Dell Acquires SonicWall to Expand Security Portfolio

Hardware maker Dell is looking to strengthen its position in the enterprise, both organically and via other investments. Today the company announced its latest deal – the acquisition of SonicWALL, a maker of networking security solutions. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, although the transaction will probably be a significant one based on the financial history of SonicWall.

The firm expected to report $220 million in revenue for 2010, the year when it was made private by Thoma Bravo and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan after a $717 million stock buyout.

While it was not revealed how much exactly Dell will be paying for SonicWALL, we do know what the manufacturer is getting back. Sonic has a portfolio of over 130 registered and pending patents, along with 300,000 customers-worth of acknowledgment  in the industry.

“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.”

Software is one area we’ll be seeing Dell investing heavily.  The unit’s previous (and first ever) acquisition was announced late last month – AppAssure, a maker of backup software. Terms of that deal weren’t disclosed either, but the developer has seen a lot of growth, and is poised for more, if Dell will take it in the right direction. The same can be said of SonicWall, which received a Leader ranking in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Threat Management Appliances report.