What do you like best?
The Barracuda Spam Firewall appliances are surprisingly easy to deploy and maintain. The ease which a help desk user can quickly log in and track an email that may have been caught or determine why it wasn't delivered (typo in recipient email address) makes having these appliances a must. Our help desk does not need to know how to dig into tracking log of the mail server to help a user with a simple delivery issue any more and rarely needs to escalate an issue to the mail server admin.
We find that spam rarely gets through. Occasionally a new spam campaign will start to get through but we find it gets quickly discovered by Barracuda and new definitions, which are downloaded and installed automatically, block it and we never see it again.
There is a per user quarantine feature you can enable to have the unit hold on to emails that are most likely but possible not spam. It can send the user a daily email showing them what is in the quarantine and give them the option to release the email for delivery if they want to see it. They can also access the web portal directly and see their quarantine. And with SSO they do not need another user name and password for it.
They provide an Outlook plug that users can use to Block and Report As Spam any email that is delivered that should not have been. And again, with SSO it is seamless for them, just another button on their toolbar.
There is a clustering feature to help you provide truly resilient mail flow. No more worrying about a down line, or maintenance windows on the units, just let it fail over to the other one.
What do you dislike?
The annual renewal prices could be better, but for the quality of the product we don't even hesitate to renew it annually.
They tend to remove some functionality from the lower grade devices that should be there. SNMP monitoring is not an option on one of our units which seems like a petty thing to disable. We also lost the ability to change the custom logo we use on another one of our units, we had the ability on one firmware version, but after upgrading we lost it. We confirmed with support that custom logos are no longer supported on that model. Unfortunately we had uploaded our logo right before a re-imaging, so we are stuck with an old logo and users occasionally bring it up.
Recommendations to others considering the product
Barracuda offers trial units of all their products, give them a call to set one up. Their support is top notch, they offer training videos and configuration support.
Make sure you test out and show the users the quarentine feature and outlook plugin, they are a big hit. Users don't want to call the help desk or open a ticket to ask if an email to them got caught in the filter. Have a portal where they can check for themselves makes it much easier, and more likely they will check.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
You can not have a mail server without a spam filter. I would shut down our mail flow before I allowed the server to receive mail directly from the internet. Barracuda not only does and excellent job preventing spam but gives the users and the help desk a great experience using the product.