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Acquiring 3PAR doesn't necessarily remove all the challenges faced by HP in the storage market, some solution providers said.
Jamie Shepard, executive vice president of technology solutions at ICI, a Marlborough, Mass.-based solution provider and partner to HP rivals EMC and Cisco, called the acquisition a good move for HP and its customers.
The acquisition takes the competition between HP and EMC to a whole new level, Shepard said. EMC is working with Cisco and VMware as part of the VCE coalition developing a unified storage strategy.
"HP is piecing together an integrated stack, while EMC is bringing together best-of-breed solutions," Shepard said. "We'll have a six-month leg-up on HP as long as the EMC-VMware alliance continues to grow."
By engaging in the 3PAR bidding war, Dell sent a signal to its main storage partner EMC that it was willing to take a competing product to market, solution providers said.
"Dell admits it has a gaping hole in its high-end storage by giving up on 3PAR," Advanced Systems Group's Murphy said. "I think Dell will be pretty aggressive in trying to fine an alternative to acquire."
Dell's 3PAR bid showed it wanted to rely less on EMC for its storage technology, said Dave Bondo, principal and executive vice president of Preston Data Systems, a Preston, Wash.-based solution provider and Dell storage partner.
"Maybe some of the damage has been done to its relationship with EMC," Bondo said. "But Dell is the largest reseller of EMC on the planet. EMC won't do anything hasty."
Bondo said he has to believe Dell will be looking to acquire other storage technology, and said that there are a lot of vendors from which it can choose.
"There's others out there," he said. "The more you dig, the more you see."