All packets are not created equal: why DPI and policy vendors look at video encoding


As we are still contemplating the impact of last week’s US ruling on net neutrality, I thought I would attempt today to settle a question I often get in my workshops. Why is DPI insufficient when it comes to video policy enforcement?

Deep packet inspection platforms have evolved from a static rules-based filtering engine to a sophisticated enforcement point allowing packet and protocol classification, prioritization and shaping. Ubiquitous in enterprises and telco networks, they are the jack-of-all-trade of traffic management, allowing such a diverse set of use cases as policy enforcement, adult content filtering, lawful interception, QoS management, peer-to-peer throttling or interdiction, etc…
DPIs rely first on a robust classification engine. It snoops through data traffic and classifies each packet based on port, protocol, interface, origin, destination, etc… The more sophisticated engines go beyond layer 3 and are able to recognize classes of traffic using headers. This classification engine…

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