January 24, 2001, 1:18 PM — SUNNYVALE, CALIF. -- VPN equipment maker SonicWall last week aired plans to buy Phobos in a deal worth $268 million, helping SonicWall boost the capacity of its large-site VPN servers.
Phobos makes hardware that encrypts and decrypts IP traffic, relieving server processors and letting them handle more Secure Sockets Layer transactions. In addition, Phobos makes load-balancing gear that distributes traffic across server farms, making them more efficient.
SonicWall is primarily known for its firewall and VPN appliances for small offices and enterprises. The addition of Phobos' accelerators and load balancing will enable SonicWall to expand its offerings to larger companies and service providers such as application service providers and ISPs that need higher-capacity systems.
The combination could also produce gear suitable to protect busy Web sites used for e-commerce, where customers and online merchants want to protect credit card and other confidential information.