P-Cube Wades Into P2P Traffic

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Another company has thrown its hat into the ring of peer-to-peer traffic management: P-Cube Inc. has unveiled its P2P Control Solution for cable operators and DSL providers, with an eye toward helping to manage increasing amounts of traffic.

P-Cube said it is in trials with a few North American cable operators, and has signed deployment deals with Telenor Avidi, a large Norwegian cable operator, and SingTel, a Singapore DSL provider.

The heart of the P-Cube system is a service engine that detects, analyzes and controls Internet-protocol traffic. That allows service providers to detect peer-to-peer usage across a wide variety of protocols, using application-layer traffic classification mechanisms, the company said.

Those mechanisms can identify peer-to-peer traffic, even when it uses random or unassigned port numbers, according to the vendor.

The control platform can manage peer-to-peer traffic at Gigabit wire speeds, handling up to 100,000 concurrent users and 1 million transactions.

U.S. cable operators have largely stuck to a single, standard price for modem service, although a few experiments at tiering are underway.

"But the all-you-can-eat service starts to break down as you get more multimedia content out there," said P-Cube vice president of marketing Milind Gadekar. "It's just a matter of time. You need mechanisms to enforce smarter policies and control, while not alienating the customer."

P-Cube's SE 1000 service-engine box sits behind a cable-modem termination system. The box is programmable so service providers can develop their own program language.

"That language simplifies networking protocols and messaging taking place," Gadekar said.

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