BlueCoat: Creating an economic advantage for users in 2009?

BlueCoat: Creating an economic advantage for users in 2009?

Summary: Last week, BlueCoat gathered analysts in New York City for its Application Delivery Network Briefing Event to showcase its newest offerings, some of which are not yet released, and give the analyst community an update on where things stand following the company’s acquisition of Packeteer, completed in June of 2008.Long story short?

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Last week, BlueCoat gathered analysts in New York City for its Application Delivery Network Briefing Event to showcase its newest offerings, some of which are not yet released, and give the analyst community an update on where things stand following the company’s acquisition of Packeteer, completed in June of 2008.

Long story short? The vendors’ roadmaps have merged and it seems BlueCoat is doing a solid job of integrating the visibility and deep traffic inspection messages of the PacketShaper products with its caching, optimization, and security messages. Prior to the Packeteer acquisition, while BlueCoat offered a solid secure gateway and caching story, the true level of traffic visibility and optimization it could provide was limited.

Interesting for IT Operations and Security Professionals, the two product lines remain separate, though branding will merge in the second half of 2009. This could create either a dilemma or an opportunity for Bluecoat in the current economy when companies are being forced to show faster ROI with less investment upfront. The PacketShaper/ProxySG product split means that an organization can adopt one element of the solution at a time, dialing up investment as need dictates. That said, we’d like to see a converged appliance, though the processing power such a box would require, not to mention OS rationalization across at least three product-based operating systems would be complex at best. We’ll have to see how it all plays out.

For Security and Risk Professionals, being able to create alliances with the IT OPS folks may allow exiting Bluecoat proxy customers expand their deployments beyond web content filtering and caching. The fact that the Mach 5 wan optimization features are built into ProxySG’s base OS means that both Security and OPS may be able to leverage the same hardware in these economic times. For companies just now looking at web proxy and wan op solutions, Bluecoat may have serendipitously timed the market just right.

We’re looking to the future to see whether BlueCoat moves more aggressively to offer virtual products aimed at networking infrastructure vendors that are looking to virtualize more services on fewer pieces of hardware – no word on this yet. Such a strategy, paired with a cloud-based offering, where companies can pay by the drink, especially for optimization services, would truly differentiate BlueCoat, who has seen its product line - already working to gain traction around the idea of an application development network, as a departure from pure WAN optimization, in the wake of other players in the market such as F5, Cisco and Citrix - gain competition from the recent Riverbed-Mazu acquisition.

Topics: Networking, Banking, Security, Software Development

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  • No $ Advantage In Un-needed Bundling

    This analysis presages that IT customers want all the features in Proxy
    SG. While some might - many already have the tools in net to deal
    with the issues Proxy SG targets. Therefore, having WAN op and traffic
    shaping tools added into the God box does not create an economic
    advantage for IT professionals looking to cut down on footprint, cut
    need for humans to have to monitor the output of the box and reduce
    OPEX costs.

    PacketShaper has been a wonderful tool and, like a trusty hammer is
    to a nail, it's often all you need to groom traffic across the LAN/WAN
    interface. The bundled Proxy SG is akin to taking your trusty hammer
    and having screwdriver, scissors, tweezers, awl, knife, saw, corkscrew
    and toothpick added into the handle, making it bulky and hard to
    handle.

    If you want an IT Swiss Army Knife - Proxy SG might fit the bill. Most
    IT customers do not want that, especially in this economic climate.
    jmattermapper