Dell Buys SonicWALL

As the race to secure networks heats up, Dell is growing its security presence with the acquisition of unified threat management and next generation firewall vendor SonicWALL.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Mar 13, 2012
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Dell has decided to buy its way into the network security market. Dell announced today its' intention to acquire privately held SonicWALL. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed. Dell expects the deal to close during the second quarter of their fiscal 2012.

SonicWALL builds unified threat management (UTM) appliances and also has a suite of VPN devices. The integration of SonicWALL into Dell's portfolio is part of an effort to help further address the security concerns and challenges that Dell's mid-market customers face.

"SonicWALL gives us access to best in class, resources and technology and positions us well in a fast growing part of the software security business," John Swainson, president, Dell Software, said during a conference call with press and analysts.

While SonicWALL is set to be folded into Dell's software portfolio, that doesn't mean that hardware isn't a key part of the equation. SonicWALL has an extensive hardware appliance portfolio of both firewall and VPN devices. One of SonicWALL's key hardware platforms is the SuperMassive firewall platform that can scale to deliver as much as 240 Gbps of non-blocking bandwidth.

"We have a single go to market model and we deliver our products through partners and sales reps that carry the complete product line and will continue to do that," Swainson said. "We will continue to develop appliance-based things inside of the SonicWALL unit of Dell software."

Dell and SonicWALL aren't strangers to each other. Dell has been a SonicWALL reseller for a decade. By becoming part of Dell, the expectation is that the reach of SonicWALL's products will expand.

"Dell's distribution reach and brand are well recognized across the industry," Matt Medeiros, president and CEO, SonicWALL said during the call. "We're recognized as a leading security solutions provider, with our next generation firewall solutions."

Medeiros noted that SonicWALL aligns well with Dell's mid-market focus and the transaction will also allow them the opportunity to move upstream into Dell's large customers as well.

"It's exciting to think about the potential of integrating SonicWALL's technology, research development capabilities with Dell's reach, existing solutions and reputation," Medeiros said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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