IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Intronis MSP Solutions Adds Next-Generation Firewall to Data Protection Product Line

Based on parent company Barracuda’s NextGen Firewall F-Series, the new offering features MSP-friendly monthly subscription pricing. By Rich Freeman

Intronis MSP Solutions, a Chelmsford, Mass.-based division of Barracuda Networks Inc., has introduced its first next-generation firewall.

Called Barracuda NextGen Firewall—Intronis MSP Edition, the new product is a re-branded version of Barracuda’s NextGen Firewall F-Series line. Unlike those existing devices, however, managed service providers can purchase the new ones via monthly subscription fees rather than one-time upfront payments.

That’s not the only way the Intronis edition of Barracuda’s F-Series is a good fit for managed service providers either, according to Neal Bradbury, senior director of business development at Intronis MSP Solutions. Originally designed for use in big businesses with large numbers of satellite offices to manage, the Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series features a centralized management console providing consolidated access to those sites through a single interface. That tool is equally appropriate for MSPs with multiple remote locations to manage, Bradbury notes.

“It fits the [managed services] model very, very well,” he says.

Other notable features in the new system, Bradbury adds, include built-in WAN optimization, template-based configuration, which lets MSPs use existing deployments as a time-saving starting point for new ones, and intelligent traffic regulation, which enables administrators to optimize network performance by prioritizing or blocking specific applications and users, at specific times and under specific conditions if desired.

“It gets complex, but it allows you to have those very simple rules and all of it’s reportable for the MSP to the small business, so they can see where people are going on the internet,” Bradbury says.

The Barracuda NextGen Firewall—Intronis MSP Edition comes with advanced threat protection as well in the form of a real-time connection to Barracuda’s cloud-based security data repository, which allows it to send and receive updates about the latest exploits.

“It’s incredibly smart,” Bradbury says of the new firewall. “It’s constantly learning.”

Intronis considers firewalls a natural addition to its existing family of business continuity and disaster recovery solutions.

“Our mission is make sure no business goes out of business for the loss of their data,” Bradbury says. BDR solutions do that by ensuring companies can recover data that’s lost due to a breach. Firewalls perform the same function by preventing breaches from occurring in the first place.

The product Intronis rolled out today is its first firewall but second security offering. The company has been selling the Barracuda Essentials for Office 365 bundle of email security, archiving, and backup tools since May. Both products, moreover, follow the release of an Intronis MSP Solutions version of Barracuda’s backup appliance that also features monthly subscription-based pricing. All three products are part of Barracuda’s larger strategy to add MSPs to its existing partner channel.

“Barracuda traditionally had a ton of partners, but they were more of the VARs,” Bradbury says. “They bought us to basically help them transition to taking advantage of that managed services market.”

Today’s Intronis launch calls recent news from U.K.-based security vendor Sophos Ltd. and Norwalk, Conn.-based Datto Inc. to mind. In May, the former firm introduced a new MSP-focused partner program that allows members to pay for Sophos software via the same recurring fees they charge their clients. The latter company plans to add a network router appliance to its portfolio of BDR and file sync and share offerings soon.

Though Datto’s forthcoming device includes firewall functionality, Bradbury calls it a riskier product choice for MSPs than the new Intronis firewall, which is based on a Barracuda solution with an established track record.

“It’s been successfully used around the world, so it’s not a new product,” Bradbury says. “This is a tried, true, tested, enterprise-grade product.”

At present, the new Intronis firewall’s control panel doesn’t integrate natively with other managed services solutions, but Bradbury said plans exist to link the system to RMM and/or PSA systems at an unspecified point in the future. Bradbury declined to say whether or not Intronis also plans to create MSP-friendly versions of other Barracuda products in the months ahead, but stated that such releases will come gradually if they come at all.

“The MSP channel can only absorb so many products so fast,” he says.

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