Dell Moves Deeper Into The Software Business, Acquires Enstratius, One Of The Most Recognized Cloud Management Startups

Dell has acquired Enstratius, a provider of cloud management software considered one of the most innovative startups in the market by Gartner Research.

The acquisition gives Dell another way to provide end-to-end-cloud solutions. Offering enterprise solutions is part of Dell’s larger plans to transition from its dependence on personal computer sales and move deeper into the myriad opportunities that are coming as companies recalibrate their data centers to more automated, elastic infrastructures.

Enstratius, based out of Minneapolis and founded in 2008, provides single and multi-cloud management capabilities. The company manages applications across private, public, and hybrid clouds. Enstratius has a deep knowledge of the emerging DevOps space. DevOps is the integration of developer and operations capabilities. Enstratius in particular offers automated application provisioning and scaling, application configuration management, usage governance, and cloud utilization monitoring.

Enstratius is available as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) or as on-premises software. The company supports more than 20 public and private cloud platforms, including OpenStack, VMware, Rackspace, Amazon Web Services and Windows Azure, with the added flexibility to easily add new clouds.

It’s that last aspect that makes Enstratius unique. The company’s technology helps customers orchestrate and manage their deployments. The Enstratius team knows the subtleties and the best-practices that come with managing a cloud infrastructure.

Dell has been making some interesting moves with its cloud approach. Late last year, Dell launched Project Fast PaaS, part of the new Dell Cloud Labs, which also includes Project Sputnik, the Linux laptop for developers and Crowbar, the open-source cloud deployment framework. Crowbar was originally created to support its “OpenStack– and Hadoop-powered offerings.”

While Fast PaaS represents the innovation happening at Dell, as with any big enterprise company, it is dependent on making big deals with high margins that serve the basic demands of large enterprises. That’s where Enstratius could help in providing differentiated services.

But perhaps most of all is the group of innovators that Dell is attracting. Michael Cote, a former analyst with RedMonk, is one of the key forces behind Dell’s cloud efforts. Barton George helps lead Project Sputnik, the company’s effort to build a dedicated laptop for developers. With the Enstratius acquisition, Dell is getting a group of people with deep influence in the community. Founder George Reese is an O’Reilly author and a cloud pioneer. He is supported by James Urquhart, Bernard Golden and John Willis, all recognized as influencers in the cloud community.

“Dell has figured out that their hardware business is not taking them anywhere,” said Krishnan Subramanian, founder of Rishidot Research, “With acquisitions like Quest Software, Gale Technologies and now Enstratius, they are in a great position to reposition themselves.”