SonicWALL acquires Aventail

Network security firm SonicWALL announced plans on Tuesday to purchase Aventail for about $25 million (£13 million).

Both companies provide SSL VPN solutions, but Aventail produces a more sophisticated offering for large enterprises, Dana Hendrickson, director of consulting firm Breakaway Marketing, said. As one entity, the products will be integrated to allow SonicWALL, which largely sells to small- and-medium-sized businesses, to market its product to an expanding customer base.

"SonicWALL clearly wanted to go into the high-end enterprise space now," Hendrickson said. "They need the sophisticated functionality that Aventail has."

Aventail products include granular access control management and comprehensive endpoint security that permits cache cleaning and encrypted workspaces, he said.

The SSL VPN market is growing, especially considering about 85 per cent of data in need of protection originates outside the organisation, according to a joint statement today.

According to a December 2006 Gartner Magic Quadrant report, SSL VPN will be the primary remote access choice for more than two-thirds of off-site employees by 2008.

"The Aventail acquisition is an important step in our growth strategy," Matthew Medeiros, president and chief executive officer of SonicWALL, said in a statement. "We will compete more effectively in the remote access space, building on complementary elements in our two organisations."

The deal, expected to close next month, will allow SonicWALL to compete more effectively with Cisco and F5, two of the leading providers in the SSL VPN space, Hendrickson said. Juniper and Citrix are two other major players, according to the Gartner report.
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