While wide area file service (WAFS) and WAN optimization has been making their way to branch and remote offices over the past few years, the growing legion of mobile workers have, for the most, part been forced to wait.
That should change soon, as WAFS/WAN optimization vendors are moving to broaden their target base. Blue Coat today said it will have client software early next year that extends its security, application acceleration, and WAN optimization beyond the branch to home offices and road warriors. (See BlueCoat Adds Security .)
Intelligent Compression Technologies (ICT), Packeteer, and Stampede already have file and application acceleration for mobile users. (See Packeteer Intros 6.0 and Stampede Intros App.) Those types of devices are just a trickle compared to a flood of branch office appliances, though. (See Users Rally Round Remote Solutions and Remote Access Advances.)
Blue Coat got into WAN optimization and WAFS last March, building the capabilities into its SG application acceleration and security appliances through a framework it calls MACH5. (See Blue Coat Puts On Acceleration.) It is broadening that offering to devices that aren't always connected to an organization's network -- laptops, BlackBerries, kiosks, home office PCs, and so on.
Its client software will provide those devices with features such as spyware protection, content filtering, and access management. Blue Coat product manager Chris King says security is especially important for those types of devices. "When a laptop leaves the four walls of an organization, it's no longer a managed laptop," King says.