Barracuda Networks has introduced the Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall Vx and the Barracuda SSL VPN Vx; the latter refers to secure-socket-layer virtual private network, an industry standard for accessing a corporate network remotely. The latest additions to Barracuda's virtual portfolio supplement its existing virtualization offerings such as the NG Firewall and Purewire Web Security Service. Other virtual offerings for data protection, application delivery, as well as other security categories will roll out in the months to come. These are all virtual versions of physical appliances already available from Barracuda, but are offered as organizations increasingly adopt virtualization technology throughout their IT systems.
A December 2009 survey by the research firm IDC found that 70 percent of IT administrators surveyed are spending part of their IT budgets on virtual appliance deployment. Of those, it's about a 60-40 split between small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises on their virtual appliance spending. IDC found that SMBs tend to invest more quickly in new technology such as virtualization because they are able to move more nimbly on IT decisions than large enterprises, IDC analyst Christian Christiansen said.
One customer already using the virtual Spam & Virus appliance is The Computer Project, a computer sales, service and consulting business in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, which currently hosts 200 or more Web sites of local companies and constantly has to fight spam, said company spokesman Matt Warzecha. When the company moved into new offices recently, it replaced its physical Barracuda appliance with the new virtual one. "We love the fact that we don't need to have the physical appliance anymore," said Warzecha. "This allows us to not have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into physical hardware and gives us a better redundancy as everything is virtual and easy to replicate."
Barracuda sees three general trends driving virtualization, particularly of its security, data protection and application delivery offerings: virtual appliances can be easily deployed and scaled as computing needs grow; consolidation of multiple physical servers into fewer virtualized servers reduces energy costs; and virtualization reduces the total cost of ownership for IT. Barracuda offers virtual and physical appliances, as well as a software-as-a-service option and a hybrid solution for customers who operate both an on-premise data center and use cloud computing services.
Pricing for the Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall Vx includes a one-time base license fee and an annual subscription of $180 per 100 users per year. Pricing for the Barracuda SSL VPN Vx includes a one-time base license fee and an annual subscription ranging from $120 per year for 10 and $3,000 per year for 250 users, the company said. Customers can download a free 30-day trial version of each from the Barracuda Networks Web site.