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Vulnerabilities / Threats

Deep-Packet Offerings Proliferate

Ellacoya, Sandvine join Allot in launching new tools for deep packet inspection

CHICAGO -- Globalcomm 2006 -- Service providers' security monitoring capabilities could improve significantly in the near future, if those providers take advantage of new deep packet inspection (DPI) tools rolled out this week at the Globalcomm conference.

Ellacoya Networks and Sandvine Inc., two providers of carrier-class bandwidth and performance monitoring tools, both advanced their DPI offerings, which can be used to study client behavior down to the end user level. The two vendors joined Allot, which demonstrated its newest DPI technology here earlier this week. (See Allot Goes Deep on Packets.)

Agilent Technologies and Ellacoya Networks, a leading provider of carrier-grade IP service control solutions, announced the availability of a joint solution for monitoring, managing, and controlling broadband IP networks. (See Agilent Integrates Ellacoya .) The solution combines Ellacoya's deep packet inspection (DPI) technology, which identifies and classifies service use and performance information at gigabit rates, with Agilent's deep packet analysis (DPA) technology, which monitors and manages key services, to optimize network planning, improve troubleshooting, and deliver service assurance to multi-service IP networks.

Combined, the deep-packet inspection and deep-packet analysis technologies could enable service provider customers to study end user behavior and identify malicious or risky activity in real time.

The two companies have entered into a worldwide agreement under which Agilent has become an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of Ellacoya's IP Service Control System. Agilent will integrate Ellacoya's system with its broad portfolio of IP solutions. The joint solution initially supports VOIP for wireline and wireless service providers, with support for video, gaming, and IP data services in future releases. The integrated solution will enable the deployment of a single monitoring and control solution for all IP-based services.

The integration of these two technologies brings a unique combination of capabilities. Ellacoya's DPI technology enables service providers to categorize all users and all services all the time; it inspects all application traffic with patented methods and extracts a subset for further analysis. Agilent's DPA analyzes this information to report on application-specific features or traffic patterns for selected users and services. In-context drill-down into the signaling messages enables rapid troubleshooting. The integrated solution also enables the ability to control traffic based on DPI or DPA findings so service providers can provide higher bandwidth and service levels to users of premium services.

Separately, Sandvine Incorporated, a leading provider of intelligent broadband network solutions, launched its PTS 14000 platform: a powerful platform enabling per-subscriber DPI-based policy solutions in service provider networks that are migrating to 10-Gig connectivity. (See Sandvine Intros 10-Gbit/s Traffic Mgr.)

Continued broadband subscriber growth combined with mass market adoption of what were once early-adopter applications like P2P file-sharing, VOIP, online gaming, and other multimedia applications demand increased intelligence in the broadband access pipe, Sandvine officials say. Sandvine’s PTS 14000 platform helps service providers identify the sources of resource contention, including unwanted malicious traffic in the network.

"The increase in bandwidth consumption due to media-rich applications, such as video streaming, along with peer-to-peer file sharing, places a high premium on a service provider's ability to identify and manage traffic," says Vince Vittore, Senior Analyst, Broadband Access Technologies, Yankee Group. "As broadband is increasingly vital to the consumer's daily life, higher capacity and carrier-grade equipment is a requirement for success."

Light Reading staff

Organizations mentioned in this story

  • Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A)
  • Allot Communications (Nasdaq: ALLT)
  • Ellacoya Networks Inc.
  • Sandvine Inc. (London: SAND; Toronto: SVC)

    Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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