Specialist Mail-Order Company Safeguards Communications with Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series

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Summary

The family-owned company Erwin Müller has been providing reliable top quality textile products in the wholesale trade for over half a century. The company has complemented its range with various specific areas over the decades. In addition to “Baby Butt” various textile markets are now catered for via “Buttinette”, “Woll Butt”, “Kinderbutt” and “Wohlfühlen & Genießen”, so that the mediumsized company can look back on a successful company history with a total of 500 employees and annual revenues totalling some 90 million Euros. A major prerequisite here for succeeding as a comparably small company in a very competitive market environment has always been the use of the latest technologies.

Profile

  • Erwin Müller top quality textiles
  • 500 employees, 900 million euro revenue
  • Various subsidiaries, 8 branch offices, mobiles users, aand web shops

Challenges

  • ISDN lines could no longer cope with increasing flood of data
  • Real-time accounting and reporting across multiple gateways
  • Efficient and affordable management of the complete solution
  • Create a scalable solution for future infrastructure expansion

Solution

  • Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series
  • Barracuda NextGen Control Center

Results

  • Complete protection from cyber threats
  • Highly reliable and secure distributed network with Centralized management of all locations through Barracuda NextGen Control Center
  • Business continuity with high availability functionality
  • Achieved maximum cost optimization through unique license and appliance/ server hardware combination

A Network Reaches Its Limitations

Mail-order house, Erwin Müller operates via the classic sales and communications channels. Web shops play an increasingly important role alongside the catalog, the phone (via an in-house call center) and advertising in print media. However, the IT infrastructure reached its limitations when data traffic volumes began to increase. The existing ISDN lines could no longer cope with the increasing flood of data. It became apparent that new lines were needed. However, this was not possible with the existing IT infrastructure. Faced with this situation, the company realized that it needed an entirely new IT environment concept—one for which security had to be replanned, too.

Core Requirements: Security, Availability, Management—But How?

Communication security requirements were high. Subsidiaries, branch offices, mobile users and of course, the web shops, all had to be integrated securely into the company network, ensuring that spam, viruses, robot networks and other undesirable intruders were blocked from the outset. Plus, the permanent availability of all applications and connections had to be guaranteed.

As a mid-sized company Erwin Müller GmbH attaches considerable importance to being able to manage the entire company network with a small yet powerful IT department. A total of ten employees are currently responsible for the company’s IT, and two of them are dedicated to ensuring that the company network operates smoothly. Therefore, efficient management and economy were the absolute fundamental requirements for the new solution.

Sought and Found

For a month, Jürgen Mayershofer, the company’s network manager began to evaluate different security and firewall suppliers. Important criteria for the decision here were the support offered, a coherent price/ performance ratio as well as the supplier’s competence.

Mayershofer attended a Barracuda NextGen Firewall Security Engineer (NGSE) training course Barracuda University. His future network design began to take shape during this training course. Mayershofer’s initial impressions were confirmed here too. “The Barracuda trainers and consultants proved to be extremely competent and cleared up a lot of our questions in this run-up phase,” Mayershofer recalls. Summarizing the decision in Barracuda’s favor, he says, “We looked at various suppliers and the bottom line is that Barracuda’s package is the most convincing.

Smooth Roll-Out

The installation went smoothly. The migration from the old to the new system was also completed without any hitches in the scheduled period. The products installed at the company headquarters in Buttenwiesen include a Barracuda NextGen Control Center on standard hardware as well as the core gateway. Eight branch offices were linked with Barracuda NextGen Firewalls. These include the discrete warehouse and logistics divisions, a lettershop as well as various special dispatch departments. Everything worked fine; the telecommunications lines were there, and the in-house structure. Everything was ready to go. All that remained was to switch the lines from old to new, and it worked. There were no unscheduled downtimes. Mayershofer is pleased, "Everything ran as one would wish for with a migration from old to new. And, when it’s all said and done, we are better off now too!"
"Management, firewall functions, operation— the first time I saw Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series I already had a 'that’s what I want' feeling."
- Jürgen Mayershofer, Network Manager, Erwin Müller Versandhaus GmbH

Satisfaction Along the Entire Line

The desire for more efficiency has been surpassed. The entire company network can be managed easily today by just two staff members thanks to the Barracuda NextGen Control Center and the skills acquired at the training courses. While the implementation of Barracuda NextGen Firewalls at Erwin Müller GmbH was initially perceived as a niche-solution to protect communications, it is perceived today as a strategic instrument by the company. "If we have to set up a new office or a home office on short notice, or if a partner is involved in the catalog production and requires live access to our systems, then the Barracuda technology helps us to organize this quickly and easily," says Mayershofer.

Mayershofer is more than satisfied. In addition to the products, he is also really pleased about the non-bureaucratic work approach and communications with Barracuda. We speak the same language, react within a time zone and are really close to the manufacturer in geographical terms. The fast implementation of feature suggestions should not be underestimated either. He is convinced, "The people working at Barracuda understand their work and know how to convey their expertise. This is not the case everywhere." Mayershofer is also impressed by the ongoing technological developments at Barracuda. "New features are introduced regularly, things are happening there. Whenever our previous supplier brought out an update for the Management Console, this resulted in a week’s work for us. There are things in Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series that really make our lives easier and that work straightaway. The peer-to-peer detection, for example was integrated with minimal effort. This forges confidence in the manufacturer. I am convinced that we will have this solution in use in our company for a very long time to come," he concludes.

About Barracuda

Barracuda provides cloud-connected security and storage solutions that simplify IT. These powerful, easy-to-use, and affordable solutions are trusted by more than 150,000 organizations worldwide and are delivered in appliance, virtual appliance, cloud, and hybrid deployments. Barracuda’s customer-centric business model focuses on delivering high-value, subscription-based IT solutions that provide end-to-end network and data security. For additional information, please visit barracuda.com.

About the Barracuda NextGen Firewall F

The Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series is the enterprise-grade network firewall that combines comprehensive, next-generation firewall capabilities - based on application visibility and useridentity awareness - with optimal efficiency and throughput. Coordinated WAN optimization, centralized management, and cloud-hosted content filtering and reporting are just a few of the key features supporting enterprise requirements.

Barracuda NextGen Firewall F Fast Facts

  • Integrated next-generation security
  • Granular control of user activity
  • Effective WAN management
  • Connection-friendly and robust VPN
  • QoS and link balancing
  • Central management