Dell acquires SonicWall, beefs up security software

With the acquisition of SonicWall, Dell delves into the security software market a bit more.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Dell acquired firewall and security software company SonicWall as it moves to build out its software portfolio.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, weren't disclosed.

The acquisition---the second since Dell named former CA CEO John Swainson head of a new software unit---gives the company complementary assets to go with its SecureWorks services effort and Kace patch management. Last month, Dell bought AppAssure for backup software.

On a conference call with analysts, Dave Johnson, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Dell, said the company has been bolstering its software intellectual property and combining it with services and hardware. He added that the SonicWall acquisition will be accretive to earnings in the second half.

Swainson on the call said Dell will outline its software strategy in detail at its analyst meeting in June.

Here's how the parts will fit together with Dell's security portfolio.

In a statement, Swainson said that Dell was looking to be well positioned "in the fast growing parts of the software security business."

Specifically, SonicWall makes firewall software and unified security management applications as well as appliances (right). Dell said it aims to offer a complete security software stack.

SonicWall brings 300,000 customers to Dell and has 130 patents. SonicWall's software includes firewalls, remote access, backup and recovery, policy enforcement and a centralized management system for network administrators.

Dell said it plans to keep SonicWall's channel program and mesh it with its own partner initiative.

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