Blue Coat Systems adds client-side acceleration

* Blue Coat SG Client architecture

Blue Coat Systems this week unveiled its plan to address the client-side of WAN optimization and secure delivery with new products that help those workers not in the branch office achieve optimum application performance.

The Blue Coat SG Client architecture can deliver application acceleration and security features to all endpoint machines, even those used by remote, mobile and teleworkers. The software comes in two flavors; persistent software that requires software to be installed on end-user laptops and desktops, and on-demand, which involves a small bit of software code to be downloaded to client machines when they log in to through company VPN to access applications via an airport kiosk or hotel PC, for instance. The product, Blue Coat officials say, will enable enterprise IT companies to protect, filter and optimize application traffic.

"This addresses the entire gamut of end users," says Chris King, product marketing manager at Blue Coat.

SG Client software integrates into Blue Coat's Blue Coat's MACH5 [Multiprotocol Accelerated Caching Hierarchy] framework of acceleration technologies will accelerate key enterprise applications, the company says, including secure Web applications such as SSL traffic. MACH5 incorporates bandwidth management, protocol optimization, object caching, byte caching and compression technologies into Blue Coat's operating systems, which is loaded onto appliances.

As a proxy appliance, Blue Coat is positioned between users on a network and the Internet and serves as a central point of control over employee Internet use. A termination point for Web communications on the network, the proxy appliance can apply numerous policy-based controls to Web traffic and requests before delivering content to end users. To enable some of the acceleration technologies, appliances should be installed on either end of a WAN link, Blue Coat says.

Industry watchers have noted lately that while application acceleration and WAN optimization products improve performance to branch offices, many enterprise IT managers must determine how to speed traffic to a diverse set of end users that may not always tap the company location for their applications. For instance, traveling or teleworkers can’t tap the acceleration appliances installed at the branch office.

This type of client-side acceleration software could address that need. Niche players such as Stampede Technologies and Intelligent Compression Technologies have such offerings and the likes of Expand Networks say the technology is in the works at their companies.

Scheduled to be available in the first quarter next year, Blue Coat SG Client pricing has not be finalized. Company officials say it could be priced at about $100 per end-user machine, for both the persistent software license and the on-demand model.

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