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Barracuda storage grows with new platforms, archiving acquisition

Data Protection Plus integrates Barracuda storage devices with tools to improve file sharing and information management.

Barracuda Networks Inc. continued to push deeper into enterprise storage with the expansion and rebranding of its backup portfolio as Data Protection Plus, the introduction of network appliances for file sync-and-share and the acquisition of archiving vendor C2C Systems.

Barracuda storage grew last week through the acquisition of U.K.-based C2C, which provides applications for email archiving, e-discovery and management of personal storage table (PST) files in Microsoft Outlook. The acquisition includes C2C's PST Enterprise, ArchiveOne Enterprise, ArchiveOne Enterprise Files and Advanced Discovery applications.

The Data Protection Plus rebranding effort encompasses four Barracuda products: Barracuda Backup version 6.0, Barracuda Message Archiver version 4.0, and appliances for Copy Site Server and SignNow electronic signing platforms. Copy Site Server is Barracuda's file sharing product.

Barracuda is rolling out Data Protection Plus products in phases, with general availability dates for the products expected to be announced later in September.

While Barracuda still generates most of its revenue from its security products, it has been pushing into storage to grow the company. Its CEO BJ Jenkins was president of EMC's backup division before joining Barracuda in late 2012.

Barracuda has plenty of competition in the backup software and appliance market, including CommVault's Simpana, EMC's Avamar, Symantec's Backup Exec, Unitrends' disaster recovery as a service platform and Dell Inc.'s AppAssure.

But Barracuda has a chance to stand out from the pack by integrating the broad Data Protection Plus portfolio, said Dave Simpson, a senior storage analyst at technology consulting firm 451 Research.

"Barracuda's key differentiator versus competitors in the hybrid cloud backup market is that it's not focused on only backup and recovery. Integration of these products is still a work in progress, but the ability to supply a wide range of products from a single vendor gives Barracuda an edge in this market," Simpson said.

Data Protection Plus enables user groups to access and share business data between Web-connected devices, including storage on virtual machines, physical servers and in the cloud. The integrated product set is geared to enterprises that use the private Barracuda Cloud.

Barracuda's data protection focus is fueled by soaring data growth and a profusion of personal mobile devices in the workplace, said Danny Milrad, director of marketing for Barracuda storage products.

"Data Protection Plus encompasses different ways of leveraging our technologies to protect the data and get increased benefit from it" as workplaces evolve and become more mobile, Milrad said.

Barracuda is looking into adding cloud storage through third-party service providers, although no agreements are imminent. "We'll do it if it makes sense from an integration perspective or if there's customer demand," Milrad said.

Boost for local backup, support for Hyper-V

Barracuda Backup 6.0 adds an option for local backup to the cloud-based backup from its previous iterations. In earlier versions, users managed Barracuda appliances only with Barracuda Cloud Controller, a centralized management console for tiered multisite administration.

Backup 6.0 incorporates live browsing of Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk to enable granular restore of Hyper-V images, similar to Barracuda's support for VMware ESXi hosts. A file containing the granular Hyper-V image can be shared across authenticated computing devices using Backup's Restore to Copy feature. The latest version also adds tools for protecting applications built on Microsoft SQL Server 2014.

The Backup 6.0 hardware appliances range widely in price and capacity, starting with the 190 model that provides 500 GB of usable storage for $999 to the 1090 model with 112 TB and a retail price of $135,000. Backup 6.0 now supports virtualized environments, although it is not available as a virtual backup appliance.

Cloud storage functionality added to Archiver

Barracuda boosted functionality of its Message Archiver tool, adding flexible policies for using the Barracuda cloud as a storage tier or for disaster recovery. It also marks the first time that Message Archiver will be offered as a virtual appliance.

Message Archiver 4.0 appliances can be connected in a stack for expanding capacity on the fly. Another new feature is capability for federated searching of archives across proximal appliances, particularly for uses such as regulatory compliance and legal discovery.

Pricing for Message Archiver starts at $1,999 for the 150 model for up to 150 users and 500 GB of storage. The high-end 1050 supports up to 18,000 users and 66 TB of storage with a listed retail price of $105,000.

Appliances launched for secure file sharing

The Data Protection Plus suite incorporates Site Server to its Copy platform for cloud-based file sync-and-share and adds the SignNow platform for capturing legally binding electronic signatures. Both Copy Site Server and SignNow can be purchased as physical hardware or in virtual form factors.

Barracuda acquired C2C Systems Aug. 18 for an undisclosed mix of cash and stock. Milrad said Barracuda plans to gradually integrate C2C's software-only platforms with its existing product line, although the near-term plan is to keep the two product lines separate.

"There are some scenarios where a customer wants to deploy their own storage and C2C would be a good fit. There are other scenarios where a customer wants an all-in-one appliance from Barracuda. The combination gives us a full-featured portfolio for archiving and information management," Milrad said.

Next Steps

Barracuda partners with Drobo on online file sharing

Barracuda's big plans for integrated appliance, cloud backup

Dig Deeper on Archiving and backup

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