Heriot Watt selects Bluecoat MACH5
Heriot-Watt University Selects Blue Coat For WAN Optimisation, Web Security and Policy Control.
Blue Coat Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BCSI), the leader in secure content and application delivery, today announced that Heriot-Watt University has selected Blue Coat® SG™ appliances to optimize its Wide Area Network (WAN) by securing and accelerating key applications and content between campuses in Edinburgh, Scotland and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With Blue Coat, Heriot-Watt University has implemented an effective Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) over a great distance. A VLE facilitates the management of educational courses using systems for tracking student progress and enabling interactive learning vehicles, such as chats, quizzes, discussion forums, blogs and even video content.
VLE now Feasible with 2000% Performance Increase and 75% Bandwidth Reduction.
Prior to installing Blue Coat SG appliances with MACH5™ technology, a VLE was largely impractical. Often, each application page might take 20 seconds to load. Now application pages can typically load in about one second, an increase in responsiveness 2,000 percent. The VLE was previously unusable whenever more than five or six users were logged into it at the same time. Now the VLE supports many simultaneous users. In addition, through effective caching, bandwidth management and policy control of applications, overall bandwidth consumption across the WAN has been reduced by 75 percent.
"Our mission is to provide world-class instruction to students separated by vast distances," said Gavin Wilson, systems development manager, Heriot-Watt University. "Blue Coat has enabled us to provide an effective Virtual Learning Environment through its ability to accelerate applications across the WAN, including video and SSL-encrypted traffic. The Blue Coat appliances also reduce overall bandwidth consumption and provide the Web security and policy control we need to protect our students, staff and resources."
Continues Wilson, "Our value-added reseller, IP Performance, enabled us to trial the system in a test environment and then between Dubai and Edinburgh. They provided us with full support and fast response to any problems."
Video e-Learning Becomes Viable.
The same Blue Coat SG appliances used for application acceleration and WAN optimization also can provide video distribution and management across the WAN. On-demand, video e-learning modules can be pre-populated during non-peak usage times and stored locally at each campus. The university can also efficiently offer live video by sending a single video stream over the WAN and then use the SG appliances to split it at the local campus to accommodate the number of students needing to watch the live stream. Heriot-Watt University is currently testing several video e-learning pilots. Prior to installing the Blue Coat appliances, video was considered to be impossible to deploy.
Due to privacy and confidentiality requirements, some of the VLE applications, including Web mail and grading applications, communicate across the WAN using SSL encryption. Unlike conventional WAN optimization solutions, Blue Coat SG appliances have the unique capability to accelerate SSL-encrypted traffic in addition to non-encrypted Web applications, video, and a full range of educational and administrative applications.
Direct-to-the-Net Access for Dubai Campus Requires Integrated Web Security
The University's Dubai campus routes traffic to and from the Internet directly from its location in Dubai, rather than backhauling it through the main campus in Edinburgh. Only internal applications, such as those that are part of the VLE, travel across the WAN. Since the Dubai campus has direct access to the Internet, it needs the same level of Web security and control as the Edinburgh campus. In addition to accelerating applications across the WAN, the same Blue Coat SG appliances can provide Web security to protect against malware and malicious threats, and policy control to stop or govern the use certain applications, such as some types of peer-to-peer file sharing.
"Blue Coat SG appliances can simultaneously manage bandwidth, accelerate prioritized applications and content and protect against Internet threats," said Nigel Hawthorn, vice president of marketing EMEA and Service Providers, Blue Coat Systems. "We are happy to make a VLE a reality for Heriot-Watt University and contribute towards its excellence in learning."