Barracuda Networks has announced the latest Barracuda NG Firewall, firmware release 5.4. Barracuda NG Firewall sets a new standard in application control and real-time prioritisation, adding SSL inspection, granular detection of standard and user-defined applications, and Deep Application Context Analysis, which continually evaluates applications and user intentions. Combined, the new Quality of Service (QoS) optimisation and SSL inspection features accelerate business value beyond security, helping to significantly reduce costs and save resources.
Barracuda NG Firewall gives administrators granular control over applications, allowing them to define rules for forwarding data traffic using the best respective transmission channels based on type of application, user, content, and geographical location. The new release also includes an updated reporting module that delivers detailed information about traffic, and provides a basis for deciding which connections should be given bandwidth prioritisation, crucial for QoS optimisation for critical applications.
"Other so-called 'next-generation' firewalls use traffic analysis solely to support the security functions of blocking and allowing traffic," said Klaus Gheri, VP of product management for Barracuda Networks' European development centre. "But next-generation traffic analysis has the potential to do much more than that. The Barracuda NG Firewall uses advanced analysis not just for security, but also to enable dynamic traffic shaping and WAN optimisation, which significantly improves network performance and availability - a critical benefit at a time when explosive data growth is pushing networks to the limits of their capacity. This puts the Barracuda NG Firewall in a class by itself, and dramatically increases its value to enterprise-scale organisations, when compared to competing firewalls."
The Barracuda NG Firewall combines the security functions of a firewall with bandwidth management and load balancing functions in a much more consistent way than earlier next-generation firewalls. The analysis of data flows on Layer 7 applications and the consideration of users, times, and locations are critical for security, and also for the intelligent regulation of network traffic. Additionally, SSL-encrypted data inspection is included on Barracuda NG Firewall models F200 and above at no additional charge, and those models are available with high-performing and long-lasting Solid State Drives as standard equipment.
Mobile devices, online applications, social networks, and streaming media have caused an enormous increase in network data traffic, pushing bandwidth capacities to their limits and causing degradation in performance of business-critical applications. The Barracuda NG Firewall allows organisations to prioritise traffic by limiting or restricting access to non-business related sites and applications, even when encrypted.
The combination of next-generation security and adaptive WAN routing allows the Barracuda NG Firewall to dynamically assign available bandwidth for several links based on user, location, application, and content. This keeps expensive, highly available lines free for critical company applications, while significantly reducing response times and freeing up additional bandwidth. The concept of integrated WAN optimisation coupled with consistent centralised management makes significant contributions to reducing overall operating costs, especially for companies with distributed locations.