Barracuda strengthens MSP capabilities with Barracuda RMM and Barracuda CloudGen Access for MSPs

Barracuda rebrands an improved version of the Managed Workplace RMM product they acquired from Avast in 2019 as Barracuda RMM, and delivers the multi-tenanted version of CloudGen Access they promised when ZTNA vendor Fyde was acquired in November.

Brian Babineau, senior vice president and general manager of Barracuda MSP

Today Barracuda is making a pair of announcements which are both geared at improving their MSP offerings. They are announcing Barracuda RMM, a rebranded (and improved) version of the Managed Workplace RMM product they acquired in 2019. They are also announcing the availability of the ZTNA [Zero Trust Network Access] solution Barracuda CloudGen Access, which came from the Fyde acquisition late last year. At the time it was acquired, Fyde was not multi-tenanted, and Barracuda said then that a multi-tenanted version for MSPs would be quickly developed.

What is now Barracuda RMM started out in life as Level Platforms’ Managed Workplace RMM offering, which was acquired in 2013 by AVG to be used as a delivery method for their endpoint protection products. That acquisition was spectacularly unsuccessful, and after Avast acquired AVG they unloaded the RMM, which they saw as hurting their overall business by poisoning the well with companies who might otherwise partner with them. Barracuda also sees the RMM product as being differentiated by a security focus, but it’s a very different kind of security focus.

“With Barracuda RMM, we are not building the best RMM in the marketplace, but rather the best security-centric RMM in the marketplace,” said Brian Babineau, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Barracuda MSP. “MSPs are expanding on security offerings today, which means they need a security-centric RMM. We have been getting good feedback with the security focus to our RMM and that’s what we are doing.”

Since the Managed Workplace acquisition two years ago, the RMM product has been somewhat out of sight, but not, Babineau emphasized, out of mind. The first major integration of other Barracuda product onto the platform took place in late 2019, when Barracuda Content Shield was added, and others have since been added, including connecting to Office 365 APIs, and adding automated third-party software update and patch management with Barracuda Advanced Software Management

“We have been actively selling it since the acquisition,” Babineau said. “We spent a lot of time investing in a security assessment solution, which collects a score of how secure each endpoint is – around things like patch level, AV, OS. We have also done  quite a bit of work on the product itself.”

With the announcement of the new Barracuda RMM brand, a new integration was also announced, with Barracuda Intronis Backup, which lets MSPs deploy, monitor, and manage their Intronis Backup from within Barracuda RMM.  MSPs can set up alerts from Barracuda RMM to monitor the progress of their Intronis Backup and sync to their Professional Service Automation tool. Barracuda RMM also generates Intronis Backup reports to help MSPs demonstrate their value. In addition, the Microsoft patch management capabilities have been enhanced and improvements to the new Central Dashboard made, both based on feedback from partners. Barracuda is also introducing a new RMM Migration service, in which Barracuda MSP experts will setup and configure Barracuda RMM with security and industry best practices.

Babineau also pointed out that the rebrand isn’t simply a question of placing Barracuda’s own brand on a product, but that the Managed Workplace brand became dated during the last year.

“Managed Workplace puts a picture in your mind of a physical office where they get a dedicated laptop,” he said. “We have a product that has a tremendous history satisfying and managing workforces via MSPs. More people have gone remote, so the RMM is still very valuable, but the workplace part has been changed because of the last 12 months. Today, MSPs cant throw away access in favor of control.”

That brings in Barracuda CloudGen Access, the multi-tenanted version of the ZTNA solution that Barracuda acquired with Fyde. It provides secure remote mobile access by continuously verifying that only the right person, with the right device, and the right permissions, can connect to corporate applications deployed in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. It enables secure single sign-on to SaaS applications, and secure access to applications from BYOD devices, even simultaneously for apps located on-premises and on multiple clouds. It also provides mobile device security monitoring and protection against malicious websites.

“MSPs trying to force a VPN on people to do these things will lose business, Babineau said. “ZTNA lets them manage devices effectively, versus stifling it the wrong way.”

“With ZTNA, security controls can technically be pushed more towards the endpoint instead of backhauling traffic through VPN and doing authentication,” said Sinan Eran, Fyde’s founder and former CEO, who is now VP, Zero Trust Access, at Barracuda. “With home users, the old system is high latency and not scalable. You need to push the authentication to the end user. We provide a catalogue of application – an app store – which enables seamless but appropriate access. It’s similar to what Citrix and Good did with workspaces but a lot more contextual. The application list is dynamic and contextual, depending on your location, on risk because of lack of patching, or other factors taken into consideration when granting or denying you access. For example, if you are a contractor whose access is time-limited, the access will disappear from the app catalogue – and all at endpoint level without backhauling.”

“MSPs who don’t support devices they don’t put devices on do a disservice to their client, and lose mobile revenue opportunities,” Babineau said. “We are enabling MSPs to take the next step of management and securing access, as most of these apps have gone to cloud access points or SaaS based interfaces.”