On the Air Around the Clock with Barracuda NextGen F-Series

Download PDF

Summary

More than three million people listen to the ANTENNE BAYERN radio station every day. More than three million people listen to the ANTENNE BAYERN radio station every day. Since September 5th, 1988, the complete 24-hour program has been transmitted to 41 antennas across Bavaria by the central broadcasting studio in Ismaning. Just one year after launch, ANTENNE BAYERN was the most successful private radio station in Germany, measured in terms of listeners’ range. The station has continued to expand its leading market position to this day and is now more successful than the private and state run public broadcasting competitors. The audience is not just restricted to the Free State of Bavaria; it extends beyond to neighboring federal states as well as Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Fans from all over the world also listen in via the Internet from Canada to the Fiji Islands.

Profile

  • Antenne Bayern Broadcast media organization
  • 200 employees across 5 locations
  • 3 million listeners across 41 antennas

Challenges

  • Creating a uniform firewall infrastructure
  • Bandwidth prioritization
  • Efficient and affordable management of the complete solution
  • Create a scalable solution for future infrastructure expansion

Solution

  • Barracuda NextGen F-Series
  • Barracuda NextGen Control Center

Results

  • Highly reliable and secure distributed network with Centralized management of all locations
  • Business continuity with high availability functionality
  • Reduction of administrative IT work

Core Requirements: Efficient Management and High Availability

As a result of this situation, the IT team—in particular Horst Hamberger, Michael Vogel and Michael Kerscher, technical manager at ANTENNE BAYERN, decided to migrate the firewall and high availability (HA) infrastructure to a new, sustainable basis. "One of the main motivating forces behind the conversion was to make the infrastructure homogeneous. We wanted to make the administration faster and more efficient at the branch offices too, with an integrated management concept”, explains Hamberger. “We also wanted to implement a truly high performance HA solution. There are many products in this field, but only a few came up to our expectations."

A Very Fast Rollout

So the decision in Barracuda’s favour was clear and the ensuing rollout provided the ideal opportunity to prove just how good the management concept is. The IT team implemented a highly available firewall solution, which corresponds to today’s technology standards and continually synchronizes existing sessions between the HA partners at the company headquarters. The solutions for the six correspondents’ offices were also prepared for at the headquarters, making visits to the branch offices unnecessary. VPN and security settings as well as other configurations were completed ahead of time—the boxes were then just hooked up to the DSL connections in the branch offices—and the job was done. Hamberger: recalls “The rollout effort was really limited to a minimum, because we were able to prepare everything perfectly ahead of time. There was no installation or configuration work on site at the branch offices. Just three months passed between the decision and the rollout, and the actual rollout just took about one day.”

Management Concept Shows its Strengths

The required efficiency increases were realized with the standardized infrastructure and can now be maximized using the Barracuda NG Management Concept. Today ANTENNE BAYERN IT team doesn’t mind whether a firewall is in Munich, Regensburg or Nuremberg. The administrator works with a consistent interface and has an immediate real-time status overview of the entire environment. ANTENNE BAYERN not only benefits from reduced administration expenses with improved security features, but also from better support. “If difficulties arise, we can immediately see where they are, what is going on at the location, and how we can help. Before we had the Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series the boxes were relatively siloed and in order to obtain information, the log functions for certain events had to be activated beforehand—which is illogical because the administrator is predominantly interested in the current situation when support is required.”

Implementing Requirements Quickly

ANTENNE BAYERN also appreciated Barracuda NextGen Firewall’s logical Management Concept when dealing with special cases which had caused other larger suppliers to fail. For example, the Multicast implementation—the transmission from one point to a group. The advantage of Multicast is that messages can be sent to several recipients or to a closed recipient group simultaneously without the sender having to multiply the bandwidth by the number of recipients. The data packages are duplicated to each distributor on the route. Multicast does not play a significant role in normal environments, but is a core requirement for ANTENNE BAYERN. Hamberger recalls, “With previous solutions, the Multicast implementation was far from satisfactory and could only be realized with considerable expense. But with Barracuda NextGen Firewall the whole thing took about one hour to consider and ten minutes to set up—everything is so much simpler.”

"Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series provides integrated HA functionality and adopts a completely different management approach to all the other suppliers."
- Horst Hamberger, ANTENNE BAYERN

Committed Support

Together with Controlware and Barracuda, ANTENNE BAYERN set up Multicast as well as all other requirements that surfaced during the implementation phase without a great deal of bureaucracy. The manufacturer’s geographical proximity to the customer was a definite benefit here—if required, a knowledgable tech support person can be contacted 24/7, 365 days. Hamberger emphasizes the quality of the Barracuda support: “We weren’t left alone during any phases of the project. On the contrary: Barracuda and Controlware approached us pro actively to see if we needed any support. Whenever we needed a workaround or a fix, we had it within two days at the most. With Barracuda one definitely has the impression that everyone is pulling together to realize the best solution for the customer. Our requirements from the initial specifications were fulfilled 100%. So we don’t need to talk about being satisfied—we would definitely decide in favor of Barracuda again.”

About Barracuda

Protecting users, applications, and data for more than 150,000 organisations 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 highvalue, subscription-based IT solutions for security and storage. For additional information, please visit barracuda.com or follow us on Twitter@barracudaEMEA.

Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series Fast Facts

  • Powerful next-generation network firewall
  • Intelligent traffic regulation and profiling
  • Centralized management of all functionality
  • Deep application control
  • Comprehensive, built-in IDS/IPS
  • Tightly integrated QoS and link balancing
  • Template-based and rolebased configuration
  • Built-in web security (model F100 and higher)