Networking

Blue Coat looks to streamline WAN optimization rollouts

Blue Coat Systems is aiming for instant gratification with a new configuration wizard designed to help IT professionals get their ProxySG appliances up and running quickly.

The streamlined setup executes a baseline WAN optimization configuration, including the ability to accelerate remote file access (utilizing CIFS), e-mail and Web-based applications.

The wizard enables setup in less than a minute, says Carrie Oakes, vice president of product management at Blue Coat. “You can actually get it configured in a minute, and you can go to the console and see the ROI of the acceleration that’s going on,” Oakes says.

After the initial setup, customers can use the management console to configure more complex features, such as SSL acceleration, she says.

“Eighty percent of the people are turning on the appliances for acceleration of file shares and TCP applications,” Oakes says, and the configuration wizard is geared for those deployments. Blue Coat’s goal is to start incorporating workflows for more complex functions, such as SSL acceleration, down the road. “As new releases come out, the box is going to get easier and easier to configure.”

In addition to the configuration wizard, Blue Coat added other automation features. The devices can auto-detect networking parameters, including network topology variables such as interface speeds and Layer 2 media access control (MAC) issues. The ProxySG appliances also can automatically locate peers in the data center or headquarters.

“We went out and visited a bunch of customers and watched what they were doing during the initial setup, then we focused on a bunch of the things that were causing them problems,” Oakes says. The wizard can validate that something labeled a DNS server really is a DNS server, for instance.

The configuration wizard is included in version 5.4 of Blue Coat’s SGOS operating software for its ProxySG appliance family. It’s also available as a free upgrade for customers with service contracts.

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