We looked today at Netlogic’s NETL7 “knowledge-based processors” (KBPs). But the KBP category contains more than just this family: it also contains one called Sahasra.
But the Sahasra products aren’t just more of the same of what’s in NETL7. NETL7 deals with packets all the way to the application layer (layer 7) in the OSI stack. That’s the essence of deep packet inspection (DPI): you’re not just looking at various enclosing headers, you’re diving all the way in. That’s equivalent to moving all the way up the stack to the original application payload.
By contrast, the Sahasra products only deal with layers 2-4. These are fundamentally for packet and flow routing. The Sahasra KBPs are intended to speed things up by implementing very specific tables or databases that are specific to a particular layer or protocol. IP routing tables are a simple example of this sort of thing.
So while the NETL7 KBPs consist of engines processing match patterns, the Sahasra KBPs essentially provide dedicated fast lookup of the kinds of things needed to route packets.
I guess they’re both “processors” that work based on some knowledge – rules in one case, route or other packet information in the other – but, aside from that, they’re different beasts.
And, quite by chance (from a coincidental timing standpoint), they just announced this week volume production of their IPv6 KBP…