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Dell Announces Intent To Acquire SonicWALL 65

New submitter iroc_eater writes with news of an announcement from Dell that it plans to acquire SonicWall, a security services provider. "SonicWall’s technology detects and protects networks from intrusions and malware attacks, and helps protect data. Dell is buying services and software businesses as the PC market faces competition from smartphones and tablets. Last month, the company hired CA Inc. Chief Executive Officer John Swainson to oversee the software push, and today he said security is an important part of that strategy. 'My goal is to make software a meaningful part of Dell’s overall portfolio, so that means that this is not the last thing you’re going to see from us,' Swainson said."
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Dell Announces Intent To Acquire SonicWALL

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  • by bennett000 ( 2028460 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:16PM (#39343319) Journal
    The only SonicWall device I've ever had to work with had a limit of 10 nodes that could "connect to the internet". The limit was really 10 nodes that could NAT to port 80. Every other port was open. I always figured that if sonic wall didn't care about protecting their licenses why would they care about protecting their networks?
  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:32PM (#39343553) Journal

    So far as I could tell from the Sonicwalls I worked with, they were just yet more repackaged Linux-iptables systems with some proprietary glue and some rather expensive subscription services. I've put together just as capable of routers, intrusion detectors and mail proxy servers by just using commonly-available Linux packages. Used to use Slackware as the base, but just use Debian nowadays.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:33PM (#39343575)

    To be fair, half the hotels I've stayed at have had non-working or badly-misconfigured wireless routers. At my last job we had a couple of SonicWALL3060s that worked pretty fucking good, and all of our remote workers had TZ170s, the difference is they were set up by people who knew what the fuck they were doing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:22PM (#39344317)

    SonicWALL (starting with their newer TZ-100, TZ-200, TZ-210, and higher models) has stopped selling "Node" licenses. They've also stopped using their "Standard" firmware. ALL SonicWALL Security appliances are solid with the Enhanced Firmware and Unlimited Nodes. They've been doing this for about 2 or 3 years now.

    Looks like you need to brush up on your SonicWALL knowledge.

  • Re:Bad news for HP (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:32PM (#39344473)

    they understand the needs of small and medium businesses

    You are mistaking 'knows how market to' with 'understands the needs'.

    Sorta like the quote people mis-attribute to Henry Ford: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses".

    Some people are convinced they need a SonicWALL and therefore must pay the extortionate prices that go along with that. What they really need is a cheap piece of hardware that runs pfSense.

    Their consumer or entry-level products are not as flashy as Apple or as robust as Lenovo but they are very competitive on the price/quality ratio and they came a long way over the last 10 years.

    ...right up until your kid snaps the power connector off the dock for your Dell Streak 7 and you find out the doc power connector now costs more than the dock did when you bought it 6 months ago...

    When buying Dell crap, it's better to remember this: Whenever their sales tards call up to sell you an upgrade, immediately open your wallet and do it--otherwise your 6-month-old 'obsolete' hardware will become *very* expensive to maintain. That server you bought a year ago that let you add an additional power supply for $25 will now cost you $150 to replace...

  • Re:Good company (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:50PM (#39344717)

    Disclaimer: I work in the industry. I think of SonicWall as a worthy competitor, which is more than what I can say of many of the players on so called "NGFW" market.

    Many of the comments here seem to miss the point of commercial solutions, entirely. The fact that you can set up a reasonably reliable traditional firewall on Linux is nothing. At least for those customers the vendors in this market are after. By the way, these customers rarely advertise their choices. (I hope they understand the strengths and weaknesses of their picks, though.)

    These are some of the points many customers (which tend to have deep pockets to pay for their solutions) value:
    - Reliable support.
    - Usable and flexible policy and installation management.
    - Useful, informative and manageable logs.
    - Prepackaged rules (especially on deep packet inspection).
    - High availability.
    - High throughput.
    - High coverage (especially inspection again).
    - Certifications demanded in specific applications.
    - Capability to support lots of streams (tens of millions of content-inspected connections and dozens of gigabits per second are not unheard of).
    - Reliable and scalable deep packet inspection / stream inspection.
    - Protocol inspection - potentially with decompression and decryption.
    - Rule correlation associated with actions.
    - Flexible alerts.
    - User authentication.
    - Integration with web site reputation services, spam prevention and such.
    - Centrally managed corporate installations (dozens to tens of thousands of geographically distributed appliances).
    - Prepackaged solutions with SLA: both physical and virtual appliances.

    - ... and so on. Combine just couple of these, and running above-mentioned "Linux firewalls" become non-option...

  • by walt-sjc ( 145127 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @06:55AM (#39350571)

    We are a SonicWall partner - a large portion of our clients use them.

    Sure you can do content filtering, but it's impossible to configure any sort of granularity in the system such as, allow these users to access these sites, those to access those site. I've worked with multiple Sonicwall engineers on this issue. You just can't do it. Period. There is one set of rules that you can either allow or deny. That's it. Similarly, the bandwidth management sucks if you want to do any sort of QoS.

    This all boils down to the UI really. GUI's and firewalls are just a mix that only work for simplistic needs. Once your needs pass a certain threshold, they just get in the way and make it nearly impossible to do the configuration you need. Sonicwall designed their interface for the "part time office manager IT person" and grew from there. And it shows. Cisco frankly is in a similar situation. Use the GUI for simple crap to get you going, the command line when you actually need to do anything complex.

    As another poster mentioned, pretty much all firewalls out there are embedded Linux or BSD, and just slap their GUI on top along with other random services. Some do a pretty good job of exposing the underlying power of the native firewall, others, not so much. Sonicwall's is pretty good for exposing that power but the web GUI gets in the way all too often when you need to do a lot of similar rules or complex rules.

    Finally, another poster recommended using GMS to manage multiple Sonicwalls. This product is insanely priced and only makes sense in a larger organization that would be better served with alternative products (Cisco, etc.) Despite all the high end models they sell, I wouldn't use ANY of them for an organization with high-end needs. Sonicwall's nitch is small business with 50 or fewer users and in my opinion, selling and supporting these things, that's the only market that it's viable to use them in.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?