Radware Inflight

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Content Copyright © 2007 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.

Radware is an Israeli company that is big in the networking
market. Now, I don’t understand networks (I did once but I’ve
forgotten) so I am not going to write about it’s business-smart
networking even though it sounds interesting if you’re into that
sort of thing. However, Inflight, which is part of the enabling
technology behind the business-smart network, is also used for a
number of other things and, in particular, it works with (complex)
event processing (CEP) engines, business intelligence products,
logging and security products and so on. Specifically, it has
partnerships with Loglogic, Sensage, Splunk, Cognos (CognosNow!),
ArcSight, Coral8, TIBCO (BusinessEvents), SeeWhy and Omniture
amongst others.

So, let me go back to the beginning. Inflight was originally
developed by Covelight Systems, a US-based company, which was then
acquired by Radware. What it provides is an appliance-based CTF
capability, where CTF stands for capture, transform and feed. This
makes the product analogous to ETL (extract, transform and load)
except that it captures data from the web, transformation means
capturing events of interest and the software then feeds events
into applications (or application environments) rather than
databases. Specifically, the appliance is a passive device that
sits on the network between the browser and server and it detects
and captures all traffic including encrypted traffic (SSL) which it
can decrypt. On the feed side it is not limited to feeding a single
application but can feed multiple third party engines
simultaneously, for example sending analytic events to one location
and security events to another.

Now, there are some big potential advantages here. For example,
if you are using Inflight in conjunction with clickstream analytics
then you don’t need to do page tagging (hooray!) or, when used
together with a BI tool, then it enables operational BI or, in
combination with a vendor like SeeWhy, it facilitates customer
experience monitoring (CEM). Typically, Radware is invited into a
user organisation to resolve a specific problem such as fraud or
CEM and then it expands into other areas of the user company as its
solution becomes more widely acknowledged.

In addition, in its recent 3.0 release, Radware has introduced
(amongst other things) support for stateful business events such as
transactional details (user IDs and requests) across and between
sessions. Moreover, you can now maintain correlations even if a
transaction or session is disjointed.

The only downside, from my point of view, is that Inflight is
limited to capturing HTTP data and, in terms of CEP, one would like
to see the company capturing financial data feeds. Fortunately, the
company is looking at supporting feeds such as those provided by
Bloomberg, Reuters, Wombat and so on so, hopefully, this downside
will be short lived.

Within its existing space, Inflight is, as far as I know,
unique. This, of course, is both a good thing (no competition) and
a bad thing (no competition to validate the market). However, in my
view, Inflight needs no competition to validate its utility.