Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall
Strengths: Full virus and spam protection for inbound and outbound email.
Weaknesses: Web-based management GUI is slightly confusing to use.
Verdict: A very capable product from one of the mainstays of the industry. Well worth your consideration.
The Spam & Virus Firewall from Barracuda offers some solid email protection capabilities. Using this appliance, administrators can protect their enterprise from both inbound and outbound threats, such as spam, viruses, phishing, spyware and email address spoofing. This tool also can scan attachments, both inbound and outbound, for potential viruses or spyware.
We found deployment of this product to be quick and easy. The initial setup of the appliance consisted of connecting a keyboard and monitor to the appliance to set the IP and network information to get the appliance connected to the network. After we supplied this information, we were able to browse to the web-based administration GUI via a web browser on a machine on the network. All configuration and administration was done from the web console, but initial setup is comprised of following steps in the quick-start versus a simple setup wizard. After we completed the initial setup steps, we found ourselves having to navigate around the management console quite a bit to learn how to configure the appliance for our environment. Overall, we found the management console to be comprehensive in the way of configurability, but a little overwhelming with many tab-based menus that were not very intuitive to navigate.
As for configurability and policy management, this product offered a lot of functionality. We found that we could configure policy on the appliance to be quite granular and we could even set policy to specific users or groups from our already existing Active Directory structure. Policies also can be created for inbound or outbound separately, which provides an additional level of flexibility for many organizations that require a more granular policy set.
Documentation included a quick-start along with a full administrator guide. We found the quick-start guide to provide an excellent amount of detail on the initial configuration steps to get the appliance up and running in the environment and filtering email with a base configuration. The administrator guide, on the other hand, provided a good amount of detail, but lacked screen shots and configuration examples. However, we did find the administrator guide to provide many clear, step-by-step configuration instructions in an easy-to-follow format.
Barracuda offers 24/7 phone-based technical support as part of the purchase price. Customers also can purchase additional options as part of an annual subscription starting at just under $2,000. Additional tiers include enhanced and premium. With enhanced, customers calling in for support are placed at the front of the queue. At the premium level, Barracuda will actively monitor the system and alert the customer if something goes wrong. All customers also can access a large support area via the website that includes a knowledge base, user forum, product documentation and other helpful resources.
At a price just under $9,000, plus an additional $3,100 per year for the Energize update subscription, we find this product to be a reasonable value for the money. While the Barracuda Spam and Virus Firewall offers some strong features and a great amount of configurability, we found it can be difficult to configure and manage.