Software-defined network picking up traction amongst Aussie enterprises

Many Aussie enterprises are adopting software-defined networking (SDN) as they carry out broad digital transformations to aid business continuity, remote work and competitiveness, according to Information Services Group (ISG), a technology research and advisory firm.

To support new ways of operating, firms have begun to build software-defined-everything (SDx) architectures, which is leading them to increase their network capacity and re-evaluate network configurations and security. “The need for more flexibility, automation and security is challenging rigid IT architectures at Australian companies. Many are now moving from traditional networking to SDN,” said Troy Williams, digital lead for ISG APAC based in Australia.

What were the findings of ISG’s research?

The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Network — Software Defined Solutions and Services report for Australia notes Aussie companies have seen significant changes to work models, supply chains and business requirements in recent years, in many cases due to the pandemic.

Effect of the pandemic

The pandemic has fueled faster cloud migration, more distributed networks, more use of collaboration tools and the movement of applications from on-premises data centers to cloud-hosted environments, the report says. One effect has been that companies now have more reason to seek SD-WAN solutions to support SaaS and IaaS environments.

Demand for edge computing technology also is expected to grow dramatically over the next 12 months in Australia, where companies are still in the early days of realizing its potential, ISG says. Enterprises are especially focused on improving application performance, but edge computing also comes with challenges around resilience, security and operational efficiency.

Need for new network ecosystems

Aussie firms need to develop a greater understanding of how SDN works hand in hand with cloudification, mobility and digital business transformation, ISG says. Over the next five years, creating next-gen enterprises in Australia may require new network ecosystems that incorporate a wide array of technologies, including multi-cloud architectures, secure access service edge (SASE), AI-assisted network automation and 5G/Wi-Fi 6 convergence.

The report also explores several other trends in Australia related to SDN, including an escalation in enterprise security requirements, the sale of SD-WAN solutions for DIY (non-managed) implementations and SDN suppliers’ growing role as advisors and consultants.

What was the research methodology?

The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Network — Software Defined Solutions and Services report for Australia evaluates the capabilities of 40 providers across five quadrants: Managed (SD) WAN Services, SDN Transformation Services, Enterprise Networks Technology and Service Suppliers, Edge Technologies and Services, and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). The report names Infosys, Orange Business Services and Wipro as Leaders in all five quadrants.

It names Telstra a Leader in four quadrants and Cisco, NTT, Tech Mahindra and Verizon Leaders in three quadrants each. Datacom, HPE Aruba and Tata Communications are named Leaders in two quadrants each, and Aryaka, Cato Networks, Citrix, Data#3, Dicker Data, Juniper Networks, Macquarie Telecom, Nuage Networks, Versa and VMware one quadrant each.

Also, Datacom, Empired, HCL, Lumen, Nuage Networks and Verizon are named as Rising Stars — firms with a “promising portfolio” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition — in one quadrant each. The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Network — Software Defined Solutions and Services report for Australia is available to subscribers or for one-time purchase here.