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In another vote for the marriage of storage and security, SonicWALL on Monday announced the acquisition of Lasso Logic, a data protection vendor that has focused on providing continuous data protection (CDP) for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).
While not on the same scale as Symantec's $10 billion acquisition of Veritas or Network Appliance's $272 million purchase of Decru, the acquisition continues a trend that began with Symantec last December and accelerated earlier this year after reports of high-profile data breaches and lost data tapes highlighted the need for greater storage security.
"These mergers make sense, since end users are looking to bring security into the storage world," said Dianne McAdam, senior analyst and partner at Data Mobility Group. "Combining the resources of a SonicWALL and Lasso Logic can allow end users to have an integrated storage/security solution."
San Francisco-based Lasso Logic has avoided the battle for enterprise CDP being waged by the likes of EMC and a handful of start-ups and instead focused on the SMB market, where its competition is more the "near-CDP" offerings from the likes of Microsoft, Symantec and IBM. Lasso Logic has claimed strong traction for its offering, with more than 150 installations in the first month or so after it began shipping.
SonicWALL said the move is part of an effort to offer channel partners "an integrated portfolio of affordable alternatives to complex, expensive technology." The company said it will now offer "an end-to-end data protection suite from a single supplier that understands the unique requirements of SMBs."
"Small and medium-sized businesses share a number of key concerns about their data: they want to know that their information is safe; they want to access it whenever they need to; and they want assurance that only authorized individuals can access it," SonicWALL CEO Matthew Medeiros said in a statement.
Jon Oltsik, senior analyst for information security at the Enterprise Strategy Group, likened the approach to a gateway. "SMB shops need a gateway appliance that covers all their security and networking needs," he said. "Think of an edge router combined with a wireless switch, firewall and content filter. Some vendors, most notably Cisco, are pushing this beyond networking to include wide area storage services.
"This is an attractive model for SMBs, and SonicWall is looking for growth," Oltsik said. "That's the match to me more than storage and security. I will say that it's easier to link these two areas by talking data protection, DR, archiving, compliance, etc."
On a conference call following the merger announcement, Medeiros said the Lasso Logic acquisition "is a response to what our channel partners are currently selling." Users wanted to be able to manage it all from a single console, he said.
The initial cost for Lasso Logic's products are about $2,000, with renewable subscription costs for services such as online backup, he said.
Medeiros said Lasso CDP is the only continuous data protection appliance that provides end-to-end data protection for the SMB market. The disk-based solution includes user-level instant data recovery, central administration and local and off-site data protection technology.
SonicWALL also acquired the assets of enKoo, a developer of remote access technology. San Jose, Calif.-based enKoo gives SonicWALL secure remote access technology for SMBs. SonicWALL said it has seen rapid adoption of its remote access SSL-VPN 2000 product launched in September. Adding enKoo's technology to SSL-VPN will add key features such as Citrix support, remote administrative control of client systems, one-time passwords, and additional HTTP re-write capabilities.
SonicWALL said the total cost of both acquisitions was $20 million.