Light Reading

F5 Gets Into Policy Enforcement

Craig Matsumoto
LR Mobile News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
2/7/2013
50%
50%

F5 Networks Inc. is getting more serious about policy control, seeing it as a way to get more involved with helping mobile operators create new services such as premium access. The BIG-IP Policy Enforcement Manager (PEM), due to be announced Tuesday, is applicable to any network, but F5 is emphasizing its utility in mobile networks, partly because the company thinks it can tap mobile operators' rising interest in value-added services and in network functions virtualization (NFV). The fact that Mobile World Congress is coming up might be a factor, too, but there's no doubt policy-based services are important to mobile operators. Some customers have been adding policy functions to BIG-IP hardware or software by using iRules, F5's scripting language. But these weren't particularly sophisticated policy applications: They comprise things such as lists of URLs that needed special treatment, says Sean Duggan, an F5 director of product management. So, now, F5 wants to offer more complex policy enforcement as a product, making it an option in the intelligent services framework. That's the general term for F5's combination of services -- including firewalls, domain name services (DNS) and network-address translation (NAT) -- that can be packed onto one platform. It's now also starting to include elements of Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT). PEM is a Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF), putting F5 in competition with Allot Communications Ltd., Sandvine Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. PEM monitors traffic and applies policy accordingly -- making sure a gold-package user gets the promised level of access, for instance. Asked via email whether deep packet inspection (DPI) is involved (a PCEF can involve DPI but doesn't have to), F5 answered indirectly, saying PEM can "identify applications and protocols that are being used in the network," as Product Marketing Manager Misbah Mahmoodi describes it. A PCEF has to work with a Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF), and Mahmoodi points out F5 has completed interoperability testing with other vendors' PCRFs. Asked whether F5 might offer its own PCRF eventually, Mahmoodi replies that F5 "will continue to leverage its strong partnerships with PCRF vendors in service provider deployments." So, what would make F5's PCEF any more worthy than those already on the market? F5 says it can offer PEM to its installed base as a software add-on, rather than adding another box to the network. F5 also points out it can augment PEM with the other capabilities the company already provides. One would be the ability to steer traffic, letting operators offer services without having to send all traffic to the requisite network elements. Take the example of video optimization. Early architectures have all the traffic going through, say, a video optimizer, even though maybe 6 to 10 percent of the traffic can actually be helped by the video optimizer. F5's framework could siphon that "6-to-10 percent of the traffic that the video optimization system can add value to," Duggan says. PEM can also tie to network functions virtualization (NFV), because BIG-IP can ask the network to add more processors or memory to a particular task. In other words, it tells an orchestration system to spin up more virtual machines. In its London technology center, F5 is demonstrating that capability in conjunction with Skyfire Inc., and the company expects to bring that demo to Mobile World Congress. In the demo, PEM notices when video traffic increases, and it tells the orchestration system to generate virtual instances of the Skyfire engine, then withdraw them down when usage decreases. For more

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading
(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Craig Matsumoto
50%
50%
Craig Matsumoto,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/11/2013 | 4:12:45 PM
re: F5 Gets Into Policy Enforcement
Policy is important, but SDN is going to steal the F5 headlines ... looks like they acquired LineRate Systems today.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (8) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Funkwerk’s on Track With Huawei

3|19|15   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


GSM-R technology specialist Funkwerk and Huawei have forged a partnership that is benefiting both parties, notes Funkwerk's Gottfried Winter.
LRTV Documentaries
How EANTC Tested Cisco's Virtualization Solutions

3|18|15   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director of independent test lab EANTC, tells Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the innovative approach his team had to take when validating Cisco's service provider virtualization and cloud solutions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Converged Communications: Working Simply & Smartly

3|17|15   |   03.24   |   (0) comments


Edwin Diender, CTO of Huawei's Enterprise Switch & Communications division, outlines the four main pillars of Huawei's unified communications portfolio and explains how the addition of 4K video capabilities has helped Huawei develop a groundbreaking videoconferencing solution.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Women in Tech Coming Into Focus
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/20/2015
Will Open Source Groups Keep Windows Open?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/20/2015
Google Hires Wall Street's Most Influential Woman as CFO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/24/2015
The Rise of Industry 4.0
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 3/24/2015
Net Neutrality Suits: Only The Beginning?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 3/24/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Cats with Phones
More Is More Click Here
T-Mobile's Buy One Get One Free deal was too much for Fluffy to pass up. He decided more was more.
Latest Comment