Barracuda Load Balancer deployment at Columbia University

Columbia University’s Advanced Computing Research Support (ARCS) has an estimated 300 users across
five local email domains. The organization has a set of equipment and support separate from the rest of
the university’s campus. ARCS had an Exchange Server directly on the Internet with no anti-spam solution
in place. Over the years, increasing amounts of spam negatively impacted productivity and the speed of
Microsoft Exchange.

Searching for a solution to the organization’s
mounting problem, Paul Glick, Technical Engineer,
first heard about Barracuda Networks from
advertisements in magazines, on the radio, and
airport billboards. “Barracuda Networks’ name was
everywhere I turned, so I knew they were a stable
company, and we should take a look,” explained
Glick.

The Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall solution took
the load off the exchange server allowing for
email delivery to be more efficient. Glick decided
to purchase two Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall
400s for high availability. He continued, “I’m glad I
did because the solutions are cost-effective and the
company provides incredible support.”

Building High Availability with the Barracuda Load Balancer
Within the first month the two Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewalls were blocking about 90% of the group’s
overall mail and labeling it as spam, saving a considerable amount of bandwidth. After six months of
having the Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewalls in place, Glick was so pleased with the results he decided to
look at two Barracuda Load Balancers to ensure redundancy.

Impressed, Glick deployed two Barracuda 440 Load Balancers concurrent with his two Barracuda 400 Spam
& Virus Firewalls integrating the pairs of appliances for redundancy reasons, ensuring high availability fail
over in case of an appliance failure or firmware upgrades. If either of the appliances fail, the additional
pair detects the failure before it becomes a threat to the overall functionality of the servers. By pairing
the Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall and Load Balancer, the result is that the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer
Protocol) traffic becomes highly available and increases the performance of the group’s mail servers.
“Barracuda Load Balancers share a configuration, so if one goes down the other one will fail over, ensuring
continuity throughout my network making them extremely easy to manage,” Glick explained.

The Barracuda Load Balancers also help increase the organization’s server efficiency. Glick has multiple
servers to maintain and typically puts a few of the servers on maintenance mode allowing them to manage and run multiple servers at one time. This provides less noticeable maintenance periods for Glick and his
team, where they can put a server into “maintenance mode” and allow the connections to the server to
dissipate.. The Barracuda Load Balancers provide the flexibility Glick needs to be able take servers offline,
upgrade them, and bring them back online without having to make an announcement.

Barracuda Networks Reliable Solutions Partner

Although Glick is yet to encounter a time where one of the servers has experienced a failure, he is familiar
with the reliability of Barracuda Networks support team. “The support Barracuda provides is invaluable,”
explained Glick. “Although I haven’t had many issues with our products that required support, I am
confident whenever there is an issue, and it will be fixed immediately. I wish we had the support Barracuda
provides we had for some of our other (vendor) products.”
Glick also pointed out that the cost of two Barracuda Load Balancers is often less than the price of a
support contract alone with another vendor, further expressing his contentment with Barracuda Networks’
support team.

Conclusion

It’s been about four years since Glick first deployed a Barracuda Networks solution, and he does not
imagine a foreseeable future without Barracuda Networks’ appliances. “Our Barracuda products, without
question do exactly what they are supposed to do. I haven’t had any issues with them so far and the user
community is unaware of their operation; this is a good thing!” Impressed Glick continued, “No one ever
says ‘Wow, everything is working again today’” but ultimately he is satisfied with his Barracuda Networks
solutions and how they have eased the IT burden in his organization.

About Barracuda Networks Inc.

Barracuda Networks Inc. combines premises-based gateways and software, cloud services, and
sophisticated remote support to deliver comprehensive security, networking and storage solutions. The
company’s expansive product portfolio includes offerings for protection against email, web and IM threats
as well as products that improve application delivery and network access, message archiving, backup and
data protection.

Coca-Cola, FedEx, Harvard University, IBM, L’Oreal, and Europcar are among the more than 150,000
organizations protecting their IT infrastructures with Barracuda Networks’ range of affordable, easy-todeploy
and manage solutions. Barracuda Networks is privately held with its international headquarters in
Campbell, California.

Allworx releases the new 9202E VoIP Phone

The new Allworx 9202E phone is here!

This model complements the existing phone family, providing a powerful entry-level solution to users of the Allworx IP communications system and setting new price and performance benchmarks.

The Allworx 9202E has a sleek, compact design and is extremely easy to use. With its contemporary, minimalist design approach, it is the perfect solution for customers who need high level functionality in a low traffic environment, where desk space is at a premium, without the associated high price point.

Key Features

  • Compact size fits neatly on your desk
  • 2 Call Appearance buttons
  • Easy-to-read 128 x 36 display
  • 10/100 Switch
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • Full-duplex speakerphone
  • Wall mountable
  • Visual Ringing and off hook status indicator
  • Plug-and-play headset connectivity

Allworx Releases the New 6×12 Phone System

Allworx has done it again! All while keeping their ear to the ground and listening to it’s partners and resellers, Allworx has released a phone system (Allworx 6×12) specifically tailored for the smaller business base all while dropping the price and still keeping most of the features an Allworx phone system is known for. Basically the new Allworx 6×12 is identical to the Allworx 6x system except in the following ways:

  • 12 user maximum limit with voicemail which comes to 24 extensions total.
  • No Automatic Call Distribution
  • For Advanced Multi-site feature, the 6×12 can only act as a branch appliance (and not the primary).
  • No gateway expandability, such as adding a Px 6/2 expander unit.

You can see more detailed specs and comparison sheet at our estore.

Source: allworx.com

Allworx Releases New System Software 7.3

As usual, the engineers at Allworx have been working hard at developing this new software version 7.3. Along the way of fixing bugs and increasing usability, this release is also packed with new features.

