Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Challenges of Maintaining a Current DPI "Signatures File"

A new blog post by Cam Cullen (pictured), Procera's VP of Product Management provides some insights to the efforts of maintaining an up-to-date "signature file"  - the core of  the DPI technology, with which MNOs can define service-aware policies. For years, this was an issue of fixed networks DPI systems (with the challenge of indentifying P2P file sharing applications) - nowadays, as Cam pointing out, it is an issue for mobile traffic management solutions as-well. 

"The rapidly evolving mobile application landscape is making signature updates even more critical, as new applications are launched at what seems like a mile a minute. Our R&D team sometimes feels like the proverbial dog chasing its tail, as every week there are tons of new mobile applications launched in the App Stores for the major mobile operating systems

"The good news is that not all applications are created equal, and many are simply web front ends for a smartphone.. In these cases, a simple Virtual Service (which is a capability that we have for a customer to create their own signature) created to capture a specific type of traffic to a specific site will allow the mobile operator to create new services or zero-rate/exempt traffic from usage quotas in a matter of hours .. "

" .. More complicated applications (messaging, VOIP and sometimes streaming video/audio), are another matter completely. Skype [see - "Is it Possible to Block Skype with DPI ?" - here], Viber and Spotify are all examples of applications that can change the way they operate depending on the network bandwidth, attempts to limit their bandwidth or even the device on which they are running. These applications require a fast-moving development schedule, and sometimes cooperation between the operator and the vendor to ensure that traffic is properly classified. If you are charging (or NOT charging) based on a specific application, you better get it right!"

See "Chasing the Dog’s Tail – The Challenge of Keeping up with Mobile Applications" - here.

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