Dell on Tuesday said it reached a deal to acquire SonicWall with an eye to expanding its presence in the market for systems that help businesses fend off a wide range of cyber-attacks. Privately-held SonicWall specializes in so-called Unified Threat Management platforms, which combine multiple security systems into a single appliance.
Terms of the deal, which has received board approval from both companies and is expected to close in Dell's fiscal second quarter, were not disclosed. Wall Street analysts pegged the pact's value at anywhere between $1 billion and $1.5 billion.
Dell officials said customers are looking for ways to centrally management a wide range of disparate security technologies, such as antivirus and antimalware software, intrusion and prevention detection, content filtering, and VPNs, and that SonicWall's appliance firewalls provide that.
UTM "brings simplicity to what can be a very disjointed and very complex issue," said Dell Software president John Swainson, on a conference call with reporters.
SonicWall has traditionally focused on providing security systems for small and mid-sized businesses, but began pursuing the enterprise market with its introduction of the SuperMassive E10000 series last year. The E100000 systems are designed to monitor traffic across large, corporate networks. "SonicWall aligns well with Dell's midmarket focus, and this transaction will allow us to accelerate the growth of our SuperMassive product line into Dell's large enterprise customers," said SonicWall CEO Matt Madeiros.