Dell broadens SuperMassive next-gen firewall product with 9800 model

The 9800 is the first entry in the SuperMassive 9000 series to be branded solely as Dell, without SonicWALL on the bezel, reflecting the company's increased focus on the Dell brand.


The new Dell SuperMassive 9800 Next-Generation Firewall – with the SonicWALL removed from the bezel and the brand name

Dell has announced the release of the Dell SuperMassive 9800 Next-Generation Firewall as well as the complementary management and reporting Global Management System (GMS) 8.0.

The 9800 becomes the most powerful model in Dell’s SuperMassive 9000 Series, but its real significance comes from its being a scaled down version of the top-of-the-line SuperMassive 10000, for a tiny fraction of the price.

“The 9800 has the same OS that runs on the 10,000, but the price goes from $100,000 to $1,000,” said Matt Medeiros, VP and GM, Security Products, Dell Software Group. Medeiros indicated that Dell wasn’t undercutting the 10,000. Its’ customer base – very large enterprises or users with massive data and capacity demands like professional film editors – will continue to buy that model because of its’ high end scalability. However, while Medeiros said the SuperMassive 9800 is no SMB product, it will fit into many more enterprise and midmarket organizations because of the massive price reduction from the 10000.

“The SuperMassive 9800 is a very well positioned product,” said Patrick Sweeney, executive director, Product Management, Dell SonicWALL. “It has the SuperMassive 10000’s technology, but at a price point for the school campus and midsize enterprises. It fills out our product line very robustly,”

The SuperMassive 9800 follows up the 9600, 9400, and 9200 models Dell introduced last year, and which have sold well, with 10,000 deployed mainly in the carrier space and the education space. At that time they were branded Dell SonicWALL, reflecting their origin as a SonicWALL product. The change in branding over the last year reflects the emphasis on the Dell brand, and consequent de-emphasis – but not elimination – of the SonicWALL brand.

“SonicWALL is now a sub-brand to Dell,” Medeiros said. “Dell’s brand will carry in regions of the world where we [SonicWALL] just did not have presence before, so we are taking advantage of the look and feel of the common Dell brand. The SonicWALL brand is being de-emphasized but not eliminated.”

Sweeney said that while some commissioned analyst reports show competitor products at the very end show competitors have superior products, independent testing shows the SuperMassive products to be superior.

“We have had our products put through the grinder with multiple NSS tests,” he said. “Dell SonicWALL beats the competition not in the faked-up reports, but in the real ones. We are delivering the best of the best and we can provide the data to prove it.”

Having the best top-of-the-line product ultimately means having the best product line period, Sweeney added.

“If we can compete at the absolute pinnacle of the market— water falls down,” he said.

The 9000 series to date has been proportionately a stronger direct than channel play, something Dell is hoping to change by getting more partners trained on it.

“The 9000 series has been a strong product for Dell direct and opportunities directed by Dell but where we bring in the partner to deploy and fulfill the opportunity,” said Dmitriy Ayrapetov, director of product management, Dell SonicWALL.”These are not transactional products. They require management. You need to have an expert for this to be able to bring it in.”

The SuperMassive 9800 offers up to 20 Gbps of DPI performance to handle massive data and capacity requirements – up from a maximum of 12 Gbps in any previous 9000 series model. It also provides ultra-fast parallel inspection processing for scalability to higher throughput and connectivity.

It also features 97.9 per cent security effectiveness, a Patented Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection (RFDPI) single-pass threat prevention engine, and reduced deployment and management costs with an integrated NGFW, IPS, SSL inspection and application control platform that provides deep network security.

New enterprise-level capabilities and resiliency within the context of the 9000 series include support for IPv6, A/A clustering, SNMPv3 and advanced switching.

The GMS 8.0 complements the SuperMassive 9800 and other Dell NGFWs by allowing organizations to easily consolidate the management of security appliances, reduce administrative and troubleshooting complexities, and govern all operational aspects of the security infrastructure – including centralized policy management and enforcement, real-time event monitoring, analytics, and reporting. It adds a new workflow automation feature that assures the correctness and compliance of policy changes by enforcing a rigorous process for configuring, comparing, validating, reviewing, and approving policies prior to deployment. Auditing and reporting of policy changes assure that the firewall meets compliance regulations. Management of network security is improved by simplifying the lifecycle management of overall security environments, rather than managing on a device-by-device basis.

“With the GMS system adding more capabilities, it really becomes an enterprise firewall management tool,” Ayrapetov said.

Dell SuperMassive 9800 is available worldwide (except Brazil). GMS 8.0 will be available worldwide in early 2015.