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Dell Buys IaaS Automation Start-Up; Forms New Division

Acquisition will fuel Dell's all-important advance into the cloud, the only bright spot in its numbers

Hours after releasing its lackluster fiscal third-quarter results, Dell first thing Friday morning announced that it’s bought privately held infrastructure automation start-up Gale Technologies to fuel its all-important advance into the cloud, the only bright spot in Dell’s numbers.

Cisco just bought Cloupia, another infrastructure automation start-up, to sell all-in-one solutions and VMware bought DynamicOps in July. Dell, which uses DynamicOps as the front-end of its Virtual Integrated System (VIS) cloud management stack, evidently missed the chance to buy it.

Concomitant with the acquisition, Dell has also set up a new division to capitalize on the market’s appetite for the cloud and converged infrastructure. It wants to build corporate data centers, where it has established some momentum.

In its last quarter its server and networking revenues were up 11% year- over-year in part because of increased cloud adoption.

This new Enterprise Systems & Solutions organization is supposed to design repeatable enterprise infrastructure models so Dell or customer architects can assemble pre-built solutions. It’s also supposed to develop a single framework to manage complex topologies that include server and storage resources, software images and network connectivity.

The new division will be run by Dario Zamarian, an ex-Cisco guy. He will be replaced as head of Dell’s networking business by Tom Burns, who’s been imported from Alcatel-Lucent where he was president of the Enterprise and Strategic Industries Business Group.

Both men will report to Marius Haas, the president of Dell’s Enterprise Solutions Group.

The low-profile Gale, founded in 2008 and apparently funded by Crescendo Ventures and Onset Ventures, builds widgetry to streamline the deployment of on-premise and hybrid clouds for self-service access to infrastructure.

Its solution is a management, automation and orchestration platform for simplifying end-to-end provisioning across heterogeneous infrastructures.

It delivers automated physical and virtual resource allocation and preserves best practice enterprise infrastructure deployment through reusable templates.

Dell’s recently rebranded Active System Manager, part DynamicOps, part Scalent and described as central to the Dell’s Active System converged infrastructure vision, is supposed to add a complementary product based on Gale’s technology. Presumably it means the GaleForce infrastructure management platform.

The expected widgetry will provide customers with an IaaS platform for end-to-end automation and orchestration of application, virtual desktop infrastructure and private cloud deployments using VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization technologies.

It will be available on Dell’s current vStart models and the new Active System 800 replacements for vStart early next year. Support for third-party infrastructure solutions will be available in later releases.

Dell said it will keep Gale’s employees and invest in additional engineering and sales capability to grow its business. Gale is a strategic partner of Cisco and works with Dell competitors like EMC.

Its platform also supports Citrix’ XenServer hypervisor and Red Hat’s KVM hypervisor and can manage Amazon and Rackspace clouds as well as Cisco’s Nexus 1000V and VMware’s vSwitch virtual switches.

Dell, has $11.3 billion in the bank, did not disclose the terms of the acquisition.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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