Dell has confirmed that it has reached an agreement to buy management and infrastructure tool maker Quest Software for $2.4bn.
The deal will boost Dell's systems management, security and workspace management portfolio and fits with its overall software strategy.
“The addition of Quest will enable Dell to deliver more competitive server, storage, networking and end user computing solutions and services to customers,” said John Swainson, president of Dell's Software Group.
The deal was first mooted back in May, although Dell refused to be drawn on speculation at the time.
The Quest acquisition is indicative of Dell's current effort to re-invent itself, moving away from being simply a hardware supplier to mimic both IBM and HP in offering a wider range of software, networking storage and services.
As part of this push, Swainson was taken on by Dell earlier this year to head up a new software group. He had previously served as chief executive of enterprise software firm CA from 2004 to 2009, where he helped to steady the firm after it was rocked by a major accounting scandal.
The move comes amid tightening margins in its hardware business, and as its long-established PC business is hit by the impact of devices such as the iPad.
Quest Software produces a number of IT management tools, including the vWorkspace desktop broker and user management platform for virtual desktop environments.
Earlier this year, Dell bought thin client maker Wyse for an undisclosed sum. Alongside its thin client endpoint devices, Wyse had also moved into software development, enabling mobile devices to access remote desktop services via its PocketCloud clients.
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