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Narus Launches ISP Semantic Traffic Analysis

Narus Inc. Wednesday announced the upcoming release of its network technology analyzer, Semantic Traffic Analysis, aimed at providing Internet service providers (ISPs) and network service providers (NSPs) with data to support value-added services.

Value-added services such as Internet video, IP telephony, IP faxing, Internet applications hosting and others are crucial to service providers' profitability and differentiation, according to Narus. As these services become more common, service providers have experienced problems in estimating service pricing. Narus said the difficulty ISPs have had with estimating the cost of the services means new technology that offers more specific, in-depth information is needed.

"Service providers on the Internet are at a crossroads," said Greg Howard, director of service provider programs for Infonetics Research, a San Jose Internet research firm.

"In order to position themselves for the future, they need to offer differentiated services. But, until now, having enough information to develop realistic business models, pricing and support for these services has been almost impossible."

In an effort to provide more complex network traffic analysis, Narus is introducing its semantic network traffic service. The company cites research which predicts the fast-growing ISP sector will become stagnant without the ability to offer differentiated services. In order to gain significant revenues from these services, a technology was necessary to allow usage based pricing.

"We realized that, at the heart of the data that is needed to accurately measure usage and enable 'pay-as-you-go' business models for Internet service providers, is what we call the 'semantics' of network traffic," said Ori Cohen, Narus' founder and chief executive officer.

"In short, by seeing the 'semantics' of network traffic, service providers can see 'inside' the data, providing much more detailed insight about the use of the Internet and the perceived value of specific applications than existing technologies allow."

Semantic Traffic Analysis uses network technology to consistently capture and analyze all IP data streams on heavily trafficked networks remotely and non-invasively. In addition, the semantics of the data stream are determined also, as well as the protocol used and the application taking place. A variety of other data is available as well.

The Narus Semantic Traffic Analysis system will debut in early 1999. Pricing has not yet been determined.