SonicWall Unveils Major Product Updates Across Its Entire Portfolio

SonicWall announced the biggest product refresh in its history on Tuesday, part of a push to drive an increased security innovation cycle after its split from Dell.

CEO Bill Conner, in an exclusive interview with CRN, said the updates signal a "coming out party for the innovation of the new SonicWall," a year after the company closed its spinout from Dell and launched as an independent security vendor.

"This is the largest set of products and software the company has delivered to market," Conner said. "We are pleased and excited."

[Related: CRN Exclusive: SonicWall Exceeds Growth Goals, Partner Expectations After Split From Dell]

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The new product updates stretch across the SonicWall portfolio. One update is the launch of SonicOS 6.5, which Conner said represents a "overhaul" of the operating system around user experience, user interface, and next-generation capabilities. In total, the update added more than 50 new features across the operating system. The update also unifies the code base across SonicWall's TZ, SuperMassive and NSA appliances, something Conner said will make it easier for partners to manage the physical and virtual appliances for customers. That update also sets up the company's "API evolution" and Conner said the single code base would also help with SonicWall's ability to service partners and customers.

SonicOS 6.5 will be available immediately to partners and customers in North America and Europe, the company said.

SonicWall also announced the launch of a new firewall appliance, a SonicWall Network Security Appliance 2650 for the mid-tier, branch, and campus client. Conner said the new NSA 2650 firewall has 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and 20 total ports; the specs match the speed and performance requirements for 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless networks.

SonicWall also announced a new line of wireless access points that are compliant with 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standards. Conner said SonicWall had engineered the access points with higher performance to allow for more security software, including the company's Capture service and encrypted traffic inspection. Conner said the price point would have a lower hardware cost than Aerohive and Ruckus, then will be in-line with Meraki based on volume as it includes both hardware and a subscription service.

"Think of this as the next-generation endpoint for wireless and mobile networks," Conner said of the two technology launches. "That's really where we're going with this." SonicWall's Executive Director of Product Management Dmitriy Ayrapetov said the updates would also help "future-proof" the company's technology for new wireless standards. SonicWall said the new NSA 2650 firewall and SonicWave series access points are available immediately in North America and Europe.

SonicWall also made changes to its Global Management System, including an update to its user interface and user experience. It also fully launched its SonicWall Cloud Global Management System, including a new SonicWall Cloud Analytics offering for analytic, forensics, and investigative capabilities on top of the company's firewalls and access points.

Finally, SonicWall announced updates around mobile security, including the launch of SonicWall Secure Mobile Access 12.1. The update brings SonicWall's Capture service to mobile devices, as well as federated single sign-on to secure mobile access. SonicWall said the SMA 12.1 and Cloud Analytics offerings would be available in North America and Europe in the fourth quarter.

The updates are significant because they deliver on the innovation promises SonicWall made when it spun out from Dell last year, SVP and Chief Revenue Officer Steve Pataky said.

"There was a lot of excitement as we separated from Dell," Pataky said. "We had a lot of messages around the channel and in the market around what we would do … You have to commit to it and deliver it. We said early on that we will maintain that cadence of innovation commitments and we're delivering. The overall feedback is that: 'Wow, you guys are back.'"

When it split from Dell, SonicWall announced a 100-percent focus on the channel. Pataky said the higher level of performance from the new products would help partners architect a better set of solutions to protect their customers. He said that would help differentiate them from other partners in the market.

"This is really about momentum. Momentum from our perspective is great, but momentum from our partners – that's where we're getting the real value," Pataky said.

Conner said SonicWall would look to continue expanding its security offerings at this accelerated rate. He said the updates this week would serve as "the foundation for our new platform of network security as it branches out." He said those updates would include expanding the company's API integrations.