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Blue Coat adds WAN acceleration to business video

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Blue Coat Systems has added video to the list of network services it can optimise over WANs. Like most others in the internet gateway business, it used to treat video as potentially unwanted network traffic, but has picked up on its increasing use in business.

"In the past you either didn't want video at all, or you didn't want it to affect the other applications on the network," said Nigel Hawthorn, Blue Coat's international marketing veep. "However, organisations are now using it for training, bringing new employees up to speed, and so on. I know of one car manufacturer that has produced thousands of short videos on how to service bits of its cars, for example."

Nemertes Research veep Robin Gareiss said: "Enterprise video is becoming crucial to improving employee productivity, responding to competitive pressure and providing real-time training, but without scalable, high-quality performance over the WAN, video adoption in the enterprise will fail."

So Blue Coat has signed up with two specialists in video publishing, Media Publisher and Jubilant, to give its WAN optimisation appliances the ability to recognise and accelerate business-tagged video traffic. It will also resell Media Publisher's video management and logging software in Europe, Hawthorn said.

"We have supported Microsoft, Real, and Quicktime video for some time," he added. "We can give you string and byte caching for performance, but there's also a need to control the streaming aspects - you want to treat an internal server stream differently from a news stream, say, and treat that differently from YouTube."

Video caching and splitting capabilities had been an optional extra, but will now be included as standard in Blue Coat appliances, he said. It will be possible to transfer corporate video to branches at off-peak hours and cache it for later access, say, or multicast a single stream over the WAN to multiple viewers. ®

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