Window on WANs

Nov 23 2011   10:44AM GMT

Blue Coat clads Cloud Controller with WAN optimization capabilities

Tessa Parmenter Tessa Parmenter Profile: Tessa Parmenter

Secure cloud services no longer need to perpetuate the stereotype of slowness, now that Blue Coat Systems has added its Cloud-Connector to its MACH5 WAN optimization appliances — both physical and virtual.

Adding WAN optimization techniques (like protocol acceleration, compression, object and byte caching and QoS) to Blue Coat’s security-as-a-service format gives enterprises a chance to connect branch offices directly to the Internet rather than backhaul Web traffic to and from the data center. By eliminating two of the problems associated with Internet connectivity — security and slowness — Blue Coat is confident that enterprises will be less anxious about connecting business-critical applications to the Internet.

“BlueCoat is helping to … remove the fundamental fear factor associated with opening branch office access to the Internet, thereby enabling faster cloud applications, lower cost networking and more direct access to cloud applications,” said Mark Urban, Blue Coat’s Senior Director of Product Marketing.

Enterprises who do have Internet connectivity between branch offices and corporate data centers need to protect corporate data via a VPN. However, doing this would take away the advantage of direct Internet access for cloud applications and for access of employees to the greater Internet, Urban explained.

“It’s not only removing the security concerns with our cloud security service but also improving the performance of those applications over the Internet,” he said.

According to Blue Coat, the MACH5 can accelerate file access and backup up to 300 times and eliminate bandwidth consumption by as much as 90%. The security-as-a-service uses the same capabilities delivered on its secure gateway appliances tied into it’s WebPulse service and allows companies to pay based on a subscription tailored to your companies needs.

In the race of vendors aiming to improve SaaS performance with cloud WAN optimization, it seems Blue Coat Systems is running neck-and-neck with vendors like Riverbed Technology (in association with Akamai) and Aryaka.

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