Peer to peer traffic is a fair amount of the traffic over an ISPs network these days, and methods of controlling this are slowly becoming more common. Sandvine provides one possible solution in P2P policy management systems.
The Sandvine PPE8200 system is designed to help service providers manage the unpredictable nature of P2P traffic, for example by controlling what paths are used to route packets and reducing network chatter. One good example is that it can make decisions to ensure users get data from more local sources, rather than over expensive routes like Australia. The reason the ability to control routing is important is that an ISP may have a 10Mbps link to say Europe, which is reliable and low latency but expensive to rent and clogging it up with P2P traffic may cause problems for other users. The ISP can then force the P2P traffic over say a 20Mbps link that is cheaper, but perhaps not so reliable, or has higher latency which really doesnt affect P2P usage.
At a time when service providers are starting to take more drastic measures, like throttling or the blocking of peer 2 peer traffic, this sort of hardware allows an ISP to retain some control over the costs without impacting on their users ability to use P2P applications.
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