SonicWALL offers more substantial safeguards than sound barriers. The company provides network security devices and software designed to protect digital communications between headquarters and branch offices, secure broadband Internet access, and filter content. Other products include data backup devices and related software. SonicWALL also offers services such as content filtering and intrusion prevention on a subscription basis. The company sells largely through distributors, including Tech Data, Arrow, and Ingram Micro. End-users include retailers, restaurants, and public schools, among others. SonicWALL was acquired by PC maker Dell in 2012.
The formerly public company was previously acquired for $717 million in cash in 2010 by a group of investors led by Thoma Bravo. Other buyers included Teachers' Private Capital, the private equity investment arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Responding to a trend of consolidation in the network security market, Thoma Bravo made the purchase as part of a strategy of buying and expanding companies in adjacent markets. SonicWALL had a spotty record of profitability in the decade preceding its acquisition.
In 2011 the company introduced a family of analytics software products designed to provide IT managers with network bandwidth usage data, application traffic, security threats, and employee productivity. Known as the Application Traffic Analytics suite of applications, it helps network administrators troubleshoot and monitor their systems.
The growth of the data analytics software niche is being driven by demand from enterprises and institutions in a wide range of sectors for more robust tools for parsing the ever-expanding volumes of data they must contend with as more records for customers, business partners, patients, and students are created, stored, transferred, and managed digitally.
Also in 2011 SonicWALL introduced an application for Apple's iPhone and iPad called Mobile Connect to address the need for businesses to offer access to sensitive data via wireless devices. – less