3G and 4G mobile broadband has increased data traffic to the IP network and to Internet points of presence, creating such specialist DPI and optimization firms as Allot and Sandvine. “If it were not for performance needs, no operator would deploy a distributed network,” says Joe Hoffman, principal analyst. “But since the market demands that performance, virtualized and distributed networks deliver and afford additional degrees of integration. Local and regional data centers will be populated with one or very few platforms, giving an edge to the virtualized serving gateway (SGW)/packet data network gateway (PGW) vendor.” This creates implications for the DPI, optimization and policy segments, especially as virtualization moves to the core network, he adds. With a distributed, virtualized core network, blade-oriented solutions will provide an integrated and flexible solution where policy, DPI and optimization are placed in local or regional data centers.