IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Barracuda Makes WAF-as-a-Service Available in Microsoft Azure

The new hosting option, which is designed to boost performance by tapping into the scale and reach of Microsoft’s extensive global data center network, is part of a new web application bundle that lets users buy all the cloud security tools they need in one place. By Rich Freeman

Barracuda Networks has shipped a new edition of its Web Application Firewall-as-a-Service solution hosted in the Microsoft Azure public cloud, along with a new offering called the Barracuda Cloud Application Protection (CAP) platform that bundles WAF-as-a-Service together with a collection of the company’s other cloud security products.

The security and backup vendor made announced both products in conjunction with Microsoft’s Ignite conference, which is taking place in Orlando this week.

The original version of WAF-as-a-Service, which reached market in May of last year and remains available to customers who wish to use it, is hosted in Barracuda data centers. Adding an Azure-based version of the system gives end users access to a much larger network of facilities spanning 56 sites around the globe.

“What that means for our customers is an increase in performance and a decrease in latency, because the closer you can deploy your protection to wherever your applications are, the better they perform,” says Nitzan Miron, vice president of product management for application security services at Barracuda.

In addition, he continues, the Azure edition of WAF-as-a-Service offers enhanced protection from volumetric DDoS attacks. 

“Defending against a large volumetric DDoS attack depends on the number of data centers you have and the traffic, the pipe capacity, of those data centers,” Miron notes, adding that Microsoft ranks among the very top providers of public cloud services when it comes to capacity.

“Barracuda’s WAF-as-a-Service customers can now take advantage of that capacity,” Miron says.

Unlike the original WAF-as-a-Service release, the Azure version is Microsoft “co-sell ready,” which means that Microsoft partners who sell it can apply the resulting Azure consumption against the targets they’re required to hit to qualify for higher levels within Microsoft’s partner program.

“They get credit from Microsoft for a win, for a sale, and so it actually helps them with their Microsoft partner status,” Miron says

Microsoft introduced Azure co-selling at its Inspire partner conference in 2017. Co-sell deals produced $8 billion in partner revenue globally through the first half of Microsoft’s 2019 fiscal year, the company reported in February.

Both the original, Barracuda-hosted WAF-as-a-Service product and the Azure edition are priced identically. The Azure edition is listed on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace for buyers who prefer to purchase it that way. Companies can use the Azure version to safeguard workloads hosted in clouds other than Microsoft’s, including Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform, as well as on-premises workloads.

“Even though we host it on Azure, it doesn’t mean the customer needs to be on Azure,” Miron says, adding that users can switch between the Azure edition and the solution’s original, Barracuda-hosted edition with a single change in the system’s management interface.

Barracuda CAP is designed to make acquiring, deploying, and managing the large and growing list tools businesses need to protect web applications simpler.

“One of the issues that our customers face is this fragmentation where, in order to protect an application, you have to deploy all these different solutions which don’t necessarily talk to each other, which don’t necessarily integrate well, and if you kind of forget one of them or you don’t integrate them properly, you may end up with subpar protection,” Miron explains.

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