Security's Everyman

Security's Everyman

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Barracuda Update

Yesterday was another interesting day with my Barracuda Spam firewall. When I got in the office I went to check everything out and discovered that there was still a small problem or two. I had already planned to call them back to "discuss" the support issues that I had. I placed my 3rd call in less than 24 hours and told the lady that answered the phone that it would be highly appreciated if she put me in touch with a tech immediately and briefly explained my frustration. A tech was on the line in less than 5 minutes. I explained to him the issues that I had been experiencing and he started troubleshooting. He needed to access my system via ssh and asked me to enable the connection. He was unable to connect and told me that they were having issues on their end and would call me back once they were resolved.

About 4 hours went by and I received another call. Once he was able to connect to the system he then asked me to explain what was happening. (At this time the "Block Fake Sender Domain" option was blocking all incoming messages when I turned it on.) He told me that this was the way it was supposed to work. I told him that blocking all incoming email was not a good feature and suggested that they change it. He then started to argue with me about the merit of doing this. Then he realized that he was thinking about the feature that blocks "spoofed" addresses. Being rude rarely pays in the end.

The issue was finally resolved so that all functions of the system work as they should and I'm again happy with the performance of the Barracuda. I'm still not happy with their support. There is a lot of room for improvement. I also still need to call and talk with someone who has some clout about all of this. I did not "lite into" either the call screener or the tech. They are not the problem (except the tech being rude). I will clear all of this up with someone at a higher lever.

Now a quick word in defense of Barracuda. I had several people comment saying things such as "that's what you get for buying crap" then they recommended another product. Sounds like a sales guy. :) Rothman also made some good comments on his "Rant" about why he thinks Barracuda support is what it is. I realize that Barracuda may not be the best product out there. We bought it because it did what we needed and it was within our budget. It has served us well for the most part and as long as I don't have to call support I'm happy. It also turns out that the problem was never really with the Barracuda itself. Some DNS servers went offline and as it did Reverse DNS lookup and other DNS related functions they all failed. Once I changed the DNS entries it started working flawlessly. All that said now that I have a bigger budget to work with I still will work to get it replaced soon. I don't care how good a product is if support stinks I can't live with it.

1 comment:

Charles said...

Hi, i also use barracuda, honestly, in terms of catching spam, it's just as good as a well tuned spamassassin, with terrible support. For myself i have to use the french translation of the interface and up on the last update towards 3.4, i saw some major regression like the "classify as ham" button stopped working and a bunch of translations that switched back to english. I called for support, and the line cut off when i was online with a technicien. I was expecting the tech to call me back within minutes but they havn't got back in touch with me until 3 days later.

Overall the product does what it is suposed to do but like you say, there support needs to get better :)

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