Network Based Application Recognition

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What Does Network Based Application Recognition Mean?

Network Based Application Recognition (NBAR) intelligently identifies, classifies and regulates bandwidth for mission critical applications, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) and workforce optimization applications to ensure the efficient use of resources. NBAR was developed by Cisco as part of its content networking platform for implementing intelligent network (IN) services.


Even non-critical applications, such as Internet gaming and MP3 file sharing, can be classified, marked, policed or blocked by NBAR.

Techopedia Explains Network Based Application Recognition

A device that incorporates NBAR thoroughly inspects certain data flow packets to determine the traffic category of the flow. This may be implemented through the use of the Open Systems Interconnection Model (OSI) Layer 4 designation, like info, signaling and packet content.

NBAR allows network routers to recognize the classification of data traffic, enabling action, if needed. For example, a router may allocate more bandwidth to mission critical applications and throttle unnecessary applications.

With NBAR, an administrator can view the network applications and apply bandwidth policing.

NBAR capabilities include:

  • Eliminating data flow bottlenecks
  • Multiple-service performance optimization
  • Detection, reduction and blocking of spam and malware to enhance network security
  • Easy addition of new protocols

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.