Barracuda Email Security Gateway Review

Has intelligent sensing of attacks and offers assistance for load balancing but support is lacking

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use of this solution is for the main features: intelligent sensing of attacks and the assistance for load balancing. The features are very good. The system is intelligent enough to determine which emails are genuine and deliverable and which are spam or phishing or other types of potential attacks. It processes emails in real-time and it can protect your email server and provide good security for an organization's network.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides a solution for protecting our infrastructure from malicious email attacks without having to use a lot of internal resources to support the product. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are really the same as our primary use for the product: intelligent handling of potential email attacks and offloading or load-balancing. This effectively protects the organization from malicious attacks.

What needs improvement?

One aspect of the product that can be improved is the availability of support. We don't have the availability of support 24/7, and it takes some time to get answers. These technical support people are in some other country, and our time zone is not supported. 

We have to often give them remote access to resolve issues, so potentially it is a security risk also. Sometimes clients who we resell to will not accept that risk because you are opening a secured doorway to the internet. That can be a bit of headache in those cases, which we end up having to work-around.

Actually the rest of the product is very good and it is otherwise meeting our requirements. I would only hope they would provide better support in our country.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this product for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a very stable product. But the stability depends on supporting the product to let it meet the requirements of your organization. We always have to scale according to the demands of our call center. We needed to know how many emails flow in and out of our organization and based on that we choose the correct model of the product. Any organization will have to do this. Once you ensure which product model you need to meet your level of service, then it will be stable.

If you don't size it properly and you under-size it, then you will have a network or email flow issue. For example, if you know you have 2,000 emails flowing in and out per hour and you buy a product which supposed to handle only 200 or 300 emails per hour, then it will slow your email server. At times miscalculating your volume or not buying the right product — maybe to save money — may cause a situation where it will jam and not even work. So stability depends upon how intelligently you approach the analysis of what you really need as a solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is scalable by choosing the right plan. If you need to scale up or down, that is possible. Pricing will change accordingly.

How are customer service and technical support?

We occasionally use support, but find it frustrating because it is not global 24/7 and we are affected by the time zone. We don't have local support and because of that we sometimes have to sit late night to troubleshoot with live support or wait for answers. This is the one place where the company could greatly improve the utility of the product for us.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used three advanced email security systems, including Trend Micro (InterScan), Cisco IronPort, and Barracuda Email Security Gateway. All three are good solutions but each has its advantages. Cisco, I think, is very expensive compared to Barracuda or Trend Micro. Trend Micro is less expensive but more difficult to deploy and use.

It wasn't so much a case of switching products for my current organization as it was choosing the product that fits with our needs. It was better for us to save a little using Barracuda in cost compared to Cisco and in time and effort compared to Trend Micro.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment took about one week. It was easy to deploy. All the information you need is supplied by the company. You just have to make the proper considerations and do some fine-tuning. Then it can be put into production.

What about the implementation team?

Because we are an enterprise company, we deal with integrators, but we also work with Barracuda directly. So we use both integrators as well as Barracuda support.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Barracuda Email Security Gateway is sort of a mid-range price high-end solution. The pricing is scalable depending on the volume of use.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In our choice of a product to use as an email security system, I mostly went by previous experience in using Trend Micro and Cisco IronPort. These are two other very good options.

What other advice do I have?

As far as advice to other organizations considering this solution, I would generally recommend the product. But it depends. I can recommend Barracuda as a user because I have not had any problem with it. But if your organization has a limited budget, you might want to consider going with Trend Micro. Trend Micro is also a very good product, and it is a little cheaper than Barracuda when it comes to pricing structure. But Trend Micro is also not as easy to implement and use as Barracuda. So you would have to determine whether Barracuda is worth investing in so that you save time and effort. Barracuda costs a little more, but it is easier to use, more user-friendly and has a little better reputation.

On a scale from one to ten, with one being the worst and ten being the best, I would rate Barracuda Email Security Gateway as a seven out of ten. This rating is lower even though I am completely satisfied with this product as a solution. The big problem is not the product, but the support — which I consider a very important factor. If I can't get support on time or I have to work inconvenient hours to get live support, this ends up affecting our services.

One other thing I think I should mention is that the reporting system for Barracuda is very good. Good reporting is important to the utilization of the product in an efficient manner.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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