Blue Coat introduces virtual WAN optimization appliances for branch office IT infrastructure consolidation on standard servers

Published March 17th, 2010 - 12:24 GMT

Blue Coat Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BCSI), the technology leader in Application Delivery Networking, today extended its Application Delivery Network Infrastructure with the introduction of a new family of virtual WAN Optimization appliances. Blue Coat® ProxySG® Virtual Appliances run on industry-standard servers and are designed to optimize the delivery of advanced business applications and streamline the consolidation of branch office IT infrastructure. A server running the new ProxySG Virtual Appliance can also support Microsoft Windows Server 2008, various networking functions and any locally-run applications to maximize flexibility and lower operational costs.

“Server virtualization is enabling WAN optimization vendors to offer flexible solutions for branch office boxes (BOBs) by providing WOCs as virtual appliances that run as a guest on off-the-shelf hardware,” said Joe Skorupa, vice president, Gartner.  “This approach enables enterprises to consolidate branch office IT infrastructure and lower cost without compromising on capabilities.”

Rather than provide a virtualized environment for consolidating other branch office functions on its physical turn-key appliances, Blue Coat virtualized its own solution to run on standard servers, offering a more flexible and cost-effective solution than proprietary appliances that can accommodate other selected applications. ProxySG Virtual Appliances have gone through extensive testing and validation at Dell for deployment on its PowerEdge servers.

Optimized Application Delivery
The ProxySG Virtual Appliance accelerates centralized enterprise applications, remote file access, email and back-ups in branch offices, including enhanced optimization for internally-hosted or cloud-based SharePoint and Exchange 2003 and 2007. As with the hardware-based appliance, ProxySG Virtual Appliance is designed to optimize Web-based applications, including cloud-hosted Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) that use SSL encryption for communication over the Web. The virtual appliance is also purpose-built to provide integrated delivery and management for live and on-demand video from internal company resources or external sources utilizing split-streaming, local caching and pre-population technologies.

Lower Operating Costs & Increased Infrastructure Flexibility
Since the ProxySG Virtual Appliance solution operates on a VMware vSphere™ running natively on industry-standard servers, it enables IT organizations to realize streamlined operations through the deployment of a flexible consolidation platform. VMware vSphere includes full support for Microsoft Windows Server and branch office networking functions, including DNS, DHCP, local print services, local authentication, Unified Threat Management (UTM) solutions such as firewalls, intrusion prevention and VPNs, and more. It can host line-of-business applications concurrently.

Businesses can now take advantage of the scalability and attractive price/performance offered by readily available servers to effectively consolidate and virtualize multiple functions on a single server. The new platform with virtual WAN optimization lowers branch office operating costs, including equipment and power, and simplifies administration and management. 

VMware Ready™ Certified Virtual Appliance
The Blue Coat ProxySG Virtual Appliance is also among the first WAN optimization solutions to achieve VMware Ready™ status. Blue Coat worked closely with VMware to ensure that the product runs efficiently in the virtual environment and meets all technical criteria and specifications. The VMware Ready program is a validation program designed to provide the best possible user experience among virtual appliances being deployed in production. This status indicates that Blue Coat has followed best practices and the software is optimized for VMware vSphere, helping to ensure “ready-to-run” reliability and security. As a VMware Ready virtual appliance, the solution will be listed in the VMware Virtual Appliance Marketplace and distinguished from other products listed in the directory with a VMware Ready logo.

“Virtualization continues to be a game-changing technology that helps customers contain costs and boost efficiencies across datacenters and branch offices,” said Parag Patel, vice president, alliances, VMware. “Now that the Blue Coat ProxySG Virtual Appliance has achieved VMware Ready™ status, customers with distributed enterprises can flexibly and cost-effectively respond to their application and infrastructure requirements with the confidence that the solution is optimized for the VMware platform.”

Blue Coat ProxySG Virtual Appliance Family
The new family of ProxySG Virtual appliances are available in four models for deployment in branch office environments with 10-300 users. The models include the ProxySG Virtual Appliance VA-5, VA-10, VA-15 and VA-20 that support up to 10, 50, 150 and 300 concurrent users, respectively.

Blue Coat continues to offer a full line of hardware-based ProxySG appliances that are designed to serve branch offices of all sizes for standalone WAN optimization, Secure Web Gateway capabilities, distributed control of WAN links and integrated video delivery and management.

“ProxySG Virtual Appliance provides a significant leap forward in providing enterprises with the means to accelerate distributed business processes to branch and remote offices while also providing the flexibility and cost-savings needed for additional consolidation,” said Nidal Taha, Regional Director for ME and Turkey, Blue Coat Systems. “Our family of virtual software-based appliances serves as a milestone in the multi-dimensional expansion of our vision for the Application Delivery Network and will further help our customers to speed business-critical applications, contain costs and boost user productivity.”

Price and Availability
ProxySG Virtual Appliance is available March 31, 2010. Pricing for the software is on a subscription basis, including service and support. US list prices start at $1,110 a year for a VA-5 model supporting up to ten simultaneous users. A single ProxySG Virtual Appliance can accommodate up to 300 simultaneous users in a branch or remote office. ProxySG Virtual Appliance is available from Dell and Dimension Data worldwide as well as other certified Blue Coat channel partners.

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