Blue Coat Systems, Inc., a market leader in Web security  and WAN optimization , today introduced new updates for Blue Coat PacketShaper appliances  that enable businesses to fully embrace Web, cloud and mixed-use recreational applications on the corporate network while providing a high quality user experience for maximum employee productivity. The newest advances for PacketShaper appliances provide visibility into Web applications and operations as well as the group and user-level policies that allow businesses to gain control over the shadow IT infrastructures that arise from the introduction of applications onto the corporate network without IT’s knowledge.
Increasingly, employees look to Web and cloud-based applications to increase their productivity, yet IT typically cannot see or control these applications. As a result, they can consume a disproportionate amount of corporate bandwidth and impact the performance of other mission-critical applications. The new PacketShaper enhancements include:
Granular application and operation visibility: PacketShaper appliances now classify Web, native mobile and mobile browser applications and their operations, providing businesses with a comprehensive, detailed view of traffic on the corporate network.
Group and user-level control: PacketShaper appliances now provide businesses with the ability to set granular group or user-level policies that assure a high quality experience for users that rely on Web and cloud-based applications to do their jobs.
Aggregate view of user-level activity: The new enhancements also provide an aggregate view of a user’s activity across all the devices they are using on the network, giving businesses the comprehensive information they require to set appropriate quality of service policies.
“As an integrator of IT and audio systems for super yachts, Van Berge Henegouwen’s objective is to deliver an online user experience for the owner that rivals what is available in their home,” said Andre Klepper, IT manager, Van Berge Henegouwen. “PacketShaper offers the ability to prioritize traffic on board any vessel and allocate the appropriate bandwidth to critical applications and communication apps, while maximizing the Internet experience for the owners. Understanding bandwidth being used by specific crew members allows the on-board engineer to better manage tradeoffs.”
With the new PacketShaper enhancements, businesses can embrace new Web and cloud applications that their employees require to be efficient in their jobs without ceding control of the network. To do this, the PacketShaper appliances allow businesses to do the following:
Better understand how users, applications and operations are consuming bandwidth.
Prioritize and guarantee bandwidth for critical application operations on a targeted group and user basis, enabling a better user experience for employees.
Identify and contain unsanctioned application use cases.
The granular application and operation controls combined with the ability to set quality of service policies at the user level allow enterprises to guarantee bandwidth for IT mandated Web and cloud-based applications and operations, resulting in a better user experience that will encourage adoption of preferred applications. For example, a business could prioritize the uploading and downloading of files from Box.com while limiting those operations for other online storage sites that the company hasn’t standardized on.
These new advances also provide businesses with a powerful tool for managing complex, mixed-use Web applications such as Facebook or YouTube. With user-level policies, businesses can provide employees in the marketing group with guaranteed bandwidth to upload videos. This granular control allows businesses to open their networks to mixed-use applications without compromising the performance of other mission-critical business applications.
“BYOD, social networking and complex Web applications with business and non-business uses have a major impact on bandwidth budgets and application performance, yet businesses typically lack visibility into and control over the shadow IT infrastructures that they introduce to the corporate network,” said Mark Urban, senior director of product marketing, Blue Coat Systems. “PacketShaper is changing that dynamic by shedding light on these shadow infrastructures and giving businesses the ability to embrace these technologies and empower their employees.”
PacketShaper appliances classify all applications on the network and are integrated into the Blue Coat WebPulse service  to provide real-time categorization of tens of millions of Web sites and applications. New Web, native mobile and mobile browser applications and operations that are classified in WebPulse will be available to all PacketShaper appliances without requiring software updates or plug-ins. For businesses, this up-to-the-minute intelligence about Web content and applications on the corporate network will allow them to embrace new applications without sacrificing control or the performance of other mission-critical business applications.
The PacketShaper 9.2 software update is now available to all customers with a current service agreement.