I've sold and deployed Barracuda spam and web filters for years. I've always thought that the functionality was good (Barracuda Central, easy interface, effective filtering), but the hardware on the entry to midrange units is a weak point. They have single power supplies, no RAID and limited monitoring support. Personally, I think Barracuda would make a killing selling their software as a VMWare appliance.

I'm looking for something similar that I can deploy as a consultant, but will be easy for customers to manage. It should have support for server-grade hardware or the ability to be deployed as a virtual machine. Is there anything out there that's close?


Barracuda does offer a VMware appliance. It is their Vx series. I just switched off of my 5 year Model 300 to Vx300 because my unit was crashing too much. This way, I don't have to come to the office to power cycle it.

Barracuda Virtual Applicances

  • This seemed to come out of nowhere :) When were these released? – ewwhite Mar 10 '11 at 20:35
  • These were released in December 2010. The price point isn't super attractive for me, but may make sense for other situations. It's an annual recurring license that, if not paid, will result in the bricking of the VM. – ewwhite Mar 14 '11 at 17:45

I worked in Support there for nearly 2 years and OP is definitely correct. BSF 100-400 use desktop quality HDD. The RMA rate was through the roof. I would avoid purchasing any of these units like the plague.

Note: This HDD practice is not limited to the Spam Filter but all lower end products the make.

tl;dr: Get amavisd, spamassasin, and clamd and some decent HW and you'll have your own Cuda :)

  • One note on this. There are quite a few used units on eBay. It appears that Barracuda will not support or provide updates for these units, despite the fact that they are still usable. Are there any workarounds? – ewwhite Jul 31 '11 at 22:12
  • @ewwhite I called Barracude to confirm if Energize updates could be purchased for any used unit purchased via eBay or otherwise. The clear answer they gave me was no. – Adam Caviness Jun 11 '12 at 19:48

I've worked with ProofPoint in the past -- They sell appliances, SaaS, and if you're big enough will even license you their software to run on your hardware. Google's services (Postini) are also a great option, but that's SaaS/Hosted only as far as I know.

Re: redundancy, most of these appliances are designed to be your MX. There's no reason you couldn't configure 2 (or more) of them in parallel as equal-weight MXes running on cheap hardware. This has the added advantage of letting you do maintenance on one while still filtering/receiving mail through the other(s) :-)

  • Either ProofPoint or Ironport (Cisco) are good choices. – Vick Vega Mar 10 '11 at 20:39

I'd say look at Smoothwall - but i'm biased, I work there. VM/your hardware/quality appliances (wd re3/re4 disks, intel NICs) though - so take your pick.


You may look into Fortinet's FortiMail.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.