Blue Coat makes WAN optimization client available for free

* ProxyClient software now free, integrated with Blue Coat’s Web filtering tools

Blue Coat Systems this week unveiled the new version of its WAN optimization client software, dubbed ProxyClient. The most obvious change is that it's now free.

Blue Coat Systems this week unveiled the new version of its WAN optimization client software, dubbed ProxyClient. The most obvious change is that it's now free. 

Not only is the software free, but Blue Coat also is rolling the ProxyClient technology into its ProxySG appliances to simplify deployments. “What that means is all of the overhead, management challenges and licensing friction just go away. There are no licenses at all,” says Jonathan Cervelli, Blue Coat’s senior product marketing manager for WAN optimization solutions.

“You can have as many employees as you want using the acceleration client without having to do license management,” adds Bethany Mayer, senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

But the $0 price tag isn’t the only change. Blue Coat added byte caching and location awareness features to fine-tune enterprises’ application acceleration options for remote and mobile users

Blue Coat’s existing SG Client software already performed protocol optimization for CIFS and TCP, as well as client-side object caching and compression. With the addition of byte-caching technology, ProxyClient can improve performance up to five times more than Blue Coat’s previous SG Client software, Cervelli says. “Byte caching allows you to do very sophisticated data reduction and partial object caching to de-duplicate the data that you transmit in a highly effective way,” he says.

In addition, location awareness enables the ProxyClient software to automatically apply appropriate WAN optimization, depending on whether a user is inside a branch office and benefiting from acceleration provided by a ProxySG appliance or working remotely. “The ProxyClient can figure out that it’s closer to the source server than its next-best proxy is, and turn itself off,” Cervelli says.

On the security front, Blue Coat integrated ProxyClient with its WebFilter line, which includes antispyware and antiphishing technologies. By linking the two products, enterprises can centrally manage URL filtering and apply Web policies controls to all company-owned computers, including those operating remotely. For instance, ProxyClient uses WebFilter’s Web site rating system to assess in real-time whether a requested URL is a spyware, phishing, pornography, gambling or otherwise inappropriate site.

(Blue Coat WebFilter software is not free, but ProxySG customers who license WebFilter will get the addition of remote Web control added on to the ProxyClient free of charge.)

It’s not just about extending application performance features to remote and mobile employees; enterprises also need to extend Web security and policy control to employees with company-owned laptops who are working remotely, Mayer says.

“ProxyClient is a merger of security and acceleration in one client. We have our Web control capabilities -- antiphishing and antispyware from Blue Coat WebFilter -- combined with acceleration functionality all in one client,” she says.

The base Blue Coat ProxyClient software will be available in March and is free of charge to customers with ProxySG appliances. To take advantage of the Web security and control functionality requires Blue Coat WebFilter installed with licenses for remote users.

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