Tuesday, March 18, 2003
P2P a moving target
Rapid evolution of peer-to-peer software is outpacing traditional traffic management techniques
WATERLOO, ONTARIO, MARCH 18th, 2003 – Defensive strategies to control peer-to-peer file sharing that rely on traditional traffic management techniques will soon be outmoded, and may already be obsolete. That’s the finding of a new analysis by Sandvine Incorporated.
Available today at www.sandvine.com, “Port hopping and challenges to traffic control methodology” explains how the speed and ingenuity of P2P software development is now challenging conventional router and switch technologies. Though service providers are understandably keen to manage the upsurge in peer-to-peer traffic across their networks, the most popular file-sharing clients have evolved features that quickly sidestep traditional techniques to block or throttle their communications.
In the past, applications transported via TCP connections have been assigned a specific TCP port, making the traffic easy to identify. But P2P developers have re-designed their applications to use random dynamic ports -- any one of the tens of thousands available. Often referred to as “port hopping,” this capability renders traditional port-based P2P blocking and shaping solutions ineffective; and in some cases entirely obsolete.
“The range of P2P defenses available to service providers has suddenly become very limited,” said Marc Morin, co-founder and chief technology officer, Sandvine Incorporated. “Managing the way this generation of P2P application impacts the network requires techniques that are nimble enough to facilitate easy re-engineering. They must evolve in lockstep with future versions of P2P clients and changes to their underlying protocols.”
Sandvine’s white paper is an adjunct to its well-publicized September 2002 study, “The Impact of P2P on Service Provider Networks.” Both are available at www.sandvine.com.
Sandvine network equipment helps service providers better manage the growing burden of peer-to-peer (P2P) activity while building more profitable relationships with their subscribers. To reduce costs, Sandvine Peer-to-Peer Policy Management controls P2P traffic and delivers new operational efficiencies. To improve revenues, Sandvine's Subscriber Services Cluster provides a platform for easy deployment of network-based anti-virus, firewall and content filtering services to residential Internet subscribers. Sandvine products are suitable for all broadband and narrowband networks, cable or DSL. To find out more, visit Sandvine online at http://www.sandvine.com.