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VMware snatches cloud-furtling biz from the very jaws of Dell

When you need to flip down that non-standard hypervisor

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It looks like Dell was too distracted with its acquisition of Quest Software in the past several months to notice VMware sniffing around one of its key software partners. The server virtualization juggernaut and cloud plumbing wannabe has snapped up DynamicOps, a maker of management software for clouds and virtual desktop infrastructure.

Dell licenses a chunk of the DynamicOps Cloud Suite for its vStart pre-configured clouds, which were updated three weeks ago. Back in September 2010, Dell licensed a chunk of DynamicOps' Cloud Automation Manager (as its code was called then) to be used in its Virtual Integrated System (VIS) System management tools.

Specifically, the DynamicOps code is the basis of VIS Creator, a self-service catalog. This software works in conjunction with VIS Director, a performance management and planning module, and Advanced Infrastructure Manager, an out-of-band physical and virtual server, storage, and network provisioning and management tool. Dell licensed the code that makes up AIM from Scalent in September 2009 and then decided to buy Scalent in July 2010 to keep it from falling into enemy hands. Now it is VMware that has gobbled all of DynamicOps to keep it from falling into enemy hands.

DynamicOps was founded in 2008 by Leslie Muller, a senior technologist at Credit Suisse who built a private cloud at the bank way back in 2001 and decided to commercialize the in-house tools after they had been put through the paces. Muller is a serial systems management software coder, and was also the founder of Configuresoft, founded in 1999 and eventually bought by EMC in May 2009 for its system and configuration management tools. Muller also founded a company called Sentry, which created management tools for Windows NT way back when. Muller has been CTO at DynamicOps and tapped Rich Krueger, an exec with experience at Digital Equipment, EMC, and a bunch of smaller software companies, to be CEO.

DynamicOps, which is located in Burlington, Massachusetts, has raised some money to get going, with $11.3m in Series A funds coming from Credit Suisse, Sierra Ventures, and Next World capital in early 2011 followed up by a $5m Series B round from Intel Capital last September when Chipzilla was spreading its largesse around cloudy and analytics startups.

In a blog post announcing the deal, Muller said that he was on a mission to get the data center 100 per cent virtualized, dematerialized (meaning using internal infrastructure as well as external clouds in a hybrid fashion), fully automated, and highly personalized – the latter bit being a shift from storing data and cranking through transactions and to being an internal service provider for myriad departments and end users within the organization.

In the case of VMware, that being a "service provider" means being able to manage other hypervisors and clouds that are not based on VMware's own ESXi hypervisor and its vCloud Director and vCenter Operations Management Suite add-ons. Ramin Sayar, general manager of virtualization and cloud management at VMware, said in his own blog post that VMware would be using the DynamicOps tools as a governance mechanism that spans multiple hypervisors on internal clouds and multiple public clouds, which sometimes (as is the case with Amazon Web Services) have proprietary hypervisors and management APIs.

"A number of customers have told me that, while they have and will continue to standardize on vSphere for their production datacenters, they have a few pockets of other hypervisors for various reasons, and they are looking for a multi-hypervisor management solution," explained Sayar. For those using vCloud Director already, DynamicOps will be a policy automation and integration overlay for linking into existing system management tools.

DynamicOps will also be integrated with vFabric Application Director, a tool that rides atop the vFabric application framework and that provisions applications across internal and public clouds based on the vFabric, which was just updated in May. VMware will also integrate the DynamicOps tools with its IT Business Management Suite 5.0 tools, which it previewed back in October 2011 and which is a rebadged variant of the SaaS application for doing IT costing, budgeting, planning, showback, and chargeback for applications, not just a hypervisor, that VMware got through its acquisition of Digital Fuel Technologies in June 2011.

The financial terms of the acquisition of DynamicOps by VMware were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close sometime in the third quarter. ®

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