Dell this morning announced its intent to acquire SonicWALL, a provider of enterprise-grade network security and data protection solutions.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Dell is welcoming approximately 950 employees to the company as a result of the deal.

SonicWALL, founded in 1991 and headquartered in San Jose, California, serves more than 300,000 customers in 50 countries around the world.

SonicWALL went public in November 1999 but was delisted from NASDAQ after an investor group led by private equity firm Thoma Bravo took over the company back in June 2010, for $717 million.

The company offers a range of firewall, anti-spam, remote access and network, backup and email security solutions, rivaling the likes of Cisco, Juniper, McAfee, Barracuda Networks and Sourcefire, among many other vendors.

SonicWALL’s products are meant to complement Dell’s security solutions portfolio, enabling it provide a broader range of offerings to its enterprise customers.

It helps that the company also has a solid channel program, with 15,000 resellers providing global coverage.

Another important aspect about this purchase is SonicWALL’s IP; the company is said to have more than 130 patents, registered and pending.

Full press release below.

Announces Intent to Acquire SonicWALL, Inc.

SonicWALL designs comprehensive security solutions combining advanced capability with ease of use, delivering a high return on investment for customers

SonicWALL expands Dell’s rapidly growing security software and services portfolio, which includes security services, cloud security solutions, data encryption solutions and vulnerability and patch management

ROUND ROCK, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dell today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SonicWALL, Inc., a leader in advanced network security and data protection. SonicWALL’s industry-leading Next-Generation Firewalls and Unified Threat Management (UTM) Firewalls complement Dell’s security solutions portfolio, enabling it to offer customers a broader range of enterprise offerings.

“We are building a strategic software portfolio to address the needs of our customers with key assets in the fast-growing and highly profitable IT security solutions business. Our customers see security as a key IT concern for the foreseeable future”
Customers of all sizes face increasing challenges in maintaining effective IT security, from the exponential growth of data and rapid adoption of cloud-based solutions, to the increased presence of consumer devices brought into the enterprise environment.

SonicWALL expands Dell’s rapidly growing security portfolio, which includes Dell SecureWorks security services, cloud security solutions and data encryption solutions, and Dell KACE vulnerability and patch management.

Dell has taken significant steps to expand its enterprise solutions portfolio to offer customers a complete range of products and solutions to help customers simplify the management of their IT infrastructure. Dell remains committed to delivering complete security solutions using the most effective technologies and services from both Dell and from other providers.

SonicWALL Leadership

SonicWALL designs comprehensive security solutions that combine advanced capability with ease of use, delivering a high return on investment for their customers. The company has more than 130 patents, registered and pending, and develops all of its own key security gateway intellectual property. Today, more than 300,000 customers use SonicWALL security solutions, including firewalls, secure remote access, email security, backup and recovery, and policy, management and reporting.

The increased frequency and diversity of security threats requires customers to deploy more comprehensive security solutions. SonicWALL’s award-winning Global Management System allows network administrators to centrally manage and provision thousands of security appliances across a widely distributed network:

SonicWALL’s Unified Threat Management solution is comprehensive, easy to use, and affordable. It is ranked as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Threat Management appliances.

SonicWALL’s SuperMassive provides Next-Generation Firewall specifically designed for the unique needs of enterprise, government, university and service provider deployments that require scalability, high availability and high performance. It was rated the most effective Next-Generation Firewall of those that achieved the NSS Labs “Recommended” status.

SonicWALL integrates advanced networking and remote access technologies to verify and defend the security of traditional and wireless networks, users and applications — and their endpoint devices — while scanning the entire data stream across platforms and perimeters.

Committed to Channel Partners

SonicWALL solutions are available for small, mid-sized business customers and large enterprise customers, and are deployed in large campus environments, distributed enterprise settings, government, retail point-of-sale and healthcare segments. The company has a strong channel program with 15,000 resellers providing extensive global coverage.

Dell plans to take the very best of the SonicWALL channel programs and combine it with Dell’s PartnerDirect program to bring the best to channel members. Likewise, Dell’s existing PartnerDirect members will be able to sell SonicWALL solutions to meet their customers’ IT security needs.

SonicWALL, founded in 1991, is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., and serves customers in 50 countries around the world. Thoma Bravo is the lead institutional investor in SonicWALL. Dell looks forward to welcoming SonicWALL’s approximately 950 employees to the Dell team, and plans continued investments to grow this business.

The transaction was approved by the board of directors of each company. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction remains subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter of Dell’s FY13.

Quotes

“We are building a strategic software portfolio to address the needs of our customers with key assets in the fast-growing and highly profitable IT security solutions business. Our customers see security as a key IT concern for the foreseeable future,” said John Swainson, president, Dell Software Group. “SonicWALL gives Dell access to unique intellectual property resources and technology that position us well in fast growing parts of the software security business.”

“Dell’s distribution, reach and brand are well-recognized across the industry. This transaction aligns well with Dell’s mid-market design focus and allows us to accelerate growth of our flagship SuperMassive Next-Generation Firewall solutions with Large Enterprise customers,” said Matt Medeiros, president and CEO, SonicWALL. “Additionally, SonicWALL is recognized as a leading security solutions provider for small and medium businesses through our UTM solutions. Dell’s phenomenal breadth and reach into small and midsize companies provides a significant opportunity to expand our customer base.”

An analyst call with John Swainson, president, Dell Software; Dave Johnson, senior vice president, Dell Corporate Strategy; and Matt Medeiros, president and CEO, SonicWALL; will be webcast live today at 8:45 a.m. CST and archived at www.dell.com/investor.

About SonicWALL

Guided by its vision of Dynamic Security for the Global Network, SonicWALL develops advanced intelligent network security and data protection solutions that adapt as organizations evolve and as threats evolve. Trusted by small and large enterprises worldwide, SonicWALL solutions are designed to detect and control applications and protect networks from intrusions and malware attacks through award-winning hardware, software and virtual appliance-based solutions.