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Heavy Reading Insider –
DPI appliance vendors face
an off-the-shelf challenge

Market reports


Deep packet inspection (DPI) and systems using DPI technology are increasingly common within telecom operator networks. A range of specialist vendors sell solutions that use DPI as a base (often in conjunction with policy) to enable traffic management, traffic shaping, creation of sophisticated charging packages, quality of experience (QoE) management and improved network protection. They have been joined by the biggest telecom network equipment providers (NEPs) that are providing similar solutions.

DPI deployment is not without controversy. Consumers have concerns about privacy, and DPI is one of the underlying technologies that makes it possible for network operators to vary the provision of data applications and data services according to customer type, device type, subscription package and type of application and content (with increasing degrees of granularity). Variation of services according to such criteria is not necessarily a bad thing, but the capability has created concerns in some quarters for the preservation of net neutrality, and about the ability of operators to distort competition.

The emergence of an ecosystem of DPI building block vendors, selling everything from DPI capable chipsets to line cards, signature databases, SDKs and even probes, as well as software-ready platforms is enabling the deployment of DPI technology by more NEPs and other infrastructure and technology providers than ever before.

The next wave of DPI solutions on the market will include building blocks supplied by members of this community as DPI solution providers realize it is more cost effective to buy rather than build more elements of their platforms.

DPI appliances will still have a place in the market, and indeed will account for the majority of sales for the medium term, but appliance vendors will have to work harder to demonstrate their specialist capabilities and to differentiate their solutions.

DPI Appliance Vendors Face an Off-the-Shelf Challenge goes under the hood, looking at the technologies that DPI component and building block vendors are providing that will underpin the next wave of DPI technology deployments. It reviews where their DPI is starting to be embedded, and what the implications are for the vendors of DPI solutions – including specialist vendors and the major NEPs.

Key findings of DPI Appliance Vendors Face an Off-the-Shelf Challenge include the following:

  • An ecosystem of suppliers has emerged providing off-the-shelf DPI building blocks, which have the potential to change the way that DPI is deployed
  • Building blocks give DPI appliance vendors tools to enable them to bring solutions to market faster
  • Appliance vendors also face a challenge: increasing capabilities of chipsets and standards-based blades makes integration of DPI into other network elements more practical
  • DPI is set to be integrated with many more network elements, and will be integrated from the outset with next-gen equipment
  • DPI solution vendors must focus on buying best of breed and differentiate via applications and services

One consequence of the availability of more powerful system on chip (SOC) solutions, processors and standards-based hardware resources equipped to undertake DPI, along with access to application libraries and SDKs, is the ability of a new wave of technology vendors to take advantage of and build DPI into their systems. This technological innovation is also enabling vendors that already offer DPI to integrate the technology ever deeper into, and ever more widely throughout their platforms. And such a trend has emerged. In its Deep Packet Inspection Market Tracker , Heavy Reading forecasts that integrated DPI solution sales will grow robustly in the next five years. As the following excerpt shows, the market is expected to rise from a forecast value of around $114 million in 2011 to around $357 million in 2016.

Suppliers profiled in this report include: Actiance (formerly FaceTime Communications Inc.); Bivio Networks Inc.; BroadWeb Co.; Cavium Networks (Nasdaq: CAVM); CloudShield Technologies Inc.; cPacket Networks Inc.; Freescale Semiconductor Inc (NYSE: FSL).; GE Intelligent Platforms, a subsidiary of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE); IP Fabrics Inc.; Ipoque GmbH, a subsidiary of Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG; LSI Corp (NYSE: LSI); Napatech A/S; NetLogic Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: NETL); Netronome; Procera Networks; Qosmos; RadiSys Corp. (Nasdaq: RSYS); Sensory Networks Inc.; and Tilera Corp.

DPI Appliance Vendors Face an Off-the-Shelf Challenge, a 29-page report in PDF format, is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (12 monthly issues) to Heavy Reading Insider, priced at $1,995. Individual reports are available for $900 (single-user license).To subscribe, please visit:

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Jeff Claudino
Director of Sales, Insider Research Services
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