Security and wide-area network (WAN) acceleration provider Blue Coat Systems has this week started shipping its latest product, ProxyClient, which combines web security and network optimisation features in a single product designed for use on remote client desktops and laptops.

First announced earlier this year, the WAN optimisation client software can accelerate files and applications to remote employees, while also extending a company's centrally managed Internet usage policies and malware protection to remote endpoints.

ProxyClient's WAN optimisation technologies include byte caching, to accelerate access to files and speed response time of remote web applications. It also uses Blue Coat's WebPulse service to enforce a company's Internet usage policies and protect against spyware, mobile malicious code and phishing exploits.

The base ProxyClient software with WAN optimisation is available for free to customers using Blue Coat's ProxySG appliances. Web security features require a license for Blue Coat's WebFilter software.

Meanwhile, Blue Coat also announced this week a partnership with Crescendo Networks, which makes application delivery controllers that offload key chores from web servers in order to speed response times. Crescendo's AppBeat DC appliances are deployed in an asymmetrical model (meaning only in the datacentre) to reduce processing bottlenecks that can slow application delivery over the Internet.

Used together, the two vendors' gear can provide enterprises with an end-to-end system that accelerates applications from the server edge in the datacentre to branch offices and remote users, Blue Coat says.

While Blue Coat's gear is aimed at accelerating applications over the WAN to branch offices, Crescendo targets users outside the corporate network by offloading processing-intensive tasks and balancing traffic loads from within the datacentre.

Enterprises have to consider application performance not only for their remote workers but also for partners, customers and other constituencies accessing company information from outside the corporate WAN, according to Bethany Mayer, VP of worldwide marketing at Blue Coat.

"With this joint solution, organisations can increase collaboration among these constituencies by extending the operational and cost advantages of application acceleration to all users," she said.