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August 16, 2010

Dell snaps up 3Par for cloudy storage

'Multi-tenant' storage claimed to be ideal for private clouds

By Jason Stamper

Dell announced today it’s buying storage player 3Par for $1.15bn, saying the thin provisioning and storage