Monday, February 11, 2013

[Light Reading]: Will F5's DPI have DPI? PCRF?

Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading, reports that F5 is going to announce the long awaited DPI tomorrow (Tuesday).

See my previous posts:

  • [Jan '13]:  F5 CEO Reports on DPI Products; Availability not Provided - here
  • [Oct '12]: F5 - Moving Ahead with DPI (already in Beta) - here 
  • [Nov '11]: F5 Service Provider/Mobile Road Map: Focus on DPI - here - see charts below

Craig reports that "The BIG-IP Policy Enforcement Manager (PEM), due to be announced Tuesday, is applicable to any network, but F5 is emphasizing its utility in mobile networks, partly because the company thinks it can tap mobile operators' rising interest in value-added services and in network functions virtualization (NFV) .. F5 wants to offer more complex policy enforcement as a product, making it an option in the intelligent services framework .. F5 says it can offer PEM to its installed base as a software add-on, rather than adding another box to the network".
"PEM monitors traffic and applies policy accordingly -- making sure a gold-package user gets the promised level of access, for instance. Asked via email whether deep packet inspection (DPI) is involved (a PCEF can involve DPI but doesn't have to), F5 answered indirectly, saying PEM can "identify applications and protocols that are being used in the network," as Product Marketing Manager Misbah Mahmoodi [pictured] describes it .. A PCEF has to work with a Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF), and Mahmoodi points out F5 has completed interoperability testing with other vendors' PCRFs".

The following charts were presented by F5, back in November 2011, about their DPI plans (see more here)

Source: F5 - November 2011

"Asked whether F5 might offer its own PCRF eventually, Mahmoodi replies that F5 "will continue to leverage its strong partnerships with PCRF vendors in service provider deployments"

See "F5 Gets Into Policy Enforcement" - here.

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