and data to end-users.

“It is evident that potentially 80% of the enterprises are considering SD-WAN as an over-the-top solution,” said Soh in the study. “This comes at a time when the network has taken a new importance in the current work-from-home environment.

“SD-WAN has a bigger role to play as businesses look to simplify branch networking, increase the use of cloud-based services and adopt remote working. As a result, companies need to also have a long-term network strategy instead of treating SD-WAN as a standalone solution that delivers quick fixes.” 

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