In its continuing efforts to expand partner opportunities, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) has launched its Emerging Solutions Ecosystem, a vendor partnership program designed to deliver complementary and interoperable hardware, software and services components to build best-of-breed cloud solutions.

The program focuses specifically on emerging technologies, with two key areas of big data and cloud enablement, where Dell has delivered specific solutions to market on the Hadoop big data framework -- the Dell | Cloudera Apache Hadoop Solution -- and the OpenStack open source cloud platform -- the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution.

Program partners are selected based on their ability to support unique customer needs in cloud and cluster computing, and are categorized as Affiliate, Strategic or Integrated partners.

Dell launched the Emerging Systems Ecosystem at this week's OpenStack Design Summit & Conference in San Francisco and announced CanonicalenStratus and Mirantis had joined as Strategic Partners.

As a growing number of VARs face cloud questions from their customers and grapple with the best solutions, Dell is doing its part to lessen the learning curve by connecting at least some of the dots. No doubt we'll be hearing about more partners to the Emerging Systems Ecosystem. Stay tuned.