Dell has reached an agreement to acquire virtualized storage provider 3PAR in a transaction valued at $1.15 billion. The deal announced Monday, which has already been approved by the two companies' boards, is expected to close before the end of this year.
The 3PAR acquisition is expected to add additional muscle to Dell's line of intelligent data-management offerings. By enabling organizations to treat storage as a utility, Dell executives said, 3PAR gives customers the ability to use and pay for only the capacity and performance they need, and only when they use it.
"The emergence of software as a service, infrastructure as a service, social networking, and cloud computing business models is increasing the need for storage platforms that scale capacity and performance efficiently for massive throughput in a multi-tenant environment," said Dell Senior Vice President Brad Anderson. "3PAR is the leader in scalable utility storage solutions for the cloud."
Looking For Opportunities
Anderson characterized the 3PAR deal as "a natural extension" of a strategy that began with Dell's acquisition of EqualLogic in 2007 and continued this year with the addition of Ocarina Networks and Scalent Networks, together with the assets of Exanet. "3PAR brings the same values of performance, agility and ease of use to higher-end, virtualized storage deployments as EqualLogic does for the entry-level and mid-range," Anderson said.
Monday's acquisition of 3PAR moves Dell up the SAN tier to offer a choice of midrange and high-end storage solutions, Anderson told financial analysts on a conference call. The move targets customers that require "utility storage and highly virtualized server environments," Anderson said.
Dell has been aligning its storage offerings over the last several years to provide customers choice and value, Anderson observed. For example, Ocarina's content-aware deduplication app is central to Dell's plan for delivering intelligent storage management over a unified environment, he explained.
"Dell is building and acquiring IP in areas where the customers' needs are growing the fastest: Services, cloud, high SCSI, dedup and unified storage," Anderson said. "We will continue to look for opportunities to expand our portfolio -- particularly as it relates to unified storage, data management, and technologies like that."
Impact on EMC
3PAR has developed a new category of disk arrays called utility storage designed to be the storage foundation for utility computing and cloud architectures. The company has no plans to change 3PAR's multi-tenant, clustered storage architecture, Dell's executives said. Instead, Dell will continue to invest in the technology to both accelerate and expand what 3PAR has already developed, they added.
By making 3PAR an integral part of its storage portfolio -- which includes PowerVault, EqualLogic and Dell/EMC -- Dell said it will be able to offer systems and customer choice at every storage tier -- from direct attach to highly virtualized, clustered SANS. However, analysts questioned how the deal will affect Dell's storage partnership with EMC.
Dell Director of Investor Relations Rob Williams said there isn't a significant overlap in the NAS space and Dell will continue to offer EMC as an important part of the company's lineup.
"3PAR's products in general sit above where we sell the Dell-EMC Clarion products today," Williams told analysts. "So we think there is plenty of clear water for us to continue to work together, and that's absolutely our intention."
Posted: 2010-09-14 @ 10:57pm PT
R22: Thanks for the input. An update has been posted at the top of this article, and more recent stories about the 3PAR acquisition can be found by clicking on the 3PAR related stories link.
Posted: 2010-09-14 @ 9:26pm PT
this article needs updating based on the HP-3PAR story