EEMBC Undertakes Design Of Industry-Standard Network Security Performance Benchmarks

Industry lacks common method to test and validate DPI throughput for network security products

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

August 4, 2010

3 Min Read

EL DORADO HILLS, Calif., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) today announced its intent to create a standardized, industry-endorsed method to evaluate the performance of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) solutions. These solutions use a variety of methods to examine whole data packets, including both the header and payload, to determine the authenticity and safety of the transmission. To date, the industry has lacked a common method to test and validate DPI throughput for network security products, such as Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances and Next Generation Firewalls. EEMBC's testing approach will consider the various threat vectors used in attempting to transfer infected payloads into a network.

In addition to creating the benchmarks that capture the performance of a system providing DPI, EEMBC will standardize the setup and certification methodology, as well as the standardized run and reporting rules. These standard methodologies will eliminate confusion for IT professionals, office managers, and consumers who are evaluating the DPI products for purchase, as EEMBC's DPIBench will measure the performance of all DPI solutions equitably.

EEMBC's DPI benchmarks, called the DPIBench, will also play a key role in the evaluation of the network processors that provide the control and intelligence required to implement devices performing DPI. This evaluation has been elusive in the past because network-processor performance must be obtained by testing the network processor in a complete and well-defined system. The challenge is even more complex, however, because two systems with the exact same processor chip can perform very differently depending on which features the system vendor has implemented.

Jeff Caldwell, R&D director at SonicWALL, has accepted the role as chair of the EEMBC Network-Security working group. "We have seen a desperate need for well-constructed, industry-accepted DPI benchmarks to equitably evaluate the throughput of platforms while handling various network-security threat vectors," commented Jeff Caldwell. "We strongly encourage all industry leaders to participate in the creation of these EEMBC DPI benchmarks, which will help meet this urgent need. Upon completion, we plan to proceed to Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) formalization of this benchmarking methodology."

"Most DPI product vendors use proprietary methods for measuring and specifying their products' performance, which makes it very challenging for their customers to do an accurate competitive analysis," said EEMBC president Markus Levy. "In the customer's interest, we are encouraging all relevant companies, including the system manufacturers, network processor vendors, and networking and security application developers, to join us in this effort to ensure a meaningful and fair representation."

Initial participation in the EEMBC Network-Security working group has come from processor vendors such as Cavium Networks, Intel, and NetLogic Micro, and system vendors such as SonicWALL and others. The working group will hold an open meeting on August 17. To inquire about participation in the meeting and membership in the EEMBC DPI benchmark working group, contact Markus Levy.


EEMBC, the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium, develops benchmark software to help designers select the right embedded processors for their systems. Benchmark algorithms and applications developed by EEMBC are organized into benchmark suites targeting consumer, digital entertainment, networking, automotive/industrial, telecommunications, Java, and office equipment products. An additional suite of benchmarks, called MultiBench, specifically targets the capabilities of multicore processors based on an SMP architecture. These benchmarks may be obtained by joining EEMBC's open membership or through a corporate or university licensing program. The EEMBC Technology Center manages development of new benchmark software and certifies benchmark test results.

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Dark Reading Staff

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