Analysis: Dell-3PAR Storage Acquisition

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Dell today announced an agreement to acquire 3PAR, which provides virtualized storage solutions with advanced management features, in a transaction valued at $1.15 billion. The deal was widely discussed across tech news sites and blogs. Here’s a roundup of noteworthy analysis and commentary from around the web:

  • Dell shakes up storage array game with 3PAR buy – From Chris Mellor at The Register: “Dell is changing the enterprise storage array supplier landscape by buying 3PAR, adding an enterprise block storage array to its storage product roster and complementing the iSCSI EqualLogic storage arrays it bought in 2007. … We may now ask if Dell is set on buying an Ethernet switch supplier so it has all the hardware pieces needed for a converged IT stack”
  • Why 3PAR is Selling Now – From Wikibon: “3PAR choose to sell to Dell precisely because 3PAR’s Board realized it couldn’t compete alone with the big boys (i.e. EMC, IBM and Hitachi) at the high end and couldn’t demonstrate the type of growth rates that Isilon and Compellent are seeing.”
  • Dell paying hefty price for 3Par - From MarketWatch: Dell’s deal to buy 3Par Inc. for $1.15 billion is an 86% premium to the company’s closing price on Friday. 3Par has been bandied about as an acquisition target for some time, so it’s possible that Dell had a rival also competing for the deal.
  • My Take – Dell To Acquire 3PAR – Analysis from Chuck Hollis of EMC: “Dell is doing what it needs to do to compete going forward. The real story (for me, anyway) is more about the consolidation of the IT industry, and how Dell appears to be investing to square off against a reinvigorated HP.”
  • Interestingly Un-Interesting – From StorageBod: “What does this really mean? It does not mean that Dell have an enterprise storage strategy; just having a bunch of SKUs does not make a strategy. Over the past twelve months or so tho’, Dell has acquired some interesting technologies.”
  • I suppose it was inevitable – Marc Farley at 3PAR & StorageRap has a unique perspective on the deal, as he explains: “There is no question that I’m going to get a lot of ribbing … I was at Convergenet prior to it’s acquisition by Dell and then again years later at EqualLogic when it was acquired by Dell and – as some have teased me about the inevitability of another Dell acquisition – it now appears that Dell intends to acquire 3PAR too.”
  • Is Dell Set To Become A Storage Juggernaut? – From InformationWeek:” Assuming for a moment that everything goes through and Dell is successful at the integration strategy they suddenly become a force to be reckoned with in the storage industry. The combination of 3PAR, EqualLogic, Ocarina Networks all supported by Perot Services makes for a compelling combination.”
  • 3Par/Dell Deals Triggers Speculation On Other Storage Stocks – From Tech Trader: “This morning’s news has triggered a sudden feeding frenzy among other mid-sized storage stocks on the theory that the deal could trigger a competitive response from Dell rivals.”
  • Questions Surround Dell’s Storage Strategy – From IT Business Edge: “Is Dell on the road to becoming a true technology partner for enterprises looking to expand virtual and cloud environments? Or is it simply amassing an amalgam of random systems hoping that, eventually, something will stick?”

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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