Barracuda Swims Into The Cloud - InformationWeek

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11/7/2008
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Barracuda Swims Into The Cloud

The anti-spam vendor buys into the cloud with acquisition of an online backup company.

The anti-spam vendor buys into the cloud with acquisition of an online backup company.Yesterday, Barracuda Networks announced the acquisition of BitLeap, which offers an online backup service for small and medium-sized businesses.

The acquisition gives Barracuda a foot in the growing market for cloud-based services, while also keeping one foot firmly planted in the appliance market. That's because BitLeap sells a premises appliance that stores data on site. The appliance also copies data to BitLeap's two U.S. data centers, based in Virginia and Michigan. Companies can restore data either from the appliance or from the online storage service.

The appliance offers deduplication to maximize available storage space. Backups can be scheduled to run every few minutes or hours, depending on customer requirements. Customers also can set schedules to replicate data off-site during nonbusiness hours. The appliances support the CIFS and NFS protocols, so customers can connect to a variety of data sources. The appliances come in five models, which range in storage capacity from 250 GB up to 5,000 GB.

This premises/cloud hybrid is makes good sense for Barracuda, which has built its business around low-cost appliances. It is best known as an anti-spam vendor, but the company also offers appliances for Web filtering, load balancing, and, most recently, e-mail archiving.

The company also has plans to move into cloud-based e-mail archiving, according to Stephen Pao, VP of product management.

"The direction here will be to integrate Barracuda Message Archiver with the BitLeap services platform so we can augment Archiver with a services-based option as well," he says.

Barracuda Networks will face a crowded market in the online e-mail archive space, including companies such as Tangent, Live Office, Dell MessageOne, and Proofpoint.

For more on e-mail archiving, download my analyst report on the market, which includes profiles of all the vendors mentioned above. It's free for a limited time.

Barracuda declined to say how much it paid for BitLeap.

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