Dell Buys Enstratius, Extends Cloud Reach

May 06, 2013 (01:05 PM EDT)

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Dell is rounding out its cloud infrastructure management capabilities with the purchase of Enstratius, formerly known as Enstratus until the Minneapolis firm discovered others had the right to the name. No purchase price was disclosed.

The Enstratius Cloud Management Platform interfaces to 23 specific cloud infrastructure offerings, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Windows Azure, Rackspace, Eucalyptus, HP Cloud, AT&T Synaptic Cloud, IBM SmartCloud, VMware vCloud Suite and OpenStack. The most recent addition was CloudCentral's Cloud Platform hosted in Australian data centers; it was added to the list May 3.

The Enstratius platform provides cloud suppliers with an employee self-service catalogue and design and management tools to help users create workloads and deploy them into a cloud environment. The platform is noted for the major cloud suppliers that it supports. Unlike competitors, it reaches deep into the ranks of secondary suppliers as well, such as GoGrid, Bluelock, Joyent, CloudScaling, CloudSigma and the Apache Software Foundation's CloudStack.

That means Dell can start to realize more of its ambition to be the link to and management agent between many cloud users and their service supplier. Dell can also start to integrate more of its recently acquired cloud technologies with those service suppliers, as well as be a large, data center-oriented supplier of servers and network switches.

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For example, Dell acquired Quest Software in September and recently re-launched its virtual machine monitoring system, vFoglight Pro, as Foglight for Virtualization, capable of including feedback on desktop virtualization from VMware's View product. Dell acquired Gale Technologies in November and re-launched its core product as Active System Manager, an automated provisioning and configuration platform for cloud workloads.

Other acquisitions gave Dell a growing presence in cloud management, including Boomi for application integration and Quest Software's Quest One user identity and access management. Dell is seeking to be the integrator and manager across the private, enterprise cloud environment, then extend its reach to public cloud infrastructure as well.

Enterprise interest in using private and public clouds together have made "more critical the need for controls, security, governance and automation," said Tom Kendra, VP and general manager, systems management, for Dell Software, a unit of the company established last year, in the announcement of the acquisition.

David Bagley, CEO of Enstratius, said Dell's acquisition of his firm would "create new opportunities for organizations to accelerate application and IT service delivery across on-premises data centers and private clouds, combined with off-premises public cloud solutions."