MSP Play: SonicWall Unleashes APIs


SonicWall is on course to open up its firewall APIs to MSP platform vendors in an effort to give MSPs more control of the networks they manage.

SonicWall, Sunnyvale, Calif., has not set a date as to when it will release the APIs, but it is talking with N-able Technologies and LPI Level Platforms, both of Ottawa, about the move, said Lief Koepsel, SonicWall’s channel chief.

SonicWall hosts its Peak Performance worldwide channel partners conference in Las Vegas this week, and speculation was that the company would use the conference as a backdrop for the API announcement.

At Ingram Micro’s VentureTech Network show in Montreal earlier this month, N-able and LPI Level Platforms unveiled an API-swapping partnership with Lexmark International that gives them the ability to better manage Lexmark printers, scanners and other output devices.

SonicWall, which ships products already equipped with remote management technology dubbed the Global Management System (GMS), has been hyping the advantage of managed services for some time, said Steve Ryder, president of WAN Strategies, a solution provider in Keene, N.H.

“At the last two conferences [SonicWall has] been trying to get partners excited about getting into the managed services space,” said Ryder. “They’re trying to get the channel to go in with the GMS in order to separate the channel from mass marketers like Dell. What SonicWall is trying to do is sell different firewalls to Dell than to partners. Firewalls that work with the GMS are different. It’s an interesting approach to keeping their numbers up.”

But the GMS is only part of the equation, said Koepsel, adding that SonicWall sees the GMS as one of three layers of a complete managed services offering.

“There’s manage, monitor and automate,” said Koepsel. “Our [GMS] targets our devices and goes very deep. Then you have the MSP platform, which is not as deep but broader. Then you layer on automation to link it all to business processes.”

Derik Belair, vice president of marketing at N-able, said SonicWall and N-able have “a good, solid set of mutual partners,” which will make the API deal beneficial to all.