Security Market Segment LS
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 20:00

Dell aims latest SonicWALL firewalls at small businesses and branch offices

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Dell's new SonicWALL TZ firewalls claim to provide enterprise-class functionality and performance at a price small businesses can afford.

The SonicWALL TZ series of firewalls is the new base model in a family that is "scalable, efficient and fast," Dell SonicWALL ANZ general manager Sandeep Joshi told iTWire.

It uses special-purpose processors that provide high performance, and the software includes deep packet inspection, even of SSL traffic. The processor runs at between 20 and 30% capacity even at maximum throughput on the Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, he said.

The SonicWALL TZ also includes an 802.11ac wireless controller for use with the corresponding Dell SonicPoint access points.

Exact prices had not been announced at the time of writing, but Joshi told iTWire they would range from under $1,000 (presumably for the TZSOHO model pictured above) to around $2,500 (presumably the TZ600 pictured below.

Competitors charge over $5,000 for similar performance and levels of protection, he added.

Dell SonicWALL TZ600

The SonicWALL TZ series is not only relevant to small businesses, Dell Software ANZ managing director Ian Hodge pointed out, as it is also useful to larger organisations that do not need the full performance of the company's higher-end firewalls to protect branch offices. The addition provides flexibility right across the business and across price points, he said.

The new models work with the Dell SonicWALL Global Management System which allows thousands of firewalls to be controlled from one point.

Joshi said he uses a SonicWALL TZ firewall at home - "my teenage son hates me for that," he said - so he has first-hand experience of the ease of setup and ongoing management.

"It is very low maintenance," he said, "very easy to use and extremely efficient to manage" with more than 200 predefined policies covering different types of site and content.

So Joshi can block Facebook Messenger traffic after 7.30pm, for example. "I've got peace of mind," he said, adding that businesses can use these policies to control which sites and services employees can access, and for how long. While WatchGuard added this feature to its firewalls this week, SonicWALL has had it for years, he said.

Updates are downloaded automatically, but the administrator can choose which are actually applied to the firewall.

he device will continue to work if the customer doesn't pay the ongoing subscription, but no updates will be available. "Customers understand the dangers," said Joshi, noting that SonicWALL's subscription retention rate is around 90% in the ANZ region.

The announcement of the SonicWALL TZ is "a signal about the ongoing development across the Dell Software portfolio," Hodge told iTWire. Dell's transformation from a hardware vendor to a provider of end-to-end solutions had seen a series of acquisitions, and the Dell Software business has been "trimming around the edges" as part of the development of a consistent product portfolio.

He expects the new models will attract new customers to Dell and its channel partners, as it makes the SonicWALL family the better choice in a wider range of circumstances.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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