Some of the following features are:

Innovation to Configurable Dial Plan — Enables significantly greater dialing configuration – especially in multi-site environments

Hot Desking — Easily allows users to ‘log on’ to any IP phone with just your ID and PIN number. Perfect for a shared workspace environment or for a mobile workforce

Day/Night Schedules Per Auto Attendant Greeting — Configure your greetings differently day or night for different work hour schedules in each department

Speed Dial Enhancements — With the touch of a single button, dialing to outside services requiring unique digits like conference bridges, banks or pharmacies is easier, because additional digits will be additionally dialed out

Visual Message Center Display — Navigate voicemail messages through the LCD phone screen

Expanded Park Orbits — Calls can now be parked and retrieved from any location in a multi-site environment

Advanced Multi-site Paging — Your page announcements are delivered anywhere they need to be heard including page zones to or from other sites

Call Assistant — Greater visibility of hot desked users and call queues enhances incoming call processing and management capabilities

ACD & Call Queuing Enhancements — More robust intelligent routing of our incoming queue calls to agents

Configurable Voicemail Message Length — Maximize the length of messages up to 15 minutes

IMPORTANT TO KNOW

When upgrading to server software 7.3:

  • Systems running 7.1 or lower must be upgraded to release 7.2 before upgrading to release 7.3
  • The Software Upgrade License is required to upgrade to 7.3
  • A new version of Call Assistant (2.4) is required for compatibility with 7.3

source: allworx.com

Allworx Backup Guide

Performing a full system backup of the Allworx system is an important and fairly straight forward procedure. In order to setup the backup, you will need to download the Office Safe software (located here) and install it on your server.

After the installation is complete, navigate and login to the administration page of the allworx system.

Go to Maintenance > Backup

Here you will select the Modify link and input your servers information on which you installed the office safe on. You can easily find the IP address of your backup server when you run Office Safe, it will automatically detect the IP address. Leave the port on the default value of 5001 unless you need to change it (usually due to the port being used by another application/service).

Select the appropriate backup Frequency and Mode (Full or Incremental). By default, the Allworx phone system will perform a full backup if it does not detect a previous backup on the server. Once you have finished updating this information, select update.

You are now ready to perform your first backup. Ensure that the Office Safe application is running on your server and select the Backup Now button back on the Allworx admin page. Once you have done so, check the status on the Office Safe application and you should see a progress bar and a verbose message in the log saying that the backup has been started.

Troubleshooting

Here you will find the most common issues you can run into for the Allworx backup.

Your backup fails while performing either a full or incremental backup, no matter what server you install Office Safe on and on any port (make sure you don’t have a port conflict issue first).

Back Office start log

01/31/11 01:53:02pm  Backup initated from Allworx Server ID: 1234567
01/31/11 01:53:03pm  Started backup transfer from Allworx Server ID: 1234567 of estimated size 479 MBytes
01/31/11 01:53:03pm  Backup folder is C:\Allworx
01/31/11 01:54:04pm  Backup failed.

Allworx System Events

7    02/08/2011    02:17:06pm    tWebT5049: SFS Main: Backup NOW request of Device=/dev0t0/sfs
7    02/08/2011    02:17:06pm    tBackMain: SFS Backup: Backup transfer service is talking to us well!
7    02/08/2011    02:17:07pm    tBackMain: SFS Backup: Backup transfer proceeding with 61450 blocks estimated
7    02/08/2011    02:17:07pm    tBackMain: Current (local) time (1297203427): Tue Feb 08 02:17:07pm 2011 PST
7    02/08/2011    02:17:07pm    tBackMain: TIMEZONE=PST::480:031302:110602 (480 minutes behind UTC time)
7    02/08/2011    02:17:28pm    tSysTask: eth0 transmitter was stuck. 1 restart(s) attempted.
7    02/08/2011    02:18:12pm    tBackMain: Internal Event Code [%W @(#)sfsBackup.c-2 W%,1762]
7    02/08/2011    02:18:12pm    tBackMain: Internal Event Code [%W @(#)sfsBackup.c-2 W%,1486]
7    02/08/2011    02:18:12pm    tBackMain: Internal Event Code [%W @(#)sfsBackup.c-2 W%,1803]
7    02/08/2011    02:18:12pm    tBackMain: Internal Event Code [%W @(#)sfsBackup.c-2 W%,1198]
7    02/08/2011    02:18:13pm    tBackMain: Internal Event Code [%W @(#)sfsBackup.c-2 W%,761]

The most common issue for the ‘backup failed’ error is that your LAN interface on the Allworx is not set to the 10/100 full duplex mode. This is caused by an improperly negotiated link speed between the Allworx and your network switch. No fix this issue, make sure that the port setting (that your allworx lan port is plugged in to) on your switch is set to auto-negotiate, and not any other manual setting.

You will also notice the following error in the Event Log of the Allworx server

tSysTask: eth0 transmitter was stuck. 1 restart(s) attempted.

You will only see this error if you are at least on the Allworx software version of 7.1.9.1 as any version before this, the Allworx would not output this error message.

Allworx Remote Phone Ports

If one way audio or the message “init load failed” appears when booting the remote phone:

The following ports must be opened on your remote firewall to allow traffic from the WAN to the LAN IP address of your Allworx Phone:

UDP port 2088 (BLF Traffic)
UDP port 5060 (sip registration)
UDP ports 16384 to 16393 (RTP media streams-Audio)

When the server is in LAN host mode or behind a third party firewall:
The following ports must be opened on your firewall to allow traffic from the WAN to the LAN IP address of your Allworx server:

UDP port 2088 (BLF Traffic )
UDP port 5060 (sip registration)
TCP port 8081 (remote phone config files)
UDP ports 15000 to 15511 (RTP media streams-Audio)