Following the general trend towards data center services, Dell has announced plans to acquire automation and virtualization software vendor Scalent. Though Dell would not disclose the deal’s terms, the company expects to complete the acquisition within its fiscal Q2, and is already moving to integrate Scalent’s enhanced virtualization capabilities to its Advanced Infrastructure Manager (AIM) system for the data center.
Scalent’s secret sauce is its ability to quickly provision the gamut of data center servers across a wide range of vendors using open standards for virtualization and automation, enabling faster and simpler resource provisioning of cloud services. Dell is already selling pre-configured Scalent software, as are other companies such as EMC, Red Hat, Cisco and VMware. Another deal driver; most Scalent partners also work with Dell, which has said it will continue to market Scalent solutions to these vendors as long as there is demand, according to a report from Channel Web.
AIM is the cornerstone of Dell’s data center management strategy, providing a single administrator interface to dynamically allocate compute, storage and network resources for both physical and virtual processes so resources like physical servers, eliminating the need for dedicated servers, cable or storage are network capacity. And while Dell doesn’t seem to be looking to get into the networking side of data center solutions directly, AIM is based on open standards that interoperate with leading vendor servers, Ethernet and Fiber Channel switches. This allows customers to assemble a multi-vendor data center infrastructure or leverage the full lifecycle of their existing equipment.
It’s a key distinction that Dell is emphasizing as a competitive differentiator against rival offerings that offer “proprietary and vertically integrated stacks.” According to Dell, this open approach, combining open and interoperable servers, storage, networking software and management tools as part of the company’s Virtual Integrated System, aims to reduce data management costs by up to 50 percent, freeing up IT budgets for more strategic technology investments.
“Scalent provides a critical building block for our Virtual Integrated System, the most open, capable and affordable converged infrastructure solutions available,” said Brad Anderson, Dell senior vice president, Enterprise Product Group. “This acquisition will solidify an important component of our enterprise solution portfolio. We know that Scalent software, in combination with Dell servers, storage and network platforms, provide increased efficiency and value for our customers. Scalent’s open architecture is an example of Dell’s ongoing commitment to provide customers with solutions that don’t lock them into proprietary hardware or gateways.”
“We wanted an end-to-end datacenter solution from a company that can offer open solutions,” said Peter Yang, chief systems architect, regional technology center of the Santa Clara County Office of Education. “We picked Dell because of its commitment to open standards, which provides us greater flexibility in our operations a we migrate between generations of multi-vendor hardware at the storage and network layer in the future. Dell AIM gives us one operational management platform to utilize all servers, storage and networking in a simple, easy-to-use resource pool.”