Dell Buys Hybrid Cloud Management Provider

Dell said it purchased Enstratius for an undisclosed sum. Enstratius, a small privately held Minneapolis cloud management services provider, supports more than 20 public/private cloud platforms, including Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure, OpenStack, VMware and Rackspace.

[Related: Michael Dell: HP Server Share Losses Are 'Staggering']

Dell, Round Rock, Texas, said it plans to make the Enstratius offering available through its solution provider partners and will invest in additional engineering and sales talent for the company.

CRN selected five-year-old Enstratius, which has fewer than 50 employees and no venture capital backing, as one of the Top 20 Coolest Cloud Platforms in 2012. Among Enstratius' customers are Korea's largest telecom provider, KT.

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Ron Dupler, CEO of GreenPages Technology Solutions, a Kittery, Maine-based national cloud computing solution provider that has developed its own Cloud Management as a Service (CMaaS) product that has captured the attention of corporate customers, said he sees the Dell acquisition as a "smart move" that further validates just how critical hybrid cloud management is in the market today.

Dupler has made the GreenPages CMaaS product the centerpiece of an ambitious five-year plan to build a $300 million business.

"This is continued acknowledgement that the future in this industry is in helping companies build out and manage hybrid cloud environments," he said. "It is just continued validation for the shift that is under way. The industry is moving fast toward hybrid cloud, and there is a huge need right now for companies like GreenPages that can help customers manage those hybrid cloud environments effectively."

Enstratius, which is available both as a cloud management software-as-a-service or as on-premise software either from a customer's data center or via a hosted service, said it provides "automated application provisioning and scaling, application configuration management, usage governance and cloud utilization monitoring."

The Enstratius cloud-agnostic service could be critical as Dell moves to provide big data solutions. The EMC-VMware-General Electric-backed Pivotal, for example, is building a cloud-agnostic service aimed at helping customers quickly construct and deploy big-data-based business applications.