IronPort vs. Barracuda Spam and Virus Device

Posted on 2011-05-12
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi all,

I have an IronPort C150 which I have had for 3 years.  IronPort/Cisco has chosen to no longer support their device nor allow me to purchase signatures for it.  

I have really liked the device but am left with a sour taste in my mouth and I am looking for a hardware alternative.  I am looking at the Barracuda 300 which, while not as graphically appealing, functionally seems comparable.  

I would like to hear from anyone who might have experience with both, or either, really to hear your comments.


Question by:TWFarrington
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    First off, I have no experience with Barracuda so I can't tell you anything of any value about them, and the following is just my $.02.  

    While I understand your unhappiness about being forced to upgrade, pretty much every vendor has to eventually say they will no longer support one platform when its been replaced with another.  The C150 has been around for a number of years and has been replaced with newer hardware, the C160.  I've installed and supported the IronPort appliances (both web and e-mail) and I think they are excellent.  While use of reputation as a criteria is becoming more widespread, IronPort was the first to do so, and seems to have the largest base of information on which to draw.  (Whether you think reputation is helpful or too easy to circumvent is another discussion.)  Cisco pretty much always provides some kind of upgrade path when they are phasing out hardware, and often offers incentives to make the upgrade when both platforms are still available.  

    My opinion is Cisco's support is the best in the industry.  I've seen numerous times when TAC wound up solving a problem that really wasn't a Cisco problem, and while I can't say I've dealt with every company out there, my impression is that's a rarity.  That said, not everyone can or wants to pay for the level of support you get from Cisco, and they're willing to accept a product that does a similar job at a lower price even if the features or support are not quite the same.  

    So if you choose to go with Barraduca, I hope you will do it on the basis of what features they offer and at what price, and not because you're ticked off at Cisco for updating their hardware.

    Author Comment

    Thank you for sharing you experience and support of Cisco.  The IronPort has been a great device, but with less than 30 users, spending $5,000 every 3 years is not practical.  Unfortunately there is not upgrade path, nor was there any notification.  I simply called to renew the service contract and was told that I couldn't.  Don't mean to trash talk Cisco, I really like the IronPort, I just don't trust that they will stand behind their product and I will be left looking like a fool in 3 years when I need to scrounge another 5k out of my already lean budget.  

    Not saying that I won't get another IronPort, just need to see if there is a more dependable alternative.

    Again, I appreciate your response and sharing your experiences with Cisco support.

    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    I guess I'm more familiar with the enterprise side of Cisco's business, where dedicated account teams are involved.  Sorry you had a bad experience with trying to renew as a smaller business.  I understand your financial issue and agree that's a lot to spend for a relatively small number of people when the C160 is capable of handling many more users.
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    not to deter u away from those products.  have you looked into sonic wall.  they have a nice protection suite.  ive moved some of my clients from cisco to sonic wall due to the fact that there is antivirus on the firewall and it just adds another layer of protection.  im pretty sure they have a solution to fit your buisness needs.  its always worth just to take a look at what they have to offer vs the other products listed.  

    Author Closing Comment

    @every1isevil2, I will take a look at the SonicWall line, I currently use a TZ210 for internet traffic, but perhaps I will use it for email too.  Not sure it does spam, but I will take a look.  Great suggestion!

    @jmeggers, Thanks for the mention of the reputation scoring, that is an element I want to be sure to keep going forward!

    Thanks all, appreciate the feedback!

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