As the world is forever being influenced by the introduction of the information age, technology and technological marvels have exceeded the physical boundaries of communication and shared information worldwide. Through these technological breakthroughs businesses have broken through the matrix with new information technology ideals and platforms.
More specifically we are here to discuss an I.T. appliance that has continued to change the Enterprise architecture of data centers and network security.
I am Matthew McEnroe, a Barracuda Networks product specialist from South Africa and I have been instructed to identify and discuss the Barracuda Web filter as well as the Barracuda Load Balancer within this network review.
The Barracuda Web filter is structured IT solution designed to filter web traffic and reduce latency of inbound HTTP traffic on your internal networks by filtering your web content from the open wire. Personally the organization I am affiliated with have, been be using Barracuda web filter from 3 years and have been offering it to clients for 5 years onwards. We did not use other solutions before, however when we decided to implement a solution like this we did test a couple of other solutions namely Sonic WALL and Aventail as well as a F5 and Juniper networks appliance. After assessing the possible solutions, we chose the one best suited for our business environment and that was the Barracuda Networks solutions.
During the progression of the business a good example of the solution required would be that at a time, we needed anti malware and content filtering along with bandwidth management; choosing the Barracuda solution helped the infrastructure architects to consolidate and optimize our network efficiently. We also found that with the granular control we could strategically implement policies and allow administrators to optimize our bandwidth usage.
The Barracuda solution has improved the way we function by consolidating threat management and network optimization in one standalone appliance.
Considering the web filter, the best features that were most beneficial to the business are the web filter’s application control, content filtering and the simplistic configurations.
This helped our enterprise because we needed a unified secure solution to provide strength and support against application threats and web content threats to which the Barracuda Networks solution succeeded. However considering the Load balancer’s features; the optimal HTTP caching feature definitely helped benefit the business by increasing the response time on our servers. Another stand out feature is the SSL offloading feature, as it effectively reduced the resource usage and day-to-day costs on the application servers.
The Barracuda Instant Replacement license has also benefited the business by helping us stay up to date with the latest appliances and their policy of after 4 years of up-to-date licensing, Barracuda offer a free hardware refresh as policy to get a replacement device at no extra cost with your next license renewal.
The original setup for this solution had not affected the enterprise allocated budget, however calculations for the day-to-day usage of this solution had accumulated a substantial 43 % in savings through the calendar year with the ROI looking promising for our enterprise through the usage of the Barracuda Network solutions.
The enterprise has not experienced critical issues with using the Barracuda solution, however we have had minor issues with the deployment in the past due to conflicting terminology during the first solution implementation and as such have not had recurring issues.
The initial setup of the Barracuda solution is straightforward enough for the technical engineers and minimized the downtime needed for the initial setup. It has a basic GUI that made it easy to find our way through the installation as multiple setup wizards and prompts that will assist you through the entire setup.
A great benefit of the Barracuda Network solutions is the installation’s demo mode; this allows for a 30-day installation period whereby the license will only be activated once configuration has been achieved seamlessly. This way you will not be charged for the license when the device is non-functional on your network.
With the level of customer services received from Barracuda, personally I would rate them a 8/10.We find them polite and assisting, however the time consumed considering the call center sales’ representatives is a lengthy process to link you through to your needed technical advisor.
We have a team of highly skilled In-house engineers who made the attempt of doing the installation a success, we needed minor technical support such as terminology clarification but we handled this directly through Barracuda and they assisted us efficiently in solving this matter.
It is extremely difficult to consider any improvements within the solution as it has provided us assistance with everything that the enterprise required, however if they had a solution that could allow for more WAN optimization with larger disk space, it would greatly be beneficial for more enterprises. At the moment we use steelhead technology in a different appliance and if we could get the same performance from a Barracuda Network solution, optimally we would use it.
For those interested in using the Barracuda Solutions, I would recommend that testing the appliance is key, in eliminating all doubts, questions and concerns on performance that your enterprise may enquire. I would definitely look at the features of other solutions when comparing, we found that some other solutions have niche’ features however our enterprise was not in need of such and the cost of these extra features were more extravagant due to the purposes of these solutions. So if you not going to use these features why would you pay for them?
Barracuda Networks develop I.T. solutions that are compatible for the modern architectures of information technology and continue to improve the excellence that these solutions provide to enterprises worldwide. I believe that the Barracuda networks solution is optimal in our current growing requirements, the web filter and load balancer are efficient well developed solutions that add value in security, cost savings, data handling and overall strategic policy enforcement for any enterprise striving to achieve within the information age. I am Matthew McEnroe a Barracuda product specialist and I trust that this review will assist you in better understanding and selecting network solutions in the future.
Edited and Constructed by Anthony Forbes.