Barracuda Link Balancer

Advanced Internet Link Load Balancing

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Features

Link Load Balancing

The Barracuda Link Balancer intelligently distributes load across diverse links including high-speed MPLS, T1, and T3 lines, as well as low-cost DSL and cable connections from multiple ISPs. It scales bandwidth and intelligently distributes traffic across links based on business policies, cost, and key performance metrics. Multiple link load balancing algorithms are available and connection persistence is maintained.

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Link Failover and Failback

Link availability and performance is continuously monitored using multiple protocols and metrics like DNS, Ping, HTTP, and performance. When link failure or saturation is detected, the Barracuda Link Balancer instantly reroutes traffic through the available links. It automatically fails back when the ISP restores service. During link failover/failback, the Barracuda Link Balancer maintains application traffic and VPN priorities.

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Inbound Link Balancing Using DNS

Inbound link balancing distributes incoming traffic from Internet-facing services across multiple ISP links by using built-in Authoritative DNS services. It assigns link-specific IP addresses to each domain and then balances DNS queries to that domain across the available links. Failed links are removed from the DNS tables and are added back only when they have been restored.

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Transparent Deployment

Under the preferred transparent mode of deployment, the Barracuda Link Balancer plugs into an existing network to perform link load balancing transparently, without requiring any changes on network firewalls, routers, VPNs, or hosts.

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Site-to-Site IPsec VPN

For secure site-to-site connectivity, the Barracuda Link Balancer comes with a built-in IPsec VPN gateway. In case of link failover and failback, VPNs fail over to available links and maintain traffic priorities to ensure uptime for critical organizational services across the WAN. MPLS links can be set to failover to IPsec VPN links.

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Application Prioritization and Quality of Service (QoS)

The Barracuda Link Balancer lets administrators create policies that automatically prioritize traffic from Internet applications. For example, web browsing and email can be assigned guaranteed bandwidth while peer-to-peer applications and media streaming can be assigned a lower priority. Policies can be defined using traditional IP addresses and port numbers or by using application-layer signatures, such as VOIP, P2P, etc.

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DHCP Server

The Barracuda Link Balancer comes with a DHCP server to assign dynamic IP addresses to LAN clients. Along with traditional DHCP options, administrators can view active leases in real time. Multiple LAN subnets can be configured and served by the DHCP server.

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High Availability

A pair of Barracuda Link Balancers can be configured in an active/standby cluster*. Configuration is automatically synchronized across the units. If the active unit goes down for any reason, the standby unit assumes all the responsibilities of the master unit. Clustering is based on the Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP). 

*HA and Ethernet bypass are available with models 330 and 430 only.

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Basic Firewall Functions

In firewall-enable mode, basic network firewall functions like 1:1 NAT, IP access lists, and port forwarding are supported. For next-generation firewall capabilities, consider the Barracuda NextGen Firewall X-Series.

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Logs and Reports

Logs and reports provide clear visibility into link activity with minimal effort. The Barracuda Link Balancer provides information on bandwidth usage, VPN traffic, firewall activity, and much more.

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