Today, 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.

The demand for a comprehensive UTM solution is being driven by increasing customer concern about Cyber Security. IDC estimates that this space is projected to grow approximately 13 percent per year through 2015. This market continues to present opportunities for growth as customers in emerging markets are buying their first UTM solution and developed regions of the world are hitting a point where they need to move on to more capable, next generation solutions.

Three key trends are driving an increased need for these dynamic yet easy to manage security solutions; the exponential growth of data, the rapid growth of cloud based solutions and the increased presence of consumer devices brought into the enterprise. All of these trends are creating significant business risk and businesses are feeling worse, not better about their ability to defend against these risks.

In addition, our customers continue to face more data security regulation. Examples of these regulations are HIPPA to protect health information, FFIEC guidelines to protect banking systems, GLBA to protect financial records, FISMA to defend government systems, NERC CIP to protect critical infrastructure at utilities and energy providers and PCI DSS to protect credit card data.

All of these IT and regulatory trends create a very complex and potentially difficult environment for customers. This puts a premium on security prevention solutions that are comprehensive, effective, and easy to implement and manage. With the addition of SonicWALL to our security portfolio, Dell now has an extensive range of security solutions, including Dell KACE endpoint security, application and data security from AppAssure and Dell Data protection, and security services from Dell Secureworks.

Within UTM, Next-Generation firewall technology is an area that is generating meaningful growth for SonicWALL and is a natural extension for customers that grow from being small businesses to large enterprises. Their security needs become more complex and can require higher end solutions like Next-Generation Firewall Technologies. SonicWALL’s Supermassive solution is a leading technology in this space. NSS labs a recognized leader in independent security product testing recognized the Supermassive solution as one of only two in the “recommend” quadrant of this Next-Generation Firewall space. In addition, SonicWALL delivers solutions that help businesses safely and efficiently adopt the cloud addressing many of their pressing security concerns.

Today’s announcement is an important next step to broaden our software portfolio in the critical area of security. Software plays an increasingly important role for Dell as an end-to-end solutions provider.

The combination of the Dell’s reputation as a trusted advisor to our customers, our distribution and sales capability combined with SonicWALL’s innovation and solutions in the security space address these customer needs. It is really a great fit strategically, operationally and culturally.