Packet header decoding

Packet header decoding is a fundamental task of every network appliance ranging from switches and routers to security appliances. It’s a straightforward task involving extraction of packet header fields for the purposes of subsequent classification. However, straightforward does not mean trivial. The fixed hardware structure of such components is limited in terms of flexibility and the possibilities of supporting various network protocols. It is not enough to parse basic network protocols such as IP and TCP/UDP. In today’s networks, the protocol stack can be very diverse. There is a vast number of encapsulation protocols and network overlays like TRILL, MPLS, 802.1q, etc. Also, the extraction mechanism needs to deal with the evolving structure of protocols used in computer networks.


Netcope is stepping up to this challenge by leveraging flexible, modular components for packet header decoding that can be configured to satisfy specific needs. The default configuration allows the payload to be preceded by several encapsulation headers including TRILL, MPLS and 802.1q protocols.

Support for the P4 language extends this possibility with standardized high-level description of the supported protocol stack and subsequent actions performed on the traffic independently of the specific hardware architecture. In other words, it provides total control over the card’s functionality.

Explore more Netcope products

Netcope Session Filter (NSF)

Netcope Session Filter (NSF)

Learn more about Netcope's powerful session-oriented packet capture solution.

Netcope Development Kit (NDK)

Netcope Development Kit (NDK)

NDK enables rapid design, prototyping and evaluation of hardware-accelerated applications.

Netcope Success Stories


NSF-100G2-Picomass-Netcope Network Traffic Monitoring

Picomass uses Netcope Session Filter in the IPS200 DPI solution because NSF is capable of offloading traffic to hardware. This makes real-time DPI on 100G networks possible.

Flowmon Networks

Flowmon Networks Network Traffic Monitoring

Flowmon Networks aims to develop a new generation of NetFlow/IPFIX probes that can monitor and process traffic of 100GE high-speed networks. Because of that, Flowmon Networks needs to find a network card that would be able of handling 100 GE monitoring requirements.

U.S. trading firm deploys Tradecope

U.S. trading firm deploys Tradecope Electronic Stock Trading

For successful trading on electronic exchanges today, it is not enough to come up with the smartest strategy anymore. Learn more about how U.S trading firm deployed FPGA-based Tradecope solution to increase hit rate of the trading strategy.