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QuestLogoThe HP 3000 community might be getting its first multi-billion dollar acquisition in its history. Quest Software, which makes one element of the BridgeWare migration solution along with Taurus Software, is reported to be a Dell Computer buyout target.

A report from the business website Bloomberg said the software company is in talks to become a property of Dell. One analyst firm says the stock could be worth as much as $28 a share, which would put the value of the acquisition at $2.4 billion. Quest has branched into many other markets, including Oracle's database. But the deepest roots of this company are the Shareplex software that has been used to cluster MPE systems since the early 1990s.

Quest's director of sales John Saylor continues to point out the company still sells solutions for the 3000 market. Not nearly as many firms can point to sales of software for the 3000 customer as did in the '90s, or even 10 years ago.  Maybe most important to HP, Quest has been a driver in getting Sun's customer base onto the rolls of Hewlett-Packard. BridgeWare is the latest part of that package, Saylor says.

"Not only is Quest’s BridgeWare is a leader in HP 3000 MPE migrations through its partnership with Taurus, but the company is also the market leader in platform migrations from Sun-Oracle platforms to IBM, HP and Dell-Oracle platforms." Databases have been the heart of Quest's enterprise for two decades by now. Most recently, the SystemBridger Bundle was bringing pre-configured PC hardware to 3000 sites looking for a reach into other databases, migrating or not. 

Oracle is a key component of what Quest connects with for commodity platforms. There's also This is how it became a public company worth billions. But the Bridgeware solution in the Bundle aims to bring non-IMAGE databases in step with the MPE data stronghold. Quest calls the software technology "to save time and money across physical, virtual and cloud environments." Taurus President Cailean Sherman said the joint venture in Bridgeware adds analysis capability.

"Over the years we've been working with a lot of companies who are either homesteading, or taking their time migrating off the 3000," Sherman said. "But they also want to take advantage of all the open systems tools to perform ad hoc analysis."

This type of analysis wasn't feasible for some homesteaders, because the access took its toll on the production performance of IMAGE and KSAM databases, she explained. A combination of recent projects, BridgeWare enhancements and discounting led to the partnership with Abtech. The result is a data store, including the relational database license and hardware fully implemented, priced between $10,000 and $75,000.

Dell, for those who haven't looked recently, has been reshaping itself as a provider of enterprise IT, having virtually ceded the consumer market to HP. Dell has been making acquisitions -- five already in 2012 --  to add software, computer storage and networking gear to its lineup of PCs.