I am genuinely excited by the surprising news this morning about Dell's acquisition of Enstratius. I don't have any first hand knowledge of the deal or Enstratius' technology, but the company has an excellent reputation and its CTO George Reese has been providing excellent, provocative thought leadership about cloud computing for a long time. Congratulations to both Dell and Enstratius for making this milestone decision.
What I know is that Enstratius develops cloud management technology that allows customers to manage cloud installations that span cloud boundaries, whether those clouds are private or public. They have built up a broad list of cloud partners that includes Windows Azure, Rackspace, AWS and others, which undoubtedly made them compelling to a company like Dell that wants to give their customers a lot of viable options. Giving customers management tools that span different cloud vendors is great for customers who are concerned about being locked in by one of the major cloud platforms. In the long run, it will make all cloud service providers work harder to attract and keep customers - and that competitive drivers make better industries and markets. Putting the technology within Dell should make it much more broadly available, assuming Dell will invest more in Enstratius. I suspect Dell will want to accelerate the business they acquired, just as Microsoft is accelerating our StorSimple business. It's a great recipe for success - these kinds of deals can work extremely well, something I have witnessed first hand a couple of times in my career. It's not that Enstratius couldn't have grown themselves over time, but this acquisition will compress that time by a few years.
I believe this deal is considered to be strategic for Dell - something they can build a business around - as opposed to kind of deal that fills a spot in the company's product line. That should be energizing for the people at Enstratius, who will find themselves travelling even more than they were previously - something they might not think is possible. Get ready George, you just went worldwide in a way that is difficult to imagine.