The private equity company that owns firewall manufacturer SonicWall Inc. has shaken hands on an offer to be bought by Dell Inc., which wants to broaden its security solutions.
The companies said Tuesday that the deal, expected to close later this year, will add to Dell’s SecureWorks managed security services, KACE vulnerability and patch management systems, cloud security solutions and data encryption solutions, the company said. Terms were not disclosed.
Thoma Bravo LLC led an investor group including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan that took SonicWall private in 2010 for about US$717 million.
At the time, said Forrester Research security analyst John Kindervag, SonicWall wasn’t marketing its products well to enterprises. Now, with Dell [Nasdaq: DELL] behind it, that will change.
“It gives Dell a more enterprise security play,” he said, and helps reduce the company’s dependency on the PC market.
Last year Dell bought switch manufacturer Force 10 Networks, Kindervag also noted. “If they can figure how to integrate, it could be a significant play for people who want another choice in integrated security and networking other than Cisco, Juniper, HP.”
Founded in 1991, SonicWall makes the SuperMassive next-generation firewalls and NSA- and TZ-series unified threat management appliances.
SonicWall products are sold through 15,000 resellers around the world, and Dell plans to add to that through its PartnerDirect program.
In the same release, SonicWall CEO Matt Medeiros said the deal “allows us to accelerate growth of our flagship SuperMassive Next-Generation Firewall solutions with large Enterprise customers.”
Dell’s reach will also help SonicWall expand opportunities with small and medium-sized customers, he added.
The bot threat
Some of the most serious threats networks face today are "bots," remotely controlled robotic programs that strike in many different ways and deliver destructive payloads, self propagating to infect more and more systems and eventually forming a "botnet."