Dell vs HP over 3PAR: Background Briefing

Computerworld Australia gives you the low-down on what the deal means for the storage market, HP and Dell

With the bidding war between HP and Dell over storage virtualisation vendor 3PAR heating up Computerworld Australia turns to industry experts for the lowdown on what the deal means for the storage market, HP and Dell.

Currently, HP are leading the battle after submitting its latest offering of $US30 per share, or $2 billion, topping Dell’s bid of $27 per share.

Why 3PAR?

IDC senior program manager infrastructure, Matt Oostveen: HP's motivation for bidding on 3PAR has less to with a need to update its existing midrange (EVA) and high-end (XP) storage portfolios and more to do with an urgent need to add an enterprise-scale storage hardware and software platform within its converged IT infrastructure portfolio.

3Par is of strategic importance to HP because in the storage domain, HP's converged IT infrastructure is still a "work in progress." It lacks a modular, flexible, and scalable hardware platform that supports the evolving requirements of enterprise and service provider level customers of converged IT infrastructure. More important, it lacks a broad portfolio of integrated storage and data management software services (e.g., thin provisioning and automated data tiering) that can take advantage of such modular and scalable hardware architectures.”

For Dell, 3PAR would represent an aggressive entry into a market sector (larger enterprises and service providers) where it's had a modest storage footprint (linked to its resale of EMC products) but has proven effective at targeting some very large cloud environments. The 3PAR organisation will be at the forefront of Dell's expansion efforts.

What will the acquisition do for the company?

IBRS advisor, Kevin McIsaac:[3PAR] would give DELL a much needed, robust Tire-1 storage platform and DELL needs this as we are entering a major change in the technology space where instead of buying networks, storage and servers from separate vendors, and building these components as horizontal layers, we buy a verticality integrated system.

HP on the other already have a strong range of storage products. They have the older EVA array and then their new acquisition and are reasonable well paced in the storage market. In fact, their biggest problem is fitting all these together. The only thing I can think of is [HP] need to replace the EVA or they are trying to stop DELL.

Will 3PAR help HP’s competitive strategy?

Kevin McIsaac: HP already has a major enterprise and service provider presence, though its effectiveness at being the leading provider of storage solutions for these organisations has waned over the past several years. Converged IT infrastructure (including the 3PAR platform) is a key to HP's competitive strategy in these same customers. Success, however, depends upon HP re-establishing its role as a trusted storage and information management partner. 3PAR can help with some of the technical needs, but HP will need to make further investments in software and services areas to fully take advantage of the opportunity.

Who would manage the acquisition better, HP or Dell?

Matt Oostveen: There are no geographic idiosyncrasies that indicate the 3PAR acquisition by either HP or Dell would be any different from the rest of the world. It is true to say that Dell's acquisition of EqualLogic was a success in Australia with the companies integrating well and sales outperforming the market.

On the other hand, recent HP acquisitions have not been so smooth, so if history is anything to go by, Dell should be able to integrate 3Par more smoothly.

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Tags HP3PARDell

More about DellDell ComputerEMC CorporationEqualLogicHewlett-Packard AustraliaHPIBRSIDC Australia

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