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Barracuda Backup 490 review

Probably best known for its firewall and filtering products, Barracuda is also in the backup business, employing the same appliance-based approach to protecting data as it does keeping the bad guys at bay. In fact it has a whole family of scalable backup appliances that are further enhanced by site-to-site replication and replication to the cloud. The latest release also offers live booting of VMware backups for near-instant recovery.

The Barracuda 490, reviewed here, is a 1U rack with an internal capacity of 4TB. The flagship 1090 model is a 4U rack with a capacity of 102TB, plus hot-swappable disks and redundant power supplies, and optional 10GbE fibre connectivity. Image: Barracuda
Barracuda Backup appliances are based on industry-standard server hardware from Supermicro with no additional software or hardware required. Everything you need comes on the appliance, and you don’t have to pay extra for each server or application you want to protect either. Just buy one or more appliances with enough storage and network bandwidth to cope and you’re good to go, with several models to choose from.

The cheapest is the free-standing 190 (£899 ex. VAT), which is aimed at smaller companies and departmental backups. It’s equipped with a single Gigabit Ethernet port plus 500GB of usable storage to typically handle backups of around 200GB. The remaining models are all rack-mount units with increasing tallies of storage and RAID protection as you move up the scale. At the high end, redundant power and 10GbE connectivity are added to the mix.

The most expensive model is the 4U 1090, which features a 34-disk storage array, a 10GbE network interface and hot-swap redundant power, and delivers a suggested backup volume of 50TB from a usable internal capacity of 102TB. The recommended price for that little lot is £121,349 (ex. VAT).

Despite the size differences, Barracuda Backup appliances all run the same software, have the same tools to hand and work the same way. They can also all be used to protect both physical assets and virtual machines with support for VMware and Hyper-V as standard. Moreover, the Barracuda software is designed to take advantage of industry-standard protocols and built-in APIs, which means it can protect both Windows and Exchange servers, for example, without having to install anything extra on the hosts themselves.

There are exceptions, so agents are included to take backups of SQL databases and the Windows System State on protected servers, for example; a custom Linux agent is also available. The agents preloaded onto the appliance, ready for downloading as required.


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