Blue Coat ProxySG 200
Strengths: Very easy to deploy and manage; quiet and small enough to be deployed anywhere.
Weaknesses: Limited wider security functionality.
Verdict: Performs its core tasks excellently; easy to manage and deploy.
At just over one foot long and eight inches wide, this was by far the smallest device in this test. It was also the quietest – many devices need to be housed in a dedicated server room because of noisy fans.
Targeted at enterprises with 500 users or more, the ProxySG 200 offers URL filtering from eight databases, instant messaging control with the ability to allow or block messages or file transfer, streaming control, data compression and bandwidth management. It also integrates with Blue Coat’s and other third-party AV systems and acts as a peer-to-peer proxy.
The device comes with decent documentation supplied as PDF and a slim quick start guide. Initial configuration is via a web browser connecting to the unit’s default IP over https. Access to this was seamless and we quickly began an initial setup of the local network parameters to configure the unit on our test network.
A pop-up then states that all future web-based management must be conducted using the device’s newly set IP address. In-depth configuration can then be managed via this console. The management interface design is clean and easy to navigate, with multiple graphical elements that really help you to understand the processes being undertaken.
Selecting a configuration option, for setting up network adaptors, say, loads up applets that allow the administrator to configure the device in far greater depth.
Taking the applet controlling the device’s web proxy functions enables users to control exactly which traffic is allowed through which ports – so you can, for example, edit the http service on port 80 to authenticate traffic.
From this interface it is a simple task to configure quite complex settings, including http and ftp proxies, Socks, IM proxies, and streaming proxies covering Windows Media, Real Media and QuickTime. Administrators can also throttle streaming bandwidth and set available bandwidth according to content type.
This comprehensive management suite also makes it easy to set local and central policy options.
Finally, the device operates with a wide range of content filters.