DPI in your Cheerios?

Well, that’s probably going too far, but expect to see Deep Packet Inspection technology popping up in other places, and being combined with other technologies.

We saw it today with Allot’s announcement of MediaSwift, which combines DPI and caching to intelligently distribute content closer to those trying to access it. Previously, companies such as Zeugma Systems combined something akin to DPI with access technology to create a more intelligent IP edge device and Arbor Networks is starting to integrate DPI into its security services.
The thing is that, despite the bad rap DPI has in some circles, it is an important technology for service providers as they try to use bandwidth more efficiently. So it makes sense that technology companies will incorporate DPI into a broader range of equipment to add intelligence to the network at places where it can be useful.

Yankee Group Analyst David Vorhaus sees DPI “moving in the background to become more of a utility that other network elements can use to offer service control.” And, Vorhaus said, that is not necessarily a bad thing.

“Operators need a firm business case for this, and DPI can do that all by itself,” Vorhaus said. But in places like the 3GPP’s policy, charging and control architecture, DPI can serve as an intelligence gathering mechanism because that is what DPI does best — by inspecting individual packets in real-time, it provides a broad spectrum of intelligence about the application, the user and the service.

So this technology which has offered so much promise - and yet so much peril - to service providers is now moving into the network in — dare I say it — politically correct ways.

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