Barracuda Message Archiver: Stackable Appliances and Federated Search

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Barracuda Message Archiver is an all-in-one email archiving solution that includes hardware, software, and offsite cloud replication. Barracuda Message Archiver is easy to deploy and configure quickly; it also reduces total cost of ownership by providing consolidation of hardware and services, simplified administration, and a single vendor for handling customer support.

With the release of the Barracuda Message Archiver firmware version 4.0, models 450 and higher now provide the ability to stack together, and search across, multiple appliances. These capabilities greatly enhance the scalability and flexibility of the product, providing multiple customer benefits.

Storage Expansion

The ability to stack appliances together makes it easy for Barracuda Message Archiver to expand appliance storage over time. Storage expansion no longer requires an upgrade to a larger unit. Instead, you can simply install a new Barracuda Message Archiver, expanding the available storage and future proofing your investment.

Stacking is currently available on models 450 and higher, and is not limited to like-model expansion. For example, you may have deployed a Barracuda Message Archiver 650 with 8 TB of storage and reached a point where you need more capacity. You can add a Barracuda Message Archiver 450 with 4 TB of storage, creating a total storage capacity of up to 12 TB. What’s more, you are not limited to just two appliances. If you need more storage, just keep adding appliances.

Stacking appliances together will result in your mail storage being split across multiple units. However, this will not make searches and exports more complicated. Thanks to the Federated Search feature, searches performed on any of the stacked units will automatically propagate across all devices and return a consolidated set of results.

Flexible Deployment

Beyond storage expansion, the ability to stack multiple Barracuda Message Archivers together provides you with additional flexibility when deploying your email archiving solution. For organizations with multiple geographically distributed email servers, or with certain data privacy policies, choosing to co-locate a Barracuda Message Archiver with each email server provides you with better performance and easier deployment while complying with your internal policies.

In this scenario, email archived at each location remains physically stored on the local Barracuda Message Archiver, while Federated Search gives you the ability to search all content from any unit. When a search query is run from one Barracuda Message Archiver, the request is sent down to the others so that each appliance is performing its own search locally using its own processing power, thereby optimizing search performance. When results return to the requesting archiver, no binary data transfers, just information about the search results in the form of metadata. At that point, the requestor can choose to refine the search query, place legal holds, or export the data in a variety of ways.

More Flexible Sizing

Finally, stacking Barracuda Message Archivers allows you to get the right size solution for your environment and your budget. Organizations with environments that fall between current Barracuda Message Archiver models no longer have to worry if they chose a unit too small or too large for their environment. For example, if a customer has 9 TB of data, a model 650 with an 8 TB capacity would be too small, not allowing for growth and retention. On the other hand, the model 850 with a capacity of 18 TB might be too large for this environment. Stacking a model 650 and model 450 together creates a solution with a capacity of 12 TB, effectively accounting for growth and retention without oversizing.

Barracuda Message Archiver models range in capacity from 500 GB up to 66 TB. For organizations that need a capacity larger than 66 TB, stacking makes this possible. Stacking is also beneficial for organizations that need to import or migrate a large amount of data from their email servers or from an existing email archiving solution. This data can be imported and indexed on one Barracuda Message Archiver for long-term storage and search capability, while a second Barracuda Message Archiver actively collects, indexes, and retains all new email through journaling.

Tying It All Together: Federated Search

The Federated Search feature allows organizations to search across multiple connected Barracuda Message Archivers and Barracuda Cloud Storage from a single search query and search interface. Federated search is ideal for organizations with multiple sites, allowing searches to be performed across all connected Barracuda Message Archivers in your network, as well as Barracuda Cloud Storage, rather than having to search individual systems. Barracuda Cloud Storage is treated similarly to another Barracuda Message Archiver, containing its own fully indexed, fully searchable copy of all archived data.

Configuring Stacking and Federated Search

To stack multiple Barracuda Message Archiver appliances and enable Federated Search:

  1. Log in to a Barracuda Message Archiver in your network, and go to the ADVANCED > Clustering page.
  2. In the Federated Search section, click Connect Archiver.
  3. In the Connect Archiver dialog box, enter the Hostname and Admin Password of the Barracuda Message Archiver to which you want to connect, and then click OK.
  4. Click Save. The connection details display in the table. The two systems are automatically connected, and the connection is now bi-directional.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 to add additional systems for Federated Search. Note that you only need to add a new system to one of the Barracuda Message Archiver’s connected for Federated Search.
  6. If your Barracuda Message Archiver is configured to replicate data to the Barracuda Cloud, Federated Search is automatically enabled between your unit and the cloud. There is no need to enable it manually.

Choose Which Appliance to Search

The default behavior of Federated Search, whereby all stacked appliances (and the cloud if applicable) are automatically searched with each query, is beneficial in most cases. However, you can also manually specify which appliances to search with each search query.

  1. Log in to a Barracuda Message Archiver within a Federated connection, and go to the BASIC > Search page.
  2. Click Advanced; the Federated Search sources display above the search criteria fields.
  3. Click Change next to the Search Sources section.
  4. In the Select Search Sources dialog, select the systems you want to include. Click OK.
  5. Enter your search criteria, and then click Search. Only the systems selected in the Change Search Settings dialog are included in the search query results.

Conclusion

Barracuda Message Archiver is an all-in-one email archiving solution that includes hardware, software and offsite cloud replication. It scales to fit your organization’s needs and business growth. Stacking Barracuda Message Archivers enables you to extend your storage capacity while providing flexibility for sizing and deploying your email archiving solution. Federated Search ties everything together by offering the ability to search across all Barracuda Message Archivers and Barracuda Cloud Storage from a single search query and search interface.