Market Insight

RESEARCH NOTE - Deep Packet Inspection Vendors Looking to Virtualization, Differentiation as Hardware Commoditization Takes Hold

June 06, 2016

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IHS Technology analysis and commentary on the Service Provider Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) Biannual Market Tracker, which includes data for the half-year ended December 2015, follows. 


Virtualization and differentiation are the key themes currently dominating the deep packet inspection (DPI) market. The majority of DPI vendors are tackling the virtualization trend head-on, introducing virtualized versions of their products, developing partnerships with other players within the network functions virtualization (NFV) ecosystem and working with their customers on early deployments. This activity is projected to drive the market for DPI as a virtual network function (VNF) from 19 percent of the total DPI market in 2015 to over 50 percent in 2020.

At the same time, as hardware becomes increasingly commoditized, the major DPI players are looking to expand their capabilities in adjacent areas by offering use cases that their technology can enable, including security, analytics and value-added consumer services.

Security continues to be a strong DPI use case, particularly in the wireless realm, as subscribers accessing the internet with their mobile devices increase the risk of security breaches and viruses. This is driving partnership and acquisition activity in the market, including Allot’s acquisition of Optenet and Sandvine’s partnership with Symantec.

And net neutrality remains a challenge in several markets — most recently India, which enacted rules earlier this year — but regulators in markets such as Western Europe and the United States seem to be softening their stance on the issue and opening the door to some degree of prioritization and/or zero rating and sponsored content.

Additional DPI Market Highlights

  • Although traffic management remains the primary driver for DPI investments, there has been momentum over the past several  years around leveraging DPI to support service innovation, including new pricing models and content bundles
  • Sandvine maintained its leadership position in the DPI market in 2015, followed by Allot and Procera
  • Cisco’s decision to discontinue its DPI appliance strategy resulted in lost market share and will create opportunities for other standalone appliance suppliers
  • The global deep packet inspection market is forecast to grow from $929 million in 2015 to $1.8 billion in 2020, with wireless representing the bulk of the growth

DPI Report Synopsis

The IHS Technology Service Provider Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) Biannual Market Tracker provides worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, forecasts through 2020, analysis and trends for deep packet inspection products deployed in service provider networks by network type (wireless and fixed line) and deployment type (virtual network function [VNF] and physical network function [PNF]). Companies tracked include Allot, Cisco, Huawei, Procera, Qosmos, Ipoque, Sandvine and others.

For information about purchasing this report, contact the sales department at IHS in the Americas at (844) 301-7334 or [email protected]; in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at +44 1344 328 300 or [email protected]; or Asia-Pacific (APAC) at +604 291 3600 or [email protected].

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