The increasing strain on broadband networks created by P2P networking traffic is driving a demand for products that can identify and weed out bandwidth-hogs through the use of deep packet inspection (DPI) technology.
According to a recent report from Light Reading Insider, network operators worldwide spent $96.8m on DPI in 2005, but the sector is poised to grow by more than 75 per cent this year, to about $170m, and top $586m in 2010.
James Crawshaw, research analyst at Light Reading Insider, and author of the report, said: "DPI has emerged as a key tool to combat bandwidth hogs and enable quality of service in broadband networks.
"Large service providers initially thought they could get around the problem of P2P by throwing more bandwidth at it, but P2P has become so pervasive that even the large operators are turning to DPI to combat P2P."
Interest in DPI as a P2P blocker grew first in Asia, but European and North American operators are now making aggressive moves to deploy the technology.
The business case for DPI investment now appears very strong, according to Crawshaw.
"Intelligent bandwidth management gives providers the ability to prioritise revenue-generating traffic when the network is heavily loaded, while allowing P2P applications such as BitTorrent to 'burst' when capacity is available, ensuring the satisfaction of all subscribers," he said.
DPI is the real-time analysis of packet contents for stateful protocol identification, flow monitoring, application monitoring, session monitoring, policy enforcement, use and usage control, quality of service, security and traffic management.
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