Whitepaper: Deep Packet Inspection

A crucial enabler for network awareness

Whitepaper Deep Packet Inspection - A crucial enabler for network awareness

With expanding technologies such as cloud computing, 5G, or the Internet of things (IoT), DPI is becoming more important for networks.

Furthermore, with the daily life changing for most people around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a huge surge in internet traffic. In times like these, DPI becomes an even more important technology for efficiently operating and managing networks and ensuring the best connectivity and the highest security.

Get a better understanding of this powerful technology, focusing on current challenges. This whitepaper also discusses the aspects involved in deciding whether to build your own DPI or license the DPI software from a DPI-specialist.

What is Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

Deep packet inspection is a filtering technology that examines data packets. Embedded DPI classifies the protocol and application the packets belong to (layer 7). This information provides a better understanding of network traffic and facilitates informed decisions. By analogy, DPI is like X-raying a parcel and detecting explosives.

Deep packet inspection (DPI) functionalities

How does DPI work?

  1. DPI can identify the application attributes revealing whether the communication is a voice call, a file transfer or a generic chat. This allows fine-grained application visibility and control.
  2. DPI can also extract content and metadata, providing structured data insights. Full content and metadata extraction of communication protocols provide key performance indicators on network traffic performance including jitter, packet loss, bit rate, throughput, re-transmissions, voice over IP (VoIP), etc. This is an essential tool to deliver the desired network traffic visibility and optimize QoE and QoS.
  3. The third DPI functionality, statistical and behavioral analysis, provides the basis for metrics and heuristics, even in encrypted traffic. These metrics are important in security applications because many sophisticated applications can only be detected this way.

Why is DPI needed?

A DPI software makes network trends visible, helps communication service providers (CSP) optimize bandwidth and throughput, and reveals user behavior. DPI has evolved into an advanced behavioral and statistical analysis tool delivering full insight into IP-based network traffic.
Today, DPI enables network infrastructure and security vendors to develop products with efficient bandwidth control, prioritized QoS delivery and robust network security empowering intelligent networks for the future. Deep packet inspection is a key technology to master new challenges like cloud computing, the Internet of things, the move to 5G and increased encryption. DPI is also a critical enabler for meaningful machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Protocol and application classification with deep packet inspection (DPI)

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