How to build the intelligent network: protocol interworking

Broadforward scores deal with ipoque to use its protocol interface gateway for DPI applications

As operators race to make their networks application-aware, and to make applications network-aware, we will see an increasing requirement for policy-driven control of traffic across a wide variety of network elements.

Vendors such as Tekelec may talk about the new Diameter network driving this thinking network, but there is also going to be a need for inter-protocol conversion and aggregation.

Put at its simplest, that means being able to integrate a new element that takes advantage of DPI, say, with a number of different elements across the network. This puts an additional requirement on vendors to implement cross-system connectivity to products from different vendors, often proprietary and sometimes even direct competitors.

Broadforward is a company that provides interworking between protocols through its Broadband Policy Gateway BFX. The BFX features a set of interworking, conversion and routing functions for a wide range of protocols, such as Diameter, RADIUS, XML, SOAP, LDAP and SS7.

Today it announced that ipoque, a DPI company owned by Rohde & Schwarz, has integrated the BFX within its PRX Internet Traffic Management system.

Achieving competitive edge in the DPI market is about being as accurate and up to date as possible

Hendrik Schulz, CTO of ipoque, told The Mobile Network that achieving competitive edge in the DPI market is about being as accurate and up to date as possible in terms of tracking which applications are impacting the network. That applies equally to protocol support and speed of integration with network elements. Adding Broadforward’s protocol interworking smarts to its DPI product means elements such as an online policy and charging function can be integrated in a matter of days rather than weeks or months.

Steven van Zanen, BroadForward’s head of product management, commented in a press release supporting the announcement, “We are delighted to enter into this partnership and look forward to working with ipoque. BroadForward’s BFX interworking solution well provide ipoque and their customers with extensive interfacing capabilities, enabling new use cases and much faster integration.”