Blue Coat virtualises WAN optimisation for branch offices

WAN optimisation vendor Blue Coat Systems has launched a virtualised version of its application delivery package for branch offices that want to consolidate all services on a single server.

The move highlights both the growing importance of WAN optimisation for enterprises, driven by proliferating video traffic, and the trend towards branch office infrastructure consolidation to reduce hardware and management costs. Until now most WAN optimisation systems have come as dedicated boxes, but now Blue Coat is making its application delivery technology technology available as a virtualised package running on top of VMware’s software, which dominates the x86 server virtualisation market with around 90 per cent share, according to Gartner.

The new Blue Coat ProxySG Virtual Appliance BlueCoat allows enterprises to install, configure, and manage WAN optimisation across their branch network remotely. The appliances will help enterprises cope with a surge in video generated by recreational downloads and other Internet content, according to Bluecoat’s director of product marketing Mark Urban.

“YouTube used to be blocked-in most company sites but now it tends to be open because it’s being used for business as well as consumer video,” says Urban. “We’re now finding that recreational downloads are accounting for 40-to-60 per cent of WAN traffic.”

The appliance is effective against such video, Urban claims, by employing a variety of strategies, including prioritisation of other critical applications such as Oracle Financials, and identification of popular live streams that can be split between circuits to avoid hogging any one given WAN circuit. More IT section news

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