Barracuda Networks Breaks into SSL VPN Space for Small Business

Fresh off its acquisition of BitLeap, Barracuda Networks buys open-source SSL VPN vendor 3SP and releases Barracuda SSL VPN based on the 3SP technology. Barracuda networks is currently targeting Barracuda SSL VPN at small and midsize businesses.

Barracuda Networks has bought its way into the SSL VPN space with the acquisition of open-source vendor 3SP.

The move was officially completed Nov. 17 with the announcement of Barracuda SSL VPN, the company's answer to calls for an integrated hardware and software product for clientless remote access. The acquisition is the second of the month by Barracuda, which purchased data backup vendor BitLeap Nov. 6.

This latest play is an interesting one for Barracuda, which is buying into a space dominated by larger companies such as Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks. Still, officials at Barracuda say the company has been researching the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) VPN space for some time, and the company hopes to compete on the basis of price and ease of use.

The Barracuda SSL VPN is "a natural complement to our current offerings, especially the Barracuda Link Balancer and Barracuda Web Site Firewall product lines," said Stephen Pao, vice president of product management at Barracuda. "The current Barracuda SSL VPN models are designed for organizations in the SMB [small and midsize business] space-ranging from 25 users to 100 users. However, we will continue to invest in product development in this space and fully expect to release additional models that can accommodate larger organizations and enterprises in the coming months."

The product is based on 3SP's open-source SSL Explorer technology, which has had more than 275,000 downloads of the main product distribution since August 2004.

The product also integrates with third-party authentication mechanisms such as Active Directory, LDAP and RADIUS to provide single sign-on. In addition, administrators can add more layers of security by enforcing the use of PIN numbers, hardware tokens, client certificates and other secure authentication schemes.

Leveraging Barracuda's roots in e-mail and Web security, Barracuda SSL VPN performs malware scans on any files uploaded during a VPN session to network file shares or internal Web sites.

According to Barracuda, all current 3SP customers will continue to be supported. The SSL VPN product is available in three models starting at $1,499 with no per-user fees.