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By Alex Williams

Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) Thursday acquired ManageIQ for its IT management software. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ManageIQ is in the data center automation and virtualization business. Data center automation is essentially retrofitting a data center so it can have a degree of elasticity and integrate with public clouds. This means developing methods for managing virtualized servers with infrastructures that spread out over thousands of servers.

ManageIQ’s strength stems from its capability to manage and automate virtualized servers and desktops and clouds through a single pane of glass, policy controls, and automation. It works with different cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services.

The company’s strength is really in its experience of working with companies laden with legacy infrastructure. That pretty much includes almost any IT shop that has a data center or two.

The acquisition fits with Red Hat’s cloud strategy to push its open-source software stack and integrate it with a public cloud service such as Amazon.

ManageIQ gives Red Hat another leg up on competitors, such as VMware (NYSE:VMW), which are still building out their own cloud stacks. Red Hat’s greatest advantage is in its openness. A customer can add an unlimited number of tools to accompany a deployment. VMware is more restrictive with its APIs.

Make no mistake, though, this is a young market. IDC’s list of vendors includes Adaptive Computing, BMC, CA Technologies, Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), Egenera, HP (NYSE:HPQ), IBM (NYSE:IBM), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

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Source: Red Hat Acquires ManageIQ To Beef Up Hybrid Cloud Capabilities