Dell Grows Software Capabilities With SharePlex, Boomi Upgrades

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-05-15

Dell Grows Software Capabilities With SharePlex, Boomi Upgrades

Dell officials continue to focus on software as a key part of the company's efforts to evolve into an enterprise IT solutions and services provider.

The company has spent billions of dollars over the past few years buying dozens of businesses as it builds out its enterprise technology capabilities. Among the acquisitions have been Quest Software, Gale Technologies and Make Technologies, and Dell officials have promised to invest in and grow the businesses.

The company now has a $1.5 billion software business, and in recent weeks has highlighted new software capabilities that are the fruit of such acquisitions. During a conference call with analysts and journalists in February to discuss quarterly financial results, Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden said the Quest unit—Dell bought the company last year for $2.4 billion—led strong results for the software business, bringing in more revenue than the $180 million to $200 million expected.

"We also saw good sequential growth in our security software business, and continued to add customer-centric software solutions to address critical customer needs," Gladden said.

Dell is scheduled to announce its latest quarterly numbers May 16.

Dell officials on May 15 announced a new release of SharePlex, a data replication and data integration solution inherited when the company bought Quest. SharePlex traditionally had offered data replications from one Oracle database to another. However, with SharePlex 8.0, the solution now can capture and deliver data from an Oracle database to a range of other databases, including Microsoft's SQL Server, IBM's DB2, Sybase, Netezza and Teradata. In addition, using the Change Data Capture (CDC) feature, SharePlex 8.0's replication technology can deliver the Oracle-held data to unstructured databases like Hadoop and GreenPlum.

The use of CDC replaces traditional extraction methods, so now with SharePlex, only the data that has changed is captured and moved. Using CDC brings with it reduced costs, faster data replication, and better business intelligence and analysis, given that only the most recent data is analyzed, the officials said.

The new capabilities reflect the increasingly heterogeneous nature of IT environments, where a variety of structured and unstructured databases are in use, according to Dell officials.

"For 15 years, our customers have depended on SharePlex to manage mission-critical transactional data in Oracle," Darin Bartik, executive director of product management for Dell Software Information Management, said in a statement. "Now, our customers can replicate, integrate and analyze that data using the rest and best of their database and data warehousing environment."

Dell Grows Software Capabilities with SharePlex, Boomi Upgrades

The new SharePlex release comes a week after Dell officials unveiled the new release of the Boomi AtomSphere cloud integration solution, which includes API management capabilities and support for Integration Packs and process libraries.

Dell bought Boomi in 2010.

The new API management capabilities come at a time when businesses increasingly are looking for ways to more quickly integrate key applications with various cloud, mobile and social solutions. Through the Dell Boomi API management capabilities, organizations can more quickly and easily create, secure, monitor and scale new Web services, according to Dell officials.

The new Boomi AtomSphere capabilities play to the growing trend toward cloud services, they said, noting numbers from Gartner that indicate spending on cloud services will reach $209 billion by 2016. In addition, cloud integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) will increase 35 percent through 2016, significantly more than the 8 percent jump in spending for middleware.

Boomi's API management gives organizations greater abilities to manage and administer their APIs and Web services from the cloud into the company's back-end systems, which is important as they grow and scale out, officials said. Through managing the published APIs, organizations can better reduce the risk of data volume growing to the point of overloading the system, protect against denial-of-service attacks, and throttle traffic flow and filter IP addresses to improve quality of SLAs for Web services.

In addition to API management, Dell Boomi also offers Integration Packs for software vendors and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers. Software vendors can embed the Integration Packs into their products to enable them to better manage integrations for their customers by adopting a "change once, deploy everywhere" capability. With the Integration Packs, software providers can centrally manage their customers' integrations.

With the process libraries, system integrators can put best practices and unique IP into a template that can then be reused across multiple clients.

The growing capabilities in Boomi AtomSphere illustrate Dell's push to make the disparate software products gained through the various acquisitions more than just a bunch of offerings, according to Chris McNabb, general manager of Dell Boomi. The company is looking to more tightly integrate its various software capabilities.

"It's very much a part of the [Dell] solutions play," McNabb told eWEEK.

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