Technology vendor Dell has announced plans to acquire Kace, a systems
management appliance company that targets its solutions at small and midsized
businesses, plus government, education and health care organizations.

The acquisition is designed to better serve customers in those markets who have
said they are looking for tools to help them manage their technology
environments.

“We talk directly to thousands of these customers, and they tell us they need
systems-management tools geared for their environment,” said Steve Felice,
president of Dell Consumer and Small and Medium Business, in a prepared
statement.

“The KBOX family of appliances is highly capable, quick to deploy, simple to
use and provides a rapid return on investment, exactly the sort of best-value
solutions we’re delivering to customers.”

Dell says that Kace’s solutions KBOX systems management and deployment
appliances offer the following functions:

  • Device discovery, system
    inventory and asset management;
  • Configuration management,
    including operating system deployment, power management software
    distribution, application virtualization and scripting;
  • System deployment, imaging
    and Windows 7 migration;
  • Endpoint security via patch
    management, security-policy enforcement and vulnerability scanning; and
  • Service management through
    integrated service desk, user portal and alerting.

Dell and Kace executives told reporters during a press
conference that Kace’s technologies will be offered to companies looking for
on-premises solutions and not incorporated into Dell’s hosted managed services
offerings. Paulette Altmaier, a Dell vice president for consumer and small
business, said that Dell’s existing offerings provide cloud-based services of
the applicable technologies for end customers who prefer a pay-as-you-go model.

Dell says appliances such as the ones offered by Kace are ideally suited for
midsized operations that typically are staffed by IT generalists. KBOX
appliances support Windows, Mac and Linux, and also provide integrated
application virtualization. They are available as both physical and virtual
appliances, directly from Dell or through Dell and KACE partners, Dell said.

In November 2009, Kace said that its newest KBOX systems featured Dell
hardware—Dell PowerEdge Servers—and Kace also was certified last year in Dell’s
PartnerDirect channel partner program. Kace had also integrated Dell OpenManage
systems management into its KBOX appliances.

Terms of Dell’s acquisition of Kace were not disclosed. Dell said the deal has
been signed and is expected to close in the current quarter.