SOURCE: Blue Coat Systems, Inc.

Blue Coat Systems, Inc.

May 17, 2011 07:45 ET

Independent Testing Lab Confirms Blue Coat Outperforms Riverbed on Advanced WAN Optimization

MACH5 Appliance Significantly Outperforms Riverbed Steelhead in Accelerating Cloud and Web Applications and Web Video While Equal for Other Tasks

SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwire - May 17, 2011) - Blue Coat Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCSI), a leading provider of Web security and WAN optimization solutions, today announced that Broadband-Testing, an independent network testing facility and consultancy organization for broadband and network infrastructure products, has released a report commissioned by Blue Coat that compares the performance of a Blue Coat MACH5 WAN Optimization appliance with that of a Riverbed Steelhead appliance. While the test results were similar for traditional WAN optimization tasks, such as email, file access, FTP and backup, there were marked differences for advanced WAN optimization tasks, such as accelerating cloud-based applications and Web applications and optimizing streaming video. For those applications, the Blue Coat appliance demonstrated much stronger performance.

"The Broadband-Testing report shows an extremely large performance advantage for our MACH5 WAN Optimization appliance over the Riverbed Steelhead appliance for business critical applications that are Web- or cloud-based as well as for managing and optimizing streaming video," said Steve Daheb, chief marketing officer and senior vice president, Blue Coat Systems. "While the test results were similar for the two appliances when performing traditional WAN optimization tasks, Blue Coat has a unique advantage in those areas that are becoming increasingly more business critical."

Cloud-Based Applications -- Performed 93 Times Faster
In the case of cloud-based applications, the testing of the Blue Coat MACH5 model 600 yielded response times 93 times faster than the Riverbed Steelhead 1050 when accessing documents in a (SFDC) application. The Riverbed Steelhead 1050 was not able to accelerate the public cloud application, since its implementation would require a symmetric deployment of two appliances, one at the user's branch and one in the cloud, to accelerate that application. Since public cloud providers typically do not allow users to add their own WAN optimization appliances in the cloud infrastructure, traditional WAN optimization is not possible. Blue Coat solves this issue with its CloudCaching Engine, which can accelerate cloud-based applications and content asymmetrically using a single appliance in the user's branch office. In one test case, it required 53 seconds to access and open a document within SFDC using a Riverbed Steelhead appliance. The Blue Coat MACH5 appliance accomplished the same task in one second.

Web-Based Internal Applications Tested to 10 Times Faster
Many applications in a company's internal datacenter are Web-based and use an HTML user interface, accessed via a Web server, with HTTP and SSL‐based transport. Since the Blue Coat MACH5 WAN Optimization appliance design was derived from technology developed for Web acceleration, it has considerable advantages over competitive solutions when used in Web-based environments. In tests with internally hosted Microsoft SharePoint, the MACH5 appliance performed up to ten times faster than the Riverbed Steelhead 1050 appliance.

Traditional WAN Optimization for Email and File Access Equal
The report also provides comparative test results on the performance of Blue Coat and Riverbed appliances when used for traditional WAN optimization tasks, such as file and email access using the CIFS and MAPI protocols. In the report, Broadband-Testing concludes, "The results were basically a TIE between Riverbed Steelhead and Blue Coat MACH5... In each of these tests, each vendor was relatively close to the other's performance, with no significant differences."

Unique Video Optimization Enables Scalability and Prevents Floods
With live streaming and on-demand video becoming a large proportion of WAN traffic, it is increasingly more important that WAN optimization solutions optimize and manage video traffic while mitigating the impact of that traffic on the network and preventing video floods from overtaking other important applications. According to the testing report, "Besides cloud delivered applications, video is another area where Blue Coat demonstrated clear superiority."

In a test of 20 concurrent users accessing on-demand video from Microsoft Windows Media Server, 100 percent of the WAN bandwidth was consumed when using the Riverbed Steelhead appliance, leaving no room for other application traffic. Using the Blue Coat appliance, 500 concurrent users consumed only 30-35 percent of the total WAN bandwidth for a short initial time, and then consumption dropped to less than five percent.

The requirements for WAN optimization are quickly changing from the traditional tasks of file and email access and storage to encompass Web video and cloud- and Web-based applications. The report from Broadband-Testing is the first to evaluate the comparative performance of these appliances when addressing such applications. A summary of the report is available at:

About Blue Coat Systems
Blue Coat Systems is a leading provider of Web security and WAN optimization solutions. Blue Coat offers solutions that provide the visibility, acceleration and security required to optimize and secure the flow of information to any user, on any network, anywhere. This application intelligence enables enterprises to tightly align network investments with business requirements, speed decision making and secure business applications for long-term competitive advantage. Blue Coat also offers service provider solutions for managed security and WAN optimization, as well as carrier-grade caching solutions to save on bandwidth and enhance the end-user Web experience. For additional information, please visit

Blue Coat and the Blue Coat logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Blue Coat Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

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