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Customer Review

on September 6, 2011
This is the most horrible network appliance I've ever had the displeasure of using. From my experience, I can only assume that Barracuda designed the unit to fail, and essentially held the device hostage to try to force us to renew our (expensive) subscription to the "energizer updates".

We bought the unit because we needed a simple L7 load balancer to split traffic between two web servers. In that regard, we felt this unit would meet our needs and for the duration of our initial subscription period to the energizer updates, the device basically worked as expected. From my understanding, the energizer updates serve two functions: 1) updates to firmware and 2) updates to definitions for IPS detection. The IPS features were not something we were interested in because we had a separate unit to handle that; all we wanted was a load balancer. Because the firmware for the load balancer seemed stable - and indeed not even updated in about a year - we decided to allow our initial subscription to the energizer updates that came with the unit to expire.

Shortly thereafter, the unit began to lock us out of the admin utility with a message to the effect of "energizer updates not enabled, contact support". When we called Barracuda, they curtly informed us that there was a "bug" in that version of the firmware that locked us out when the updates expired, and the only way to fix the bug was to get the new firmware, and the only way to do that - you guessed it - is to renew our subscription! We went back and forth with supervisors, escalating the calls repeatedly, and finally they agreed to "patch" the unit to allow us back into the admin utility. The firmware version reported in the device never changed, so I don't know what they did. But at least they were no longer holding our appliance hostage.

We've since done away with our data center appliances and moved to the cloud (go Amazon EC2!) so we were looking to sell this unit. Then we find out that their license is non-transferrable, so even though we no longer have a use for the device, we're stuck with it. They won't even transfer the license if someone else is willing to buy the subscription to the energizer updates. Clearly, they do this because they do not want to compete with a market for used equipment. But this point was never made explicitly, obviously clear when we bought it from our reseller (do you see that disclaimer here that the unit is non-transferrable? No. Nor is it anywhere because it's a shameful policy that only serves Barracuda, and they probably know it would discourage people from buying their hardware). At this point, this unit is basically a brick - and an ugly one at that.

Stay away from Barracuda. Their business model is nothing more than selling hardware that requires you to pay ongoing support fees by basically holding you and the gear you thought you paid for hostage.
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Product Details

1.0 out of 5 stars
1
$2,396.95+ Free shipping