WAN appliances to be cloud security service-enabled

Blue Coat Systems Inc. continues to enable its products to leverage the company’s new cloud security service.

It said this week that users of its Mach5 wide area network optimization hardware and virtual appliances will be able to link to the Blue Coat Cloud Service starting Nov. 22.

The mechanism is a piece of software called Cloud-Connector, which is already in the appliances’ software and will be turned on for customers who want to take advantage of the cloud service.

The service, which started in April, lets organizations send traffic through it from anywhere in the world to scan for malware. The advantage, said Mark Urban, the company’s senior director of product marketing, is that inbound and outbound branch office traffic typically sent over a private WAN to an enterprises data centre for monitoring can now be scanned in the cloud. That should take a load off the WAN, he said.

In the case of the Mach5, subscribing to the Blue Coat Cloud Service should allow organizations to let their branch offices connect directly to the Internet from the remote location.

“Now a branch office can have its wide area network connection and also have direct Internet access in a safe way,” he said.

In that sense, he said, organizations can re-architect their networks. Blue Coat argues that backhauling cloud-based applications like Facebook and YouTube back to a data centre over the WAN slows the network unnecessarily. By diverting it to its Cloud Service throughout should increase.

The average price of a subscription is US$30 a user a year, he said. Blue Coat is offering a 30-day free trial of the Cloud Service for businesses.