Classification of web applications and content by URL category

Blue Coat Systems announced that their PacketShaper appliances can now deliver instant awareness of Web applications and content. The appliances provide intelligent control that can immediately manage new Web applications and content without requiring updates or new policies.

PacketShaper appliances can now utilize the cloud-based Blue Coat WebPulse service, a community of 70 million users that provides Web awareness through shared information, to understand and categorize Web applications and content in real time. This integration with the WebPulse service enables PacketShaper appliances to categorize tens of millions of Websites and billions of URLs into 80 logical and manageable categories, allowing organizations to collectively manage and apply policies to similar content.

With the WebPulse service, each URL can be classified in up to four distinct categories, enabling more precise and granular visibility into and management of Web applications and content. For example, an organization can allow access to Facebook for status updates and chat while limiting bandwidth allocated to Facebook games.

Traditional solutions that attempt to discover applications based on domain name lack the scalability and flexibility to keep pace with the rapid growth of Web-based applications and content. These solutions require an IT manager to create a new policy for each new online game even if it is the same policy that is already in place for all other classified games. Without the ability to create and manage policies for a group of similar content, these solutions become extremely resource intensive and unmanageable as content and applications grow.

Additionally, this approach doesn’t provide the granular differentiation to effectively control traffic from a site like Facebook, which encompasses many categories, including email, chat, videos and games, that an organization might want to manage differently.

The new classification by URL category functionality is available on all existing PacketShaper appliances as a software upgrade. Additionally, Blue Coat is introducing a new high performance PacketShaper appliance that more than doubles the performance of the PacketShaper 10000 appliance. The PacketShaper 12000 appliance manages up to 3 Gbps of aggregate throughput for typical enterprise traffic, providing a high capacity platform for today’s complex mix of applications and content.

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