US 7376125 Service processing switch

ABSTRACT – A system and method for providing IP services. A packet is received at a line interface/network module and forwarded to a virtual routing engine The virtual routing engine determines if the packet requires processing by a virtual services engine. If the packet requires processing by the virtual services engine, the packet is routed to the virtual services engine for processing.

FIELD

The present invention relates generally to packet switching, and more particularly to a system and method for providing IP services in an integrated fashion.

BACKGROUND

Internet or WAN service providers (SPs) operate in a crowded marketplace where cost effectiveness is critical. Cost control is, however, difficult. At present internetwork bandwidth is a commodity item with extremely tight margins. If the SP wishes to provide additional value-added services such as firewalls, the SP must install and configure expensive Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) at subscriber locations. Problems that arise often require a trip by a service technician to the subscriber’s location. It can be difficult to add new services.

This model of value-added service delivery creates an expensive up-front capital investment, as well as significant operational expenses that are associated with onsite installation and management of thousands of distributed devices. The results are service delivery delays, increased customer start-up costs and/or thinner service provider margins.

Service providers need a way of escape from commoditized bandwidth offerings and from traditional equipment-intensive service delivery architectures that drain profits.

SUMMARY

The above-mentioned shortcomings, disadvantages and problems are addressed by the present invention, which will be understood by reading and studying the following specification.

According to one aspect of the present invention, a system and method for providing IP services includes receiving a packet at a line interface/network module, forwarding the packet to a virtual routing engine and determining, at the virtual routing engine, if the packet requires processing by a virtual services engine. If the packet requires processing by the virtual services engine, routing the packet to the virtual services engine for processing.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a system and method for providing IP services includes receiving a packet at a line interface/network module, forwarding the packet to a virtual routing engine and determining, at the virtual routing engine, if the packet requires processing by an advanced security engine. If the packet requires processing by the advanced security engine, routing the packet to the advanced security engine for processing.

The present invention describes systems, clients, servers, methods, and computer-readable media of varying scope. In addition to the aspects and advantages of the present invention described in this summary, further aspects and advantages of the invention will become apparent by reference to the drawings and by reading the detailed description that follows.

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