HP's winning bid in its brief but expensive bidding war with Dell over enterprise storage vendor 3PAR has HP's solution providers looking forward to the next round of competition in the storage and converged networking markets.
HP on Thursday bid $33 per share, or a total of about $2.4 billion, for 3PAR, causing Dell to officially give up on its bid for the company.
Dell's surprise $1.15 billion bid on August 16 for 3PAR, followed shortly by HP's $1.6 billion offer, has turned the pursuit for 3PAR into a full-fledged bidding war.
3PAR represents an important prize for Dell and HP as both look for ways to beef up their enterprise storage offerings and look towards cloud computing.
3PAR is a Fremont, Calif.-based developer of enterprise-class storage arrays featuring such services as clustering, tiered storage, and thin provisioning, which allow applications to be configured with more storage capacity than is physically available.
Thin provisioning, when combined with those other services, allows storage customers to avoid purchasing excess storage capacity to meet unexpected future requirements, and is fast becoming a key storage feature as customers look to cut hardware acquisition costs as well as the power and cooling cost associated with hardware, as well as a key technology for building cloud infrastructures.
Mark Gonzalez, president of Nth Generation, a San Diego-based solution provider and HP partner, said his first impression about HP's final bid was that it overpaid for a company with no real profits to date.
"I guess time will tell whether it was worth it," Gonzalez said. "As I predicted early on, HP was in this to win."
One of HP's challenges with 3PAR will be in its overall storage messaging, Gonzalez said. HP already has a lot of individual point products in the primary storage space, including its MSA, EVA, LeftHand, Windows-based NAS Servers, IBRIX-based NAS products, and XP, and now it is adding 3PAR.
"That's a lot of products, but I don't see a real good overarching cohesive storage strategy like, for example, NetApp's Unified Storage that incorporates the entire portfolio of products," he said.
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