Dell Has Some Serious Cloud AmbitionsDell's been busy lately. Earlier this month, it announced the acquisition of Clerity, a mainframe migration and modernization solution provider, with the intent of folding them into its services division. It also said it's buying Wyse Technology, which sells thin clients and cloud management and desktop virtualization management software tools. On the surface, these deals may not seem to impact security professionals directly. But they will. If you're not familiar with how Dell's products and services work, you should at least understand how Dell is using recent acquisitions and where they might touch your business. Clerity is one of the leaders in "rehosting," or the ability to migrate apps from legacy mainframes to equipment elsewhere that can provide the same service at reduced cost. On top of its clients, cloud management and desktop virtualization management tools, Wyse has a huge patent portfolio. It's been around since the early days of the PC era, selling low-cost green-screen terminals and rising to become second only to IBM in the market.

Dell's Acquisition Tear

These moves, though, are just another layer in the structure Dell's building around virtualization, which also includes its Compellent storage networking division and Kace division of managed imaging and application virtualization products. The latter are used in classrooms, call centers and other high-volume dense PC installations, where you want everyone to be running from the same desktop configuration. Desktop Virtualization Infrastructure is somewhat similar but leverages more common VMware-style virtualization products. Outside of VMware and Citrix, Dell would be the first company to offer a wide range of solutions: desktop, server, storage, applications and management. But while the virtualization story is a nice one for Dell, the proof will be in whether it can actually integrate this broad collection of technologies in some meaningful way. For example, I think the real reason Dell bought Wyse is for its reseller network, and to augment its sales channels with folks who understand virtualization. For the most part Dell has kept Kace's original staffing intact, using the deal as a mechanism to train its existing general sales force. I anticipate that this month's deals will follow similar paths. Chances are higher that eventually you'll be working something from Dell's product line. If you don't have much of a connection to the company, now's the time to start building up your relationships. Do you think Dell's going to become a player in virtualization? Let us know by posting a comment below.