Exinda aims to uncloak anonymous proxy traffic

Software upgrade free to existing Exinda customers with maintenance subscriptions

New software features from Exinda aim to prevent end users from using anonymous proxy servers to bypass traffic management measures.

Exinda Networks’ latest software upgrade tackles some of the WAN optimization implications of a thorny IT management issue: the use of third-party anonymous browsing services that route DNS queries through a proxy server.

Anonymous proxies allow end users to bypass Web sites blocked by their companies, surf the Web anonymously, or hide their tracks while Web browsing. The new version of Exinda’s WAN optimization software, EXOS 5.3, can detect the use of anonymous proxies and subject Web traffic to the rules and restrictions organizations have set up.

With the new software, Exinda can expose, report and apply QoS policies to traffic using anonymous proxies. Its application classification engine categorizes network traffic and responds based on a company’s predetermined policies – by blocking the traffic or limiting its bandwidth usage, for instance. It can also identify end users who are not conforming to network usage policies.

If someone were to try to access an Internet radio site during business hours, for instance, Exinda would properly classify the traffic and apply the predetermined rules and policies, says Ed Ryan, vice president of products at Exinda.

“If you’re using anonymous proxies to generate traffic that’s normally shaped, we’ll still know what it is and properly classify it. All the normal policies and rules that would have applied to that traffic if you’d accessed it directly still apply.”

To stay on top of new anonymous proxy sites, the software maintains a list of URLs and sites to limit or block access to. “Version 5.3 allows you to see the real, true traffic. We provide continuous detection of anonymous proxy sites through daily updates. New ones are coming on everyday,” Ryan says.

It’s all about visibility, he says. “Visibility comes first. You can’t make intelligent decisions about how shape and prioritize and monitor the traffic unless you know what the traffic is. You can’t make good decisions to accelerate and optimize traffic unless you know what it is.”

Also new in the version 5.3 software upgrade are a number of user interface and configuration tweaks designed to make life easier for administrators. Exinda redesigned its help screens, for instance, simplified its logon pages and redesigned some of its wizards.

In addition, Exinda extended scalability features -- including multithreading and multi-queuing enhancements -- it developed late last year for its high-end 8760 product to the rest of its appliances that use multicore processors.

EXOS 5.3 works on all existing Exinda appliances and is free to Exinda customers with maintenance subscriptions.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT