Blue Coat adds business process to bandwidth mgmt.

* Blue Coat updates its Multiprotocol Accelerated Caching Hierarchy technology

Blue Coat Systems this week announced the second generation of its application acceleration technology, which now includes a feature that can allocate bandwidth based on pre-defined priorities around business processes.

Blue Coat's Multiprotocol Accelerated Caching Hierarchy (or MACH5 for short) technology encompasses five areas of acceleration - bandwidth management, protocol optimization, object caching, byte caching and compression. The company loads the software onto its Proxy SG appliances, which perform Web filtering, spyware detection and secure content scanning, among other things.

The company picked up the SSL VPN technology with its Permeo acquisition. With its recent acquisition of the NetCache business from NetApp, Blue Coat could expand its capabilities into streaming media in future releases.

This updated release focuses on adding more intelligence to the boxes' bandwidth management capabilities. Now based in their own pre-defined policies, customers can prioritize traffic coming from the sales department over that of human resources, for instance.

"Because of the nature of our proxy we can identify application, transaction and user specific content," says Chris King, product marketing manager at Blue Coat. "We can identify a packet coming from a particular application, who is using it, what they are doing and what the relevance is to the organization. With that information, we can prioritize traffic based on business processes."

Blue Coat Proxy SG appliances are positioned between users on a network and the Internet and serve as a central point of control over Internet traffic. As a termination point for Web communications on the network, the appliance can apply numerous policy-based controls to Web traffic and requests before delivering content to users. Depending on the features customers put to use, the appliances can be installed in corporate data centers or on either end of a WAN link.

Current customers with Blue Coat SG appliances can get the MACH5 technology as a software upgrade. For new customers, low-end SG appliances start at about $2,000. The product is set to be available by month's end.

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