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Allot extends DPI product suite
By Sarah Reedy

Jun 16, 2008 8:00 AM

DPI provider partners for VoIP, Internet video protection

In conjunction with NXTcomm08, Allot Communications today introduced a series of new deep packet inspection (DPI)-based products with partners including PeerApp and Qosmos. The joint products allow Internet video and voice-over IP (VoIP) applications, respectively, to leverage DPI in new services and improved user experience.

The platform that Allot and PeerApp together developed integrates Allot’s DPI with PeerApp’s intelligent media caching platform to deliver video content over the Internet for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The technology is designed to optimize video and file-sharing applications so that bandwidth costs can be controlled and service providers can reduce latency and delays caused by multimedia content buffering. The combined solution identifies video streams in real time and redirects them to the PeerApp UltraBand platform where they are caching technology frees up bandwidth to speed the download process.

“Service providers have been able to give an improved sense of quality of experience to their users and because the Allot boxes are acting as the intelligent traffic redirection, only the traffic that needs to pass through these boxes goes through that so they keep the latencies, eliminate points of failures for non-cash traffic, and it gives them a much better overall performance and solution for their network infrastructure,” said Cam Cullen, director of product management, Americas, for Allot.

With Qosmos, Allot’s announced partnership means all Allot DPI devices will work in conjunction with Qosmos Information Extraction appliances to optimize any VoIP service. Qosmos’ appliance, which monitors VoIP and charging through Call Detail Records collection, is integrated with the Allot Service Gateway and NetEnforcer IP service optimization solution to address the challenges of billing, fraud prevention and QoS in VoIP deployments.

Cullen said that the challenge of how to provide solid quality of service within a neutral network remains substantial for service providers. As peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing has become commonplace as a means for video distribution, P2P users are continuing to suck up bandwidth, free of cost, at the expense of the network. This trend is coupled by an increase in video usage, ultimately creating challenges in the network of how to classify the real application that it is running on and, thus, how to properly handle the QoS to make sure it is served correctly.

“With the amount of content that is being distributed via this peer-to-peer, it is a huge challenge for service providers to deliver to the end users, and they’re looking for solutions not only for applications like Joost, but even YouTube, the infamous site now with 139 million unique visits per month and over four billion videos viewed, which is just a humongous amount of data and traffic,” Cullen said. “Even though they are small videos, what you’ll see in YouTube is a storm when a new video comes out it becomes watched by everyone. If there is a way to capture the popular video and be able to deliver them faster, that is a significant win for not only the large, but also the small service providers.”

The DPI market has been under scrutiny by regulators and customers who fear that ISPs are using technologies like those announced today to block some P2P traffic in the name of network management. Cullen said that even in the area of net neutrality, DPI is not necessarily about controlling traffic. Rather, it is about understanding the application that will allow the ISP to create services based on these high-value content areas. For example, there are a lot of people doing business based on video and thus generating traffic. The only effective way to steer these value-added services is through DPI, he said.

“When DPI started it was about visibility, then it evolved into peer-to-peer, control and traffic management,” Cullen said. “None of our large service providers are buying the boxes for that reason anymore. They are buying it because they want to do the types of services that we talk about. Those are the ones that are going to make it.”

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