I'm in Bluecoat training this week and I'm going to rant hard about the product and the training because it deserves it.

Ok, first rants first. The training...not sure if it's worth the money. I'm basically interested in using the product as a web proxy. When you plug in the bluecoat for the first time, you say "huh?" followed by "where the hell is the thing that allows you to configure the web policies?" followed by "I wish this was a barracuda web proxy instead"

The bluecoat appliance, despite it's advertised performance, sucks at usage. If you need to take a training class just to figure out how to use the product...maybe it's not worth it.

Our instructor isn't the brightest bulb in the box either. I went off on my own and started doing an IM filtering lab just out of curiosity. The lab manual uses Yahoo; yahoo IM sucks; so I used AIM. Pidgin and AOL's own AIM software don't like the proxy though. Following the Yahoo instructions (and applying them to AIM) makes nothing work. Our instructor just keeps saying "yeah but use yahoo". Fuck you.

The other people in this class scare me. They don't grasp networking 101 (this is an IP, this is a subnet, this is a default GW) and other "basic" networking stuff...like using minicom or hyperterminal; not understanding what COM ports are, etc. Scary!

And to think that some of these people (when we went through introductions) work at some pretty crazy places (like nuclear power plants); save me from the stupidity Joe!

Bluecoat's licensing model looks like they have been in bed with Arcsight. It's buy this! Oh! You want to see this data? Buy this too! Oh, you want to filter this? Buy this also! Where's Barracuda with their "this is how much it costs; done" pricing model. Barracuda needs to get some hardware engineers in house to make their appliance into a true appliance; not just some open source software sitting on commodity hardware. Get on top of that Barracuda!

Some of the things that I do like...I guess...is that once you figure out how to apply policies on Bluecoat, it's pretty easy to just jump in and keep going.

One more thing I hate about Bluecoat is the way the software checks it's licenses. It's broke the fuck up. My demo unit in the training class didn't have it's license working, so I reset it to use a new trial license. It's an undocumented feature, but there is a command called

reset-trial</p>
That will reset the box to it's 60 day trial. Take that guys.

Joe seems to have unsuccessfully managed to get some questions answered.