Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vendor Review: Procera Launches 100GE DPI Device and Shares Market Insights

Procera Networks is announcing today the latest addition to its DPI devices, the PL-20000, the first in the industry to have 100GE interfaces. To understand the needs who led the company to come this early with the 100G device, I spoke with Cam Cullen (pictured), VP Global Marketing for Procera. Cam went beyond new product story and provided me with an updated view of the recent trends they see in the DPI market.
Cam explains that their biggest customers (see "Procera: Cox Generated $2.2M in 2010" - here) are looking for high-capacity and high port density in DPI-based, policy enforcement devices. Some need large number of 10GE ports (72, for the PL-20000), some ask for 100GE ports, now.

Prospects are saying "if you have it now, I'll buy" Cam says. Cam expects the PL-20000 will start selling in Q2 with 10GE ports, and during the 2nd half of 2012 for the 100GE equipped devices (although trials will begin earlier). Other performance parameters (number of subscribers etc) are updated too, and may be seen in the chart below.

As can been seen by the product's picture, Procera continues to based its hardware on ATCA.  Although ATCA chassis are based on 40G backplane, a number of vendors now support 100GE ports (see an example - here).

Performance is not just the number of ports and ability to process traffic. Interaction with PCC and subscriber management systems is extremely important as well, and Procera measures now performance in two dimensions - Gbps and TPS - over the control plane (transaction per second of Gx, Gy, RADIUS and similar interfaces). Cam claims that Procera outperforms its competitors in both dimensions.

One reason for Procera success (the company confirmed recently they will doubled their annual revenues in 2011, to $40M -here) , according to Cam, is their simplicity in setting up a full solution (data and control planes). Customers need and require now to apply new services in a matter of weeks "the competing products are complex", says Cam.

On other matters:

  • Market Trends - operators look now for solutions that will help them understand what's happening on their network, implement "intelligent charging", and offer application-aware service plans that prioritize certain applications.

    An example that is expected soon is the US Super-Bowl, that will, for the first time, be streamed live to iPads, Verizon mobile phones and NBC web site and later this year the 2012 London Olympics will set a similar challenge and opportunity.
  • US fixed Operators - Procera does see the opportunity there. After so many years of putting traffic management on hold, they expect some traction in 2012.

    If appears that fixed services operators are adapting the 3GPP PCRF-PCRF model (and the Gx/Gy Interfaces) for their fixed services as well, based on the good experience and vendors relations they accumulated in the mobile side of business. Procera sees RFPs asking for 3GPP based solutions by US and international operators.
  • Congestion Management - Cam believes that we will see more cell-aware congestion management solutions this year. Current solutions are still somehow limited (either by network architecture or the solution performance) but new solutions will be show up this year. 
See the press release - "Procera Launches the PacketLogic™ PL20000, the Industry’s First 100GE-Capable Intelligent Policy Enforcement Solution" - here.

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