Dell has expanded its data centre tool kit by snapping up Scalent, a supplier of data centre control and co-ordination software.
The software provides dynamic data centre infrastructure management, enabling data centre server, networking and storage assets to be managed, monitored and presented to IT users as a single set of assets. Dell will integrate it into its Advanced Infrastructure Management product and so provide end-to-end automated provisioning of servers, storage and networking resources.
Scalent's software works at a layer in the IT stack above the hypervisor layer (VMware, Hyper-V, and Red Hat) and the basic physical server, storage and network resources. It supports block storage (Fibre Channel and iSCSI SANs) and NAS.
We can liken this software to an orchestral conductor. Without a conductor the different sections of an orchestra; the strings, brass, woodwind, etc, all play their own instruments and part of a symphony or concerto but not at the same speed, tone and volume. It's messy; the audience does not hear the music as the composer intended.
A conductor provides the co-ordinating discipline so that all the parts of the orchestra play together and give the audience what it has paid for. Similarly, with Dell integrating Scalent software technology, IT departments should be better able to orchestrate their Dell IT resources and present them more effectively and efficiently to users.
In a world of converging and virtualised data centre assets such software is essential. It's generally reckoned HP has the best overall vertically integrated product set with its BladeSystem Matrix set of servers, storage and networking, dynamic power management, and management software.
Other competitors in this area are the Cisco, EMC, and VMware trio This acquisition can be seen in that context as Dell improves its ability to offer a better-run integrated vertical IT stack.
Scalent is a private company and it signed an OEM agreement with Dell in September last year, under which Dell supplies the Scalent software as V/OE. It also has partnership relations with Cisco, EMC, and VMware plus Emulex and QLogic.
The acquisition terms were not disclosed. ®