A leader in the WAN optimization controller (WOC) market, Blue Coat Systems is supercharging its CacheFlow 5000 appliance with more than three times greater throughput and cache storage in the same 4U footprint. Targeted at service providers, and now shipping with IPv6 support, the upgrade is intended to address the explosion of rich Web 2.0 content, especially videos and large files that are "severely straining service provider networks, making it challenging to both provide a top-quality user experience and contain bandwidth costs," says the company.
During the last three to four years, Blue Coat's service provider customers have seen Web traffic doubling or tripling every year, and most of it is chunky video that is bandwidth-intensive and expensive, or creating issues with customer satisfaction. That led to the introduction of the original CacheFlow 5000 in March 2010. The system has been deployed in nearly 50 service provider networks globally. Blue Coat says that users have averaged 40% to 50% bandwidth savings on general Web traffic, improved user experience with up to a tenfold increase in download speeds. In addition, the company says, customers have achieved a return on investment in an average of 12 months.
The new release features 64-bit software and hardware improvements and an option for 10 Gbit Etherner Fiber, in addition to existing copper, to support high-speed network interfaces. The company says another key differentiator is its CachePulse cloud service, which delivers on-the-fly caching rule and instruction updates to deployed CacheFlow appliances to provide sustained high-bandwidth savings. The company says the service leverages a feedback loop to determine how the Web is changing and identify shifts in how popular sites are delivering content, as well as to include optimizations for new and emerging websites. An in-rack upgrade is available for existing CacheFlow customers.
The new appliance is all about positioning Blue Coat to better handle customer requirements around the continuing data explosion. More online video consumption, more Internet usage and more Internet-enabled devices (such as smartphones, tablets and set-top boxes) mean more network management and bandwidth challenges for the carriers, says Melanie Posey, research VP, hosting and managed network services, IDC. "The increased performance of the new CacheFlow appliances helps Blue Coat help carriers to get out in front of these challenges better. So the beefed-up performance does help to broaden the market for caching and carrier networks by combining this with all the intelligence carriers can get from the boxes--hat the popular sites are, where the traffic is coming from, etc.--in a way that helps them optimize their networks and reduce their costs."
The transparent caching market will grow rapidly through 2015 to address the growing popularity of Web services and telecom operators' appetite to deploy infrastructure that improves the quality of experience of Internet-based services, says Brian Partridge, VP, Yankee Group. "This new product release aligns well with this trend by adding additional capacity/performance aligned with traffic growth patterns. Bluecoat's core product is now on par or exceeds performance achieved by competitors such as Oversi, PeerApp and Juniper."
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