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SonicWall Acquires Aventail

Backup and email security specialist SonicWall has bought SSL VPN appliance vendor Aventail in an all-cash transaction worth $25 million, unveiling plans to tie its storage and security closer together. (See SonicWALL Buys Aventail.)

Speaking on a conference call this morning, SonicWall CEO Matt Medeiros explained the decision to buy was customer-driven. "Our email and secure content management customers have been asking for us to deliver more robust solutions."

Aventail, unlike mid-market specialist SonicWall, focuses on the enterprise end of the SSL VPN market, and Medeiros explained that he will now deploy Aventail's authentication and endpoint control technologies on SonicWall's own 200, 2000, and 4000 SSL VPN boxes. At this point in time, there are no plans to integrate both product lines into a single device, he added.

The exec also confirmed that the Aventail management team will be moving over to SonicWall. The startup's CEO Evan Kaplan will become SonicWall's vice president of business and alliances, reporting directly to Medeiros.

Initial signs suggest that the bulk of Aventail's 175-strong workforce will also be moving over to SonicWall, which has around 500 employees, although there will be some shakeout over the next few weeks. "The net additional headcount will be 130," explained Steve Franzese, SonicWall's vice president of marketing, adding that it is yet to be decided whether the redundancies will come from within SonicWall or Aventail.

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