F5 + Blue Coat = Alpha Technology

Imagine there was a network solution amalgamating F5 and Bluecoat solutions. If such a product exists, there would be a monopoly in technology markets for a few decades. Fusing these solutions together would cover OSI Layer-2 to Layer-7 in terms of availability, delivery in addition to Security.

F5’s Big-IP solutions are the best in terms of ensuring an application is delivered on time, always available and secured. While ASM deals with a web application’s security in depth, AFM handles its Layer-4 based Denial of Service issues. APM, on the other hand, attends seamlessly to SAML-based SSO. GTM is the gatekeeper who ensures that whoever is asking for a domain’s IP, gets the IP of the most optimal service. Optimal service here means a service presented by the least loaded, best performing and nearest application server. Furthermore, AAM ensures a quicker web application user experience.

F5’s Load Balancer LTM adds to this recipe by ensuring application availability. whose role is to ensure that a site is available all the time. It also provides caching of web content. Caching is limited to RAM because the underlying kernel of all F5 modules is a Linux one. Linux doesn’t allow for optimal fetching of cached objects from the disk. The main reason behind this is the architecture of the OS which is TMOS. TMOS can deal with networking elements, security elements, and load balancing elements. When it comes to the situation where the dependency is on Hard Disks’ (I/O), TMOS behaves just like any other Linux kernel based OS. This is because TMOS has to read the file allocation tables from boot sectors and perform multiple I/Os to fetch files from the disk (a CPU utilization factor). In contrast, SGOS uses a flat non-directory based architecture wherein caching is dealt with in a way similar to indexing used in an S/W called Copernic Desktop Search. We create indexes of objects in MIME format in RAM to locate disk location.

Blue Coat offers the best of SSL visibility and forensic analysis solutions in the market.

It would be nice to see a solution combining SGOS disk caching powers with TMOS’s TCP and application based acceleration, web content security and web application security with SSO based on SAML authentication while maintaining a holistic perform
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Written by Nanda Kumar Ananda
Senior Trainer at Red Education