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VMware Dives Into Dunes

VMware cranked up its desktop virtualization strategy here today, buying Swiss software startup Dunes for an undisclosed sum. (See VMware Acquires Dunes.)

Dunes is one of a number of vendors, including Kidaro and Citrix, that lay claim to managing desktop virtualization. (See Desktop Virtualization Brokers Emerge, Wanted: Virtual Desktop Services, and Insider Eyes Virtual Desktops.) The Lausanne, Switzerland-based startup, which was founded in 2001, characterizes itself as a "process automation" supplier because it ties "runbook automation" software to virtually any business process.

451 Group financial analyst Brenon Daly told Byte and Switch that he would be surprised if VMware paid megabucks for Dunes, pointing to recent acquisitions such as Determina, Akimbi, and U.K.-based software vendor Propero. (See Vamping Virtualization, VMware Swallows Akimbi, and VMware Acquires Akimbi.) "Looking back at the three deals that VMware had done before Dunes, all of those were less than $50 million, and we estimate that Dunes was less than that," he says. "VMware has shown itself to be a niche buyer looking for small, selective acquisitions."

Dunes certainly seems to fit this bill. The startup, which has a U.S. office in Stamford, Conn., is said to have around 35 employees and 100 customers worldwide, although it has kept its funding and financials under wraps. "The company was probably somewhere near $5 million in [annual] revenue," adds Daly.

VMware has not yet revealed its roadmap for Dunes, although Raghu Raghuram, VMware's vice president of products and solutions, says it will be tied to its own offerings in this space, such as Virtual Desktop Manager (VDM) and VMware Lab Manager. (See VMworld to Showcase Storage News and VMware Manages Desktops.)

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