When it comes optimizing network traffic, you can't optimize what you can't see. That's where Blue Coat's newly updated PacketShaper 9.2 release comes into play.
The PacketShaper 9.2 release is the second major update for Blue Coat's PacketShaper this year, following the 9.1 release that was announced in April that provided IPv6 visibility.
"In the 9.2 release, we added increased visibility into Web applications as well their operations, including the ability to dynamically add new and update existing application definitions within our WebPulse service," Steve House, senior director of product management for optimization at Blue Coat, told Enterprise Networking Planet.
WebPulse is a cloud based service that has been in the market since at least 2009, aggregating data and information about applications and security threats to them.
House explained that the improved granular visibility that the 9.2 release provides is important because of the way that many advanced websites now operate.
"Social networking sites, for example, are effectively an Internet within and Internet that allow users to interact with the site and others in a variety of ways," House said. "Having visibility into each of these operations within a single application allows businesses to align business priorities with the bandwidth consumption of these operations."
For example, with the granular control of PacketShaper 9.2, users can granularly control the bandwidth used by Facebook activities including video and photo posting as well as messaging.
It's not just about raw network packets either. PacketShaper ties into an enterprise's Active Directory infrastructure to get user information. House noted that the aggregate view of user activity is achieved by mapping multiple IP addresses to a single user through the Active Directory integration.
Blue Coat has been steadily enhancing the PacketShaper platform since 2008 when it acquired the technology from Packeteer for $268 million.
"PacketShaper has always delivered visibility and control through a rich set of Quality of Service (QoS) policies," House said. "To optimize the network, it can prioritize business critical applications over other applications to ensure they have sufficient bandwidth to operate efficiently. With 9.2, businesses can now also set these policies based on user information."