Packet inspection/traffic management

DPI Market Set for Mobile Ramp

Demand for deep packet inspection (DPI) capabilities is set to rocket in the next five years, with mobile operators set to be spending more on the traffic management technology than fixed-line carriers by 2011, according to a new Light Reading Insider report.

Simon Sherrington, author of Deep Packet Inspection: Vendors Tap Into New Markets, writes that mobile operators are "showing more interest in the technology" as they seek to "manage and monetize the traffic in their networks."

"Given the sheer volume of mobile subscribers worldwide, the mobile market is the real sleeping giant. As operators upgrade networks with EV-DO Rev. A, HSDPA, and HSUPA, the volume of data will increase dramatically," notes Sherrington. "The mobile market represents a major opportunity for DPI vendors," he adds. (See The Greening of DPI.)

As a result of increasing interest from the mobile sector, the market for DPI systems is set to grow by nearly 200 percent during the next four years to be worth more than $1 billion in 2011, according to the Light Reading Insider forecast.

While that's good news for the specialist DPI vendors such as Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT), Bivio Networks Inc. , CloudShield Technologies Inc. , Ellacoya Networks Inc. , Procera Networks , and Sandvine Inc. , it also means they will face increasing competition from the major telecom infrastructure players that want to include DPI as part of a range of integrated packet-oriented technologies.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is already a key player in the DPI market, having acquired P-Cube in 2004. The router giant now claims to have 400 service provider customers for its packet inspection equipment worldwide. (See Cisco Plucks P-Cube for $200M.)

Nokia Networks also offers DPI capabilities as part of its Flexi Intelligent Service Node (ISN) product, with NSN already claiming 86 mobile operator customers for its DPI technology. "Nokia Siemens has been active in the market for some time, but it has not been widely recognized as a DPI vendor because it has described its technology using the term 'service awareness,' " notes Sherrington in his report.

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) subsidiary Redback Networks Inc. is about to bring its DPI offer to market as part of its SmartEdge family of edge routers. Redback's technology is currently in trials, according to the report.

The other main edge IP vendors, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), currently rely on partners to deliver DPI capabilities, but AlcaLu has plans to develop its own packet inspection technology that will be integrated into its IP routing products. "We are going to do a lot with that technology," Basil Alwan, president of the vendor's IP business, told Light Reading. (See AlcaLu Identifies Deep Packet Potential.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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lostinlight 12/5/2012 | 2:58:16 PM
re: DPI Market Set for Mobile Ramp What would DPI be used for? Traffic shaping and prioritizing by service class (=cost)?
Is there a major difference between wireless users and wireline users as far as DPI usefulness is concerned?
delphi 12/5/2012 | 2:58:15 PM
re: DPI Market Set for Mobile Ramp DPI for mobile is yet again a failed strategy for controlling class of service.-á Internet and video coming to mobile devices is chewing up bandwdith.-á Instead of designing a network to deliver services from any IP service platform to any IP client devices across a diverse set of technologies some are lobbying and selling for a flawed approach --- DPI.-á There is no way DPI can ever scale cost effectively or be used in a manner which enhances the consumer experience.-á DPI and IMS are the worst ideas since TMN and CMIP.
NoCopper 12/5/2012 | 2:58:15 PM
re: DPI Market Set for Mobile Ramp So the basic question for service providers is either to keep investing in more bandwidth or into DPI to better manage the limited bandwidth they've got. Certainly investing in more bandwidth keeps the network simple, on the other hand DPI adds a lot of complexity (and cost) to the network. As an enduser I would always prefer a service provider who just provides me the bandwidth I need without looking into my packets. I believe the market will decide what approach will be taken.....
Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 2:58:14 PM
re: DPI Market Set for Mobile Ramp Hi NoCopper: It also in needs to be at a price the mass-market can afford.

In the UK when it cost -ú40 a month for 3G data, the service was not widely used. Now it's down to -ú10 a month, it is much more popular.

The market has decided it likes low prices.
Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 2:58:14 PM
re: DPI Market Set for Mobile Ramp Hi Delphi:

That sounds like a purist's comment. It would be expensive, and probably impractical, to build the kind of mobile network you require.

Mobile radio bandwidth is a shared resource, of 2 Mbit/s to 3 Mbit/s per sector on the downlink (today's best case).

To offer services at affordable price points, operators need to control traffic. DPI is one tool that might help. TCP optimization and content adaptation are other tools already widely used to "optimize" services and network performance.

This might not be ideal, but it is reality.
Stevery 12/5/2012 | 2:58:14 PM
re: DPI Market Set for Mobile Ramp I repeat myself: DPI is useless against encryption.

Any serious investment into DPI will drive applications simply to encrypt the traffic. The computation time is minuscule compared to the transmission time.

DPI simply delays dealing with the underlying problem: Statistical models of traffic that do not account for the tails correctly are going to run into trouble as high-bandwidth applications emerge.
delphi 12/5/2012 | 2:58:13 PM
re: DPI Market Set for Mobile Ramp We may be talking past each other in regards to terms. DPI is used to police usage by specific users for services carriers want to restrict or eliminate. Class of Service (QoS) is what carriers offer to consumers who subscribe to services. The new mobile services need to upgrade the ability to deliver the right QoS for the video and other moible services they want to offer. This has nothing to do with DPI. As mobile subscribers roam they will indeed run into the issue that specific areas they are in will not be able to offer the QoS for the services to which they have subscribed and are trying to access. DPI solves none of these issues. The largest issue is in ensuring end to end timing and synchronization of higher quality video and audio services over mobile networks which means controlling latency and jitter from delivery platform, over the optical network, out to the base stations and then over the air. Again, DPI does nothing for this problem. Everything described above requires upgrades to all aspects of the mobile delivery network(s).

Is your scenario to the consumer: please subscribe to our new mobile services and if you use them to much we are going to restrict your access and usage. That is all DPI can do. If a subscriber has signed up for a level of access and quality then that should be delivered as agreed. In mobile networks where every device and device owner is identified by services subscribed upon network access I fail to see how something as complex as DPI or IMS are useful.

Probably said more than this topic is worth so I will leave it at this.
Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 2:58:13 PM
re: DPI Market Set for Mobile Ramp Maybe DPI is too specific a termGǪ but without question mobile operators will limit the capacity allocated to certain types of users.

Oddly, most of the deployments (I understand) of DPI in mobile networks today are between the GGSN/PDSN and the Internet and are intended to provide fairness to that part of the link. In that case you'd be right, surely it's easier to for operators to get more Internet bandwidth than deploy DPI.

It's in the RAN where bandwidth it's harder to come by. Regular Internet apps are already high-bandwidth from a mobile perspective. A 256 kbit/s video stream might seem trivial on a wired network, but it's hard to support more than four simultaneous users at that speed over the air in a 3G sector/carrier in a typical network configuration.

delphi 12/5/2012 | 2:58:13 PM
re: DPI Market Set for Mobile Ramp Unfortunately I am not a purist. I believe the cost of implementing a functional DPI feature that will work across networks and service provides is much higher than just building a functional network. Stevry has it right about encryption. I just do not see how DPI could ever be implemented effectively. DPI and IMS are both overly complex and driven by real purists who love to spend their lives writing complex standards and attending meetings.
BigBrother 12/5/2012 | 2:58:12 PM
re: DPI Market Set for Mobile Ramp Stevery, I don't think you know what DPI is, encryption is not the problem. Please look up how DPI is done and also why people are complaining about Bittorrent is being throttle. Bittorrent is encrypted traffic. Also learn how VoIP is being throttle and remember VoIP is encrypted.
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