Healthy network, happy network
Taking several steps beyond its roots as a controller of P2P applications on broadband networks, Sandvine has unveiled a suite of applications to help network operators ferret out and protect against worms, spam, Trojans and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
The company's Network Integrity Suite consists of Sandvine Policy Traffic Switch (PTS) 8210, an Attack Traffic Mitigation platform and a range of security services.
Although broadband operators often protect their networks against intruders, in many cases, "the enemies can come from within," said Sandvine President & CEO Dave Caputo, referring to the fact that subscribers can wittingly or unwittingly become spam relays and cause havoc on the network.
Once a virus or Trojan is identified, Sandvine's system redirects that customer to a "captive portal" that notifies them of the infection and gives the customer options on how to remedy the problem. The system can also identify out-of-the-ordinary events. For example, a residential sub who is pinging a site relentlessly is likely to be participating in a DoS attack.
"With the intelligence layer, we can place very specific policies...to keep the traffic clean and humming, if you will," Caputo said.
Sandvine's original claim to fame involved peer-to-peer policy management, which applied to the company's first 20 to 30 customers, according to Caputo. Today, Sandvine claims to have 100 customer deployments and 26 million residential broadband subscribers trafficked through its systems. It has announced deals with operators such as UnitedGlobalCom, Troy Cablevision, and Bell Canada.
Widevine also claims to take a proactive approach to one of the biggest challenges with maintaining network integrity: locating potentially damaging, but evasive, traffic. DNS poisoning, which sends useless traffic to the DNS servers, and programs that fly through unblocked ports are just two examples.
On the CableLabs front, Sandvine provides an application manager under the PacketCable Multimedia (PCMM) architecture scheme. Ellacoya Networks also falls into this category. The application manager complements the PCMM's policy server.