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Dell Plans SonicWALL Security Acquisition

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Dell gets plenty of patents and thousands of customers with the SonicWALL buy.

Dell has announced plans to acquire unified threat management (UTM) and next-generation firewall vendor SonicWALL.

During a conference call today, Dell revealed it will be gaining SonicWALL’s UTM appliances and SuperMassive NGF technology, as well as its 300,000 customers. It will also seek to integrate the 15,000 channel partners the security provider works with.

SonicWALL brought in $260 million in revenue over the last 12 months, according to Dell, which said the acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2012.

Building Dell IP

Dell will take on SonicWall’s 950 employees. It will also gain a handy stack of over 130 patents, either pending or registered.

“We’ve been making good progress on building Dell IP,” said recently-appointed president at Dell Software, John Swainson – a former CEO of CA. “Businesses are feeling worse, not better, about their security.

“Customers have consistently voiced their concerns about their security products… the addition of SonicWALL gives Dell a very extensive range of security capability.

“I don’t see this as a hardware sale. This is a software sale with a hardware fabric.”

SonicWALL was founded in 1991 and was originally a networking supplier. It went public in 1999 and hired a new management team in 2003. Matt Medeiros, SonicWALL CEO, said he was looking forward to integrating his company’s technology with Dell’s other security offerings.

“Taking this step with Dell is a really natural progression,” he added. “It’s exciting that we will be integrating with Dell’s reach and its existing skills.”

Dell has been very acquisitive, and has made some big splashes in the security space in recent times. In January 2011, it bought SecureWorks. In February this year, it acquired backup and replication software maker AppAssure.

The company has refashioned itself over the past two years into a full data centre provider and the security moves have formed part of that.

There has been a slew of acquisitions in the security space this year. This month has seen Trustwave acquire M86 Security, whilst Juniper bought so-called “intrusion-deception” vendor Mykonos in February.