NWME: What is driving application delivery networking? Can you tell us some of the challenges associated with application delivery today?
Today’s challenge is that two major trends are moving users and data further apart while applications themselves are sending more data to the users. IT departments are centralising servers, data and services and deploying SaaS systems for their users. At the same time, users want access to the organisation’s data and applications from regional offices, their home offices and when on the road. The farther the distance between users and applications, the longer it takes for data to be delivered. Today’s applications are increasingly moving to web-based front-end, including higher amounts of graphics, audio and video and therefore, need greater amounts of data to cross the wide area link. These three trends increase the amount of data and increase the distance – both increasing the delay for users to get the data that they need and filling up the WAN bandwidth. Further, users themselves access web sites that are also increasingly full of rich content. Application delivery Networking gives IT staff the visibility, optimisation and control of the organisation’s networks to deliver faster data to users, safer access to web sites and reduce the amount of WAN bandwidth needed.
NWME: Is WAN optimization is becoming just an element of larger application-delivery scheme?
Yes. WAN optimisation is a very useful networking feature, but in my view it is just one part of a complete Application Delivery Network. Products that provide only WAN optimisation are likely to be considered of limited use as WAN optimisation becomes incorporated together with other technologies.
NWME: Do you think cloud computing will have a dramatic impact on application delivery? What is Blue Coat’s cloud agenda?
Cloud services can greatly enhance web security. If every global Internet user was able to share their knowledge of malware and phishing sites, then everyone else in the world could benefit from the first user seeing and identifying threats. This is what Blue Coat’s WebPulse cloud-service offers, a network of over 100million users on corporate and ISP networks that are all connected to safeguard each other. We are investing in cloud services to enhance our customers’ safety on the web.
NWME: What is Blue Coat’s approach to the new global ecosystem of cyber threats and new behaviours?
WebPulse contains multiple technologies to indentify web threats. We take feeds from Google and anti-spam vendors, we search within the text, we check links to and from a particular page, we run anti-virus engines on the data and we have sandboxes that execute code contained on the pages. WebPulse performs these tasks globally for over 100million users (including any consumer who downloads K9 – our free consumer filtering option), our aim is to deliver the fastest and most accurate service to safeguard Internet users.