Why are HP and Dell so desperate for 3Par?

Boy would I like to be a 3Par shareholder these days. The stock was a short time ago listed at $9 bucks. 3Par shareholders must be thinking they’re at DisneyLand now that it is just under $32 as of Monday, August 30, 2010. I never heard of 3Par and that’s a big reason why I don’t hold any of their stock.

So who is 3Par?

They are one of the leading vendors in thin provisioning of storage for data centres along with Pillar Data Systems and Compellent Technologies out of Minnesota. 3Par was started by ex-Sun executives who spent the better part of this decade creating thin provisioning storage for data centres. 3Par brands its storage solutions as Utility Storage. The company’s flagship product is called InServ Storage Server with Thin Built In and it’s a combination of virtualized and tiered storage arrays. The company has reached a fever pitch because Utility Storage is a best bet solution for both public and private clouds.

Why has 3Par taken off?

Well they haven’t yet, but with managed services becoming hot and then followed up by Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IAAS) 3Par technology suddenly is in need. According to a blog on the 3Par Web site, the company has seven of the top IAAS customers. 3Par success has followed the trend of doing more with less in the computing space. We have heard this message or cry-out now for the past five years or more; customers are forced for economic reasons to do more with less and thin provisioning hits that sweet spot. It saves a tonne of cost on storage.

Why would HP and Dell want 3Par?

The simply reason is that both do not have this technology right now and need it to grow in its cloud and managed services business. I expect Dell to overpay and win out in the end only because their options are limited compared to HP. I spoke to one HP executive yesterday who told me the company did its own thin provisioning at a cloud deployment at Carnegie Mellon. It’s also not out of the realm of possibility that HP knocks on its Silicon Valley neighbour Oracle and partners with Pillar Data Systems. They already have a relationship on the ExaData project. If Dell does not get 3Par that means the only option left is to go after Compellent Technologies out of Minnesota. Compellent's stock around $15 and has been trading between $11 and $24 in the last 52 weeks which I know does not indicate much. Pillar Data would be the best option, but it’s sheltered by Oracle and I can’t seem them giving that up so soon after it started. Expect both HP and Dell to get thin provisioning technology by the end of the year.
Two quick hits before I go. PR Practitioner Daneila Gentile is leaving Fleishman Hillard Canada for a position at Cossette Communications in Toronto. CDN wish her the very best.
David Cuthbert is the new CEO of unified communications solution provider Alteva. Cuthbert takes over for the founder William Bumbernick who will be transitioning to chief innovation officer. Cuthbert was the company's COO.

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