Dell appears to be considering purchasing Quest Software, an acquisition that would give it a solid suite of security, storage, server and application management applications and instantly make it a serious player in the software industry.
Bloomberg on Friday reported that Round Rock, Texas-based Dell, along with other companies, made a bid for Quest.
The bid comes in the wake of Quest's $2 billion acquisition in March by Insight Venture Partners, a private equity firm.
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Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Quest offers six categories of software, including database management, data protection, performance monitoring, user workspace management, windows server management and identity and access management.
Quest itself has been a very acquisitive company, with many parts of its product line card coming from companies it has purchased over the years.
For instance, on the data protection side, Quest in 2008 acquired Vizioncore, which developed vRanger, a comprehensive data protection platform for VMware virtualized environments.
Quest followed that up with the 2010 acquisition of data protection software vendor BakBone, developer of the NetVault backup and recovery offering for physical IT infrastructures.
The acquisition of Quest, should it happen, would be a continuation of a new phase in Dell's move to expand its business beyond its commodity hardware roots.
The company's acquisition focus over the last few years was on building a midrange and enterprise storage practice, and included companies like EqualLogic, Compellent, and several smaller firms.
However, the company appears to be shifting its focus to software. Dell in April disclosed plans to acquire Make Technologies, a developer of application modernization software and services for helping customers re-engineer existing applications for more modern IT environments.
That came just days after Dell acquired Clerity Systems, a provider of solutions and services that help customers move from legacy computing systems into new industry-standard systems and even the cloud.