Blue Coat Systems has released a software plug-in that allows the security and wide-area network (WAN) acceleration provider to use one the most important bits of technology from its $268 million acquisition of Packeteer.

The plug-in integrates the PacketShaper appliance from Packeteer (90 percent of Packeeter sales apparently came from PacketShaper), with the ProxySG acceleration appliance from Blue Coat. This, says Blue Coat, allows enterprises to gain better visibility and control of both applications and content running on their networks, as well as securing it from malicious threats.

The plug-in essentially enables PacketShaper appliances to receive optimised traffic from ProxySG appliances, and it then distinguishes between classes of traffic and prioritises them for more optimal delivery. For example, it can identify YouTube content (or generic Internet browsing) on the network, so the IT department can decided whether to throttle back (or prevent) the download of this type of content during business hours.

This ability to distinguish between internet and enterprise applications, is also improved by the ability distinguish between back-up and real-time traffic.

"The new software integration between Blue Coat ProxySG and PacketShaper appliances represents a significant leap in the ability to understand all of the applications on the enterprise network and treat them intelligently with the appropriate security, acceleration and control," said Brian NeSmith, president and CEO of Blue Coat. "PacketShaper and ProxySG appliances are essential in ensuring the safe and efficient flow of business processes and information."

PacketShaper appliances can further classify or manage traffic that has been optimised or treated by ProxySG appliances, rather than just seeing a single block of undifferentiated traffic.

"This is a big breakthrough, the communication between these two devices," said Bethany Mayer, senior VP of worldwide marketing. "It allows for greater synchronisation and much better granularity of control."

"Blue Coat had the best monitor on the market," said Mayer, "but our line up was missing the ability to classify all traffic. This is where PacketShaper comes in."

"It is surprising how many enterprises do not have visibility on their networks," she told Techworld. "When we come in to do a network assessment for a company by dropping in a box, IT management often tends to be very surprised at the amount of peer-to-peer, internet, and movie downloads that is occurring on their networks."

"Staff see the difference immediately after we have installed our equipment," said Steve Schick, senior director of corporate communications. "They often say, 'whatever you have done, please don't change it'. They don't want it taken out."

The new software plug-in is available now free of charge for ProxySG and PacketShaper appliance customers with a current maintenance agreement.

Meanwhile, Blue Coat also announced that BT will use Blue Coat's ProxySG appliances as a key part of its Managed Internet Accelerator and Threat Reduction security services.

Last month Blue Coat began shipping its ProxyClient, which combined web security and network optimisation features in a single product designed for use by teleworkers with their remote client desktops and laptops.