Storage Vendor 3PAR Kicks Off IPO


3PAR develops technology to do storage thin provisioning. Thin provisioning allows a storage administrator to allocate more capacity to a specific application or user than is physically available under the assumption that not all those applications and users will need the entire allocated space simultaneously. This allows extra physical capacity to be installed at a later date as the total amount of space actually used approached the storage device's capacity.

The IPO price was set at $14 per share, but by end of trading on Friday the share price had risen to $16.

Solution providers said that 3PAR is a channel-friendly vendor to partners who have a strong enterprise storage background.

The company has displayed better channel etiquette than most other vendors who claim to be channel-friendly, said Ashby Lincoln, president of VeriStor Systems, an Atlanta-based storage solution provider.

Sponsored post

The company has a direct sales model in the U.S. and a couple other countries, but relies on indirect sales channels in other parts of the world, according to the amended form S-1 that 3PAR filed with the SEC earlier this week.

Lincoln said that that part of the S-1 should not be read to mean that 3PAR is a direct-only company.

"This is a high-end product," he said. "General VARs who do storage fulfillment as part of their line card with security and VoIP are not going to be able to do this."

Instead, 3PAR depends on its direct sales reps who bring the channel to deals, Lincoln said. "They're going to have to rely on their direct sales for now to differentiate their products from those of their competitors," he said. "We work with their direct sales all the time. In fact, one was in our office three hours today to talk about a new opportunity they brought us. They're in here three days a week."

Mark Teter, CTO of Advanced Systems Group, a Denver-based solution provider and either the first or second channel partner to sign with 3PAR, said the company is happy to work with partners with its enterprise solutions.

3PAR was a pioneer in thin provisioning as well as multi-tenancy, Teter said. Multi-tenancy, he said, is the ability for a host system service multiple customers simultaneously while maintaining quality of service. "3PAR's technology masks the complexity," he said.

Last month, Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Compellent Technologies, which develops tiered storage automation software using technologies like thin provisioning, storage virtualization, snapshots, and remote replication, had a strong IPO.

In June, data deduplication pioneer Data Domain had its IPO.

Another storage vendor, EqualLogic, was on the verge of doing its IPO when it was acquired by Dell in a $1.4 billion cash deal last week. EqualLogic is a pioneering developer of iSCSI software.