Publishing Scalable and Secure SharePoint Services with the Barracuda Load Balancer ADC

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Challenges

  • Reduce load on SharePoint web front-end servers
  • Optimize network usage and improve user experience
  • Secure deployment with SSl/TLS
  • Integrate with authentication and authorization systems
  • Prevent data exfiltration
  • Deploy geo-dispersed SharePoint farms

Solution

  • Barracuda Load Balancer ADC
  • Included Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB), caching and compression, application security, access control integration (LDAP/AD, RADIUS, Kerberos, SAML) and SSO
  • Up to 15Gbps throughput
  • Physical and virtual form factors

Benefits

  • Performance-aware load balancing ensures efficient resource usage
  • Caching and compression reduces latency and bandwidth usage
  • SSL/TLS offload and active directory integration secures access
  • Application security and DLP provide an additional security layer
  • GSLB enables geo-dispersed deployments

Introduction

Microsoft SharePoint is one of the most widely used enterprise collaboration platforms today. SharePoint aims to be the single application that replaces multiple standalone web applications: It can replace the intranet and extranet, provide content and document management services, enterprise search, business intelligence, and more. Typically, SharePoint is deployed in a three-tiered architecture, with a Web Front End (WFE) server cluster, application servers, and a backend database.The increasing usage of remote desktop services (RDS) has organizations scaling up their deployments to provide the required hardware resources. Microsoft offers load-balancing solutions to enable this within the remote desktop solution, but these solutions have their own issues. In addition to this, the end-of-life of Microsoft’s TMG security product has pushed customers to add third-party options to obtain security and granular access policies to protect their RDS deployments.

The Barracuda Load Balancer ADC

Publish scalable SharePoint services with confidence and ease.

The Barracuda Load Balancer ADC uses performance-aware load balancing to enhance the capability and resiliency of the SharePoint deployment. It continually polls the WFE servers to detect their current load. The ADC’s built-in adaptive scheduling algorithm uses this load information to make intelligent load balancing decisions. This ensures optimal resource usage, and improved application responsiveness. The Barracuda Load Balancer ADC’s intelligent traffic monitoring capabilities help ensure that all WFE servers are reachable and alert. When issues are detected, the affected server is removed from the pool automatically, and traffic is redistributed across the remaining servers.

Large organizations often deploy SharePoint server farms in geo-dispersed data centers. The Barracuda Load Balancer ADC optimizes these deployments with its global server load balancing (GSLB) capabilities. The Barracuda Load Balancer ADC cluster front ends all the geo-dispersed deployments. Depending on where the user is connecting from, it will direct users to the nearest SharePoint deployment. This reduces latency and improves user experience. If one of the data centers goes down, the Barracuda Load Balancer ADC directs users to next closest site, ensuring continual availability.

Traffic optimization techniques, such as caching and compression, are typically used to reduce latency and bandwidth usage. The Barracuda Load Balancer ADC can help with this. Offloading these functions to the Barracuda Load Balancer ADC reduces the load on the SharePoint servers, freeing resources for the applications. The reduction in latency and network usage also improves user experience and productivity, especially among remote and mobile users.

Provide Complete Security for your SharePoint Deployments

Security is of prime importance for organizations publishing SharePoint sites, and providing an HTTPS front end is the first step. SSL transactions are resource intensive and can slow down application performance. Offloading the SSL transactions to the Barracuda Load Balancer ADC frees up SharePoint server resources. The Barracuda Load Balancer ADC also fully integrates active directory authentication services. Combined with the strong access control capabilities, administrators can provide granular control over user/ group access to SharePoint resources. This ensures that only authorized users will be able to reach the SharePoint servers, guaranteeing that non-authenticated traffic never crosses the DMZ. The Barracuda Load Balancer ADC also enables administrators to deploy single sign-on for SharePoint.

A SharePoint site is a potential magnet for hackers because that sensitive information is available. The Barracuda Load Balancer ADC provides industry-leading security to secure the SharePoint application. It protects against OWASP Top 10 attacks such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and cross-site request forgery (CSRF). Additionally, the Barracuda Load Balancer ADC has the ability to granularly control the number of requests to protect against rate-based attacks like denial of service (DoS) or distributed denial of service (DDoS). The Barracuda Load Balancer ADC also offers outbound content inspection for data loss prevention (DLP). It prevents data leakage by either masking or blocking responses containing sensitive information such as credit card numbers or any other custom data patterns.

Application Delivery with Barracuda

Designed for today’s high-traffic data centers, the Barracuda Load Balancer ADC is a high-performance application delivery controller that combines application acceleration, availability, and control with advanced security capabilities. Deployed by thousands of organizations worldwide, the Barracuda Load Balancer ADC is a robust, proven solution that manages and secures billions of application transactions daily. It’s available as a multiport platform with fiber and copper network interfaces, as well as a virtual appliance.

To learn more about upgrading your Forefront TMG installation to Barracuda’s Application Delivery Controller solution, visit www.barracuda.com/ADC. Or call 1-408-342-5400 or 1-888-268-4772 (US & Canada) to request a free 30-day trial.

Application Delivery with Barracuda

Protecting users, applications, and data for more than 150,000 organizations worldwide, Barracuda Networks has developed a global reputation as the go-to leader for powerful, easy-to-use, affordable IT solutions. The company’s proven customer-centric business model focuses on delivering high-value, subscription-based IT solutions for security and data protection. For additional information, please visit www.barracuda.com.