SonicWall's New Backup Plan For SMBs

SMB security vendor SonicWall said last week that it is expanding its portfolio to include continuous data protection with the acquisition of Lasso Logic.

San Francisco-based startup Lasso&'s continuous data protection appliance is billed as a “hands-free” solution to back up small businesses and starts at about $2,000.

SonicWall President and CEO Matt Medeiros told CRN the Lasso appliance will be integrated with SonicWall&'s unified threat management appliances to create a complete data protection and recovery offering that is affordable for small businesses.

The Lasso buy is a smart move for SonicWall and good for the industry, said Rich Forsen, president of Network Depot, a VAR in Herndon, Va. “The world will finally realize that backup and security are the same thing,” he said.

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“Backup is security,” agreed Keith Dolgaard, president of Computer Consulting Partners in Scottsdale, Ariz., a security and compliance specialist that partners with SonicWall and Lasso. “This is about business continuity.”

Dolgaard said Lasso&'s product is different from other SMB backup offerings on the market. “The primary difference is that it is incremental, or delta, and it is open file,” he said. “Lasso can back up Exchange, SQL or Active Directory while it is running. The customer doesn&'t even have to think about it.”

SonicWall&'s channel muscle also will give Internet backup category leader LiveVault a run for its money, Forsen said. “LiveVault is the 800-pound gorilla in the Internet backup space,” he said. “The cool thing is that Lasso has been a fly on the nose of LiveVault, but that fly just became a fist.”

Lasso CEO Steve Goodman said his company decided to join with SonicWall because it targets the same market with a similar philosophy, but SonicWall had a much more established channel. “Generally speaking, we focus on a very similar channel and a very similar pain point within SMB,” he said. “They need something that is affordable and simple.”

With actual product available for less than six months, Lasso already had signed up 500 partners. “Our company is incredibly healthy given that we are so young,” Goodman said. “But when we looked at how to get access to a great channel, SonicWall had the strongest SMB channel in the world.”

Still, there will be a few channel wrinkles to iron out, Dolgaard predicted. “About 25 percent of Lasso partners also carry SonicWall, but the others are handling WatchGuard [Technologies] or Fortinet,” he said. “I think SonicWall partners will definitely pick up Lasso, but there will be some conflict with the Lasso partners.”

Medeiros said Lasso&'s tape-free appliance can profile data on a network and store only critical data. That capability, combined with SonicWall&'s content filtering and deep packet inspection technology, will allow SonicWall to create an offering that enables SMBs to stop critical data from leaving a network as well as stop harmful traffic from entering, he said.

Full product integration under a unified management platform will take about six months, Medeiros said.

“SonicWall partners should be able to steer, monitor and maintain all SonicWall appliances from one location. Ensuring that these are tightly wound is a top-of-mind issue for us,” Goodman added.

SonicWall last week also acquired the assets of San Jose, Calif.-based SSL VPN vendor enKoo. SonicWall released its first SSL VPN product in September. The enKoo acquisition will allow SonicWall to rapidly integrate key features into that product line, including Citrix Systems support, remote administrative control of client systems, onetime passwords and additional HTTP rewrite capabilities, Medeiros said.

Both companies&' products also were designed with the channel in mind, which played heavily in the decision to acquire them, Medeiros said. The products will be available to SonicWall&'s U.S. channel partners immediately. While the company did not release financial details, Medeiros told CRN that SonicWall paid less than $20 million for both acquisitions.