Qosmos Outlook on SDN and Network Intelligence

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The SDN Era Drives a New Path for DPI – with Qosmos as the De Facto Standard

Paris, France, February 15, 2013 – Software-Defined Networking (SDN) offers a new way to build smarter, more service-aware and resource-efficient networks, based on a layered, virtualized architecture. Network functions and applications must have access to continuous, detailed, real-time information about traffic for performance, value-added services and security. This catapults the use of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) from an essential utility to an innovation enabler for SDN.

Qosmos is the leading pure-play OEM vendor of DPI-based Network Intelligence technology. Its software development kit and probes recognize thousands of communication protocols and metadata attributes, creating an information layer that gives the most accurate picture of real-time data activity on networks. Equipment makers, telco and enterprise software vendors and cloud service providers use Qosmos to gain Layer 7 visibility, accelerate time to market and ensure continuous signature updates.

Qosmos sees three elements in which DPI plays a key role in enabling true SDN and service-aware networks:

1.    Layer 7 Visibility: Qosmos extracts real-time traffic details in the forms of App IDs and Metadata and feeds this information to all network functions and applications – creating the information layer that resides between the infrastructure and the applications. This “intelligence middleware” is perfectly aligned with SDN to deliver a complete picture of activity flowing through networks.

2.    Virtualization:  In the classic network appliance approach, different flavors of DPI and network intelligence are embedded in each appliance and each device. With Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), DPI will gradually migrate from a being product function to becoming a distributed resource, residing for example in standard vSwitches and servers and available via APIs as a shared function. The migration is further facilitated by the ability of Qosmos technology to run transparently in virtualized environments today.

3.    Standardization: The extension of OpenFlow fields to include additional information such as App IDs and corresponding metadata for each flow would create a common format which could be used by switches, controllers and applications. This would also work today in proprietary, non-SDN environments: Virtual switches could use these extended DPI fields for immediate improvement in visibility and easier programmability.

In SDN, Network Intelligence Enables a Wave of Innovation

This new view to DPI as a contextual, virtualized and standardized resource represents a new opportunity for vendors to accelerate development, deployment and adoption of their telco and enterprise solutions using SDN frameworks:

  • First, SDN can lower the total investment in DPI and Layer 7 intelligence, since the technology  is implemented once and shared by different network functions
  • Second, it will make interworking much easier between different functions & applications, thanks to standardized formats for DPI and Layer 7 intelligence
  • Third, innovation and application development are made easier, since DPI and Layer 7 intelligence will be provided by the info layer once and for all

SDN Ends the Build v Buy DPI Debate

The specialized expertise required, competitive pressures on time-to-market and cascading development and maintenance costs created the first wave of momentum for “pure play” DPI engines, as vendors were forced to look at more pragmatic options. Internal teams experienced increasing difficulties in keeping up with constant changes and regional variants in protocols and applications, along with extracting valuable information in the form of metadata. Exploding bandwidth demand created huge challenges to develop internal DPI engines able to handle n x 10 Gb/s, and at the same time, be tightly integrated with processor architectures, acceleration hardware and real-time operating systems.

Despite DPI’s specialized focus and horizontal use cases, it still has the occasional “Not Invented Here” (NIH) syndrome. But, the evolving SDN and NFV architectures now drive an agenda to make DPI a standardized – and thus, shared – resource. This ends the debate on whether or not to “outsource” development, as “outsourcing” will become the only practical path to ensure efficient interoperability.

Qosmos as the De Facto Standard

In the classic case of disruptive technologies, new markets are created by independent innovators, and established vendors have to reengineer or more practically, buy their way in. Such is the case with SDN today. Qosmos has the critical factors in place to take on the supporting role of the de facto DPI standard:

Market Vision: SDN validates “The Network Is Information” motto. Qosmos pioneered the category of embedded DPI and Network Intelligence technology in 2006; its view of creating application-aware networks through an information “layer” presaged the now accepted SDN architecture.

Technical innovation: First to extract metadata along with protocols, Qosmos has the broadest and deepest recognition today covering 1,100+ protocols and applications and 6,000+ metadata attributes. The release of its DeepFlow® Probe portfolio, in addition to its SDK, gives vendors multiple form factors to match specific use cases such as analytics, QoE and security to fit physical, virtual and SDN environments.

Market Momentum: Qosmos covers more than 60% of the embedded DPI market. In fact, more than 50 vendors now rely on Qosmos for embedded Network Intelligence. These partnerships include:

  • Top tier technology vendors including HP and Intel
  • Three of the top six Network Equipment Providers (NEPs)
  • Next-generation category leaders and/or billion dollar companies in application delivery networking, enterprise mobility, embedded technology, mobile traffic management, policy enforcement, Big Data analytics, firewalls, network security and analytics specialists and service assurance specialists.

Business model: Qosmos is the only pure play OEM DPI provider on the market, with an established ecosystem of NEPs, cyber security and telco application vendors. Qosmos is a founding member of the Network Intelligence Alliance, an industry organization which now counts more than 30 member companies. http://www.nialliance.org/


Thibaut Bechetoille, CEO: “As the SDN wave has progressed from technical definition and architectural standards to product rollouts and business acquisitions, the adoption of Qosmos technology has accelerated dramatically. As the only pure-play OEM vendor, Qosmos is becoming the de facto DPI standard in the new SDN era, since the industry won’t easily accept embedded technologies that are tied to a specific vendor’s solution portfolio and development priorities.”

Jerome Tollet, CTO: “SDN creates a massive shift where networks become software. Qosmos’ focus on disruptive DPI-based network intelligence meets the industry’s need for embedded technologies that are smarter, more contextual, more elastic and ultimately shared.”

Graham Finnie, Chief Analyst, Heavy Reading: “The business, technology and market forces are aligning to deliver on the promise of intelligent, service-aware networks. Tapping into embedded DPI expertise will enable vendors to deliver innovation faster.”


About Qosmos

Qosmos turns networks into information sources, making them application- and service-aware. The company’s award-winning Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and Layer 7 Network Intelligence (NI) technologies recognize thousands of communication protocols and metadata attributes, creating an essential information layer that gives the most accurate picture of real-time data activity on networks.

Market-leading equipment makers, specialized software vendors and cloud service providers embed Qosmos in telco and enterprise solutions where real-time Layer 7 intelligence is critical, such as traffic optimization, policy management, quality of experience, analytics, firewalls, cyber defense and more. Qosmos software development kit and probes can be used in all environments – physical, virtualized and in SDN architectures – to accelerate time to market and ensure continuous signature updates.

A pioneer in Network Intelligence based on DPI, Qosmos is the leading independent OEM provider on the market today, serving more than 50 companies worldwide. Based in Paris, Qosmos has offices in Silicon Valley, Singapore and London. For more information, please visit www.qosmos.com.

Related resources:
•    Qosmos and Heavy Reading White Paper “The Role of DPI in an SDN World”
•    Qosmos and Heavy Reading Webinar: “SDN & NFV: What Role For DPI?”

Qosmos Media Contact
Madeleine Renouard, Marketing Communications Manager
Tel: +33 (0)1 70 81 19 00 / Email