Egenera, a privately held Massachusetts-based cloud management company, has announced plans to acquire the Dublin-based cloud software firm Fort Technologies.

Egenera has something of a first-moving advantage in the cloud software space, a field that company CEO Pete Manca admitted is “getting very hot right now” thanks to the prospecting of larger Internet and enterprise network companies such as Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL). In June, Oracle acquired Collective Intellect to expand its cloud services, a move that Cisco matched in November with its acquisition of Cloupia and Meraki.

“Everybody’s getting into that space,” Manca said in a recent phone interview. “That was the space that we invented 12 years ago.”

Manca said that the main differentiator his company brings to cloud services is the fact that Egenera is “the open player in this market.”

“If you go to Oracle, if you go to Cisco, you’re really bound by their proprietary stacks of hardware and software,” he added.

Manca said that Egenera also supports its IT infrastructure with a mixture of physical and virtual software, which would theoretically allow clients to access back-end support such as databases and front-end services seamlessly. The acquisition of company like Fort thereby allows Egenera to capitalize on its management capabilities for its PAN Cloud Director software, its EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) client base and its existing partners.

“Customers are realizing its much easier to manage all of these things as if they’re one set of resources rather than have a separate network administrator, a separate storage administrator, separate server administrator and different tools for all those varying disciplines,” Manca said. “Conversion infrastructure allows you to combine those together in a single management platform.”

“Egenera and Fort share a common vision for providing frictionless and reliable IT services in the era of cloud,” Gerry Murray, CEO of Fort Technologies, said in a statement. “I am excited about Fort joining forces with Egenera and expect our joint customer bases will each benefit as we invest to bring greater choice, flexibility, simplicity and reliability to cloud computing.”

The Fort team will be brought into Egenera's Cloud Products group with Fort’s chief executive, Gerry Murray, leading Egenera's EMEA operations.