Blue Coat ProxyOne Appliance review

Blue Coat's new ProxyOne Appliance provides enterprise-level web security for SMBs with limited IT expertise. Blue Coat claims installation is a simple six-step process with minimal ongoing maintenance. We put it to the test to see how well it performs and if it really is easy to use.

Price
£5,600

Not all SMBs are lucky enough to have a full-time IT expert and will therefore either pay for a reseller to implement and manage their network security or opt for a more basic product that may not provide everything they need. Blue Coat's new ProxyOne Appliance is designed with these businesses in mind as it provides tough web security, yet installation is claimed to be swift and easy.

The appliance is a well-specified 1U rack system supplied with a Gigabit Ethernet hardware bypass switch so if the appliance fails you won't lose your Internet connection. Although the Gigabit Ethernet card has four ports, only two can be used. Blue Coat explained that it has standardised on these cards for all its appliances, even those that won't use all the ports, since it's easier for it to buy and support one specific network card than different, multiple models A Cavium Nitrox hardware accelerator card is also included for improving performance when scanning encrypted traffic.

The appliance has a one-off fee of 3,100 and a 100-user subscription for updates, warranty and support costs 2,500 per year. Excluding hardware costs, this amounts to a cost per user of 25 which is comparatively expensive for small groups of users, but move up to a 2,000 user license and yearly costs drop to less than 11 per user.

Two deployment options are supported and the easiest one is to use the appliance as a transparent bridge. We went for this method and dropped the appliance in between our lab's LAN and firewall. There will be a brief interruption to services during cabling but this method doesn't require any client configuration.

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