Barracuda Web Application Firewall Review

Gives an understanding of what is happening on your site and any attempts on your source


What is our primary use case?

We use this as public cloud and a virtual appliance based on Azure Cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

It's very simple and predictable because Barracuda provides a vision of the current state of your application. It gives you an understanding of what is happening on your site and any attempts against you at your source. This is the main value that Web Application Firewall provides our company. These aspects are also the main reason for this documentation process.

What is most valuable?

I think the biggest value comes from the ability of Web Application Firewall to perform analysis of attacks that are registered by it, as well as its ability to analyze source code of those attacks and all traffic that is captured by Web Application Firewall. 

The basic functionality of the Web Application Firewall is pretty good. Therefore in comparison with CloudFlare, Barracuda has significant powerful instruments for analysis of main traffic of requests that we get on the application. If however, we try to compare Barracuda and F5, F5 is more powerful than Barracuda. In any case, it's very hard to make these comparisons, because one product has more powerful features from one point of view, while the other product is better from another point of view.

I can say that it's good only in comparison with some products. All products have approximately the same functionality, but some products are more powerful in certain aspects.

What needs improvement?

I think the main area for improvement in this product is learning it, as can be seen when comparing it to the F5 web application firewall. F5 has a very powerful learning phase when you start using your web application firewall against your site. The company at this time collects information and parameters about all requests, such as: file downloads, file uploads, authentication, authorization processes, etc. During this period, F5 provides you with the ability to collect most of the necessary information to make a security provision for your web application firewall.

Barracuda has something like this, but not with the same functionality from my point of view. Barracuda is a little bit lower in comparison with other web application firewalls, so the best way to improve Barracuda is to develop and add new features in this area.

A good point for developing this area is to describe some particular use cases. For example, the implementation demands configuration of the application in conjunction with Web Application Firewall to make it available and hosted on the internal web services of Azure. It would be great to have instructions for Barracuda with Azure infrastructure, so we could get a step-by-step manual starting from the creation of the application interface and finishing with the available site including Barracuda. We implemented Barracuda Web Application Firewall and we see who checks the whole process. Each part of this manual relates to a particular service, but it would still help those who implement it to be quicker.

The bottom line is I would like to see an improved learning model to make the creation of the first policy easier and more transparent for an engineer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Barracuda for two months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If I remember correctly, when applying changes to a policy, the system tries to reward the current system. I didn't check if the site is available, but it seems that certain views could be unavailable during this process. Any changes or configurations submitted demand voiding. This can be a surprise because when you try only to save the configuration but don't commit it, you might think this doesn't take effect. If you don't want to commit this policy exactly at this time the appliance will still start to change it. This might be a quirk of this appliance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I read that you can scale this system by building redundant schemes and using special appliances to manage certificates, but I didn't try it. Therefore, as a manager I don't know, because I didn't try to make a redundant scheme.

Only a few users at our company implement this, but all visitors to our site are affected by this implementation.

How are customer service and technical support?

I didn't fight with them because all features and implementations that I tried didn't demand any help from technical support.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We actually switched to Barracuda because it's cheaper than F5. This might not be the case for others, because there are several solutions that are cloud based. It is a service of a service and in some cases this kind of product would be cheaper than Barracuda. It depends on the implementation scheme and business needs. In some cases, Barracuda is cheaper, in some cases Barracuda is more expensive. In our case it was cheaper.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy and straightforward. I don't remember how long deployment took, but it was very quick. If I remember, you just need to assign the address management interface and add additional IP addresses to other interfaces, enable them, etc. After that, your site is available already. It's much easier than F5, for example.

What about the implementation team?

We didn't use a vendor for implementation. I just used standard documentation from their resources and it was enough to roll out this appliance in our infrastructure. It's very easy. I didn't request them, because the documents provided by their site was enough to roll out this product by ourselves without additional help.

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

Barracuda costs us $8,000 per year. Barracuda costs $20,000 for a full subscription, when you try to protect multi-site infrastructure, in different geographical zones and for different data centers. If you have only one site, Barracuda will be cheaper.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We chose Barracuda because in our case it was cheaper.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I learned is that our site is attacked every day.

I would recommend Barracuda, but this recommendation is based on our particular case. For some cases this solution is good, but for some cases it's not. It's very hard to answer directly because of all the aspects that should be taken into account when you try to answer this question.

I would rate it as eight out of ten.

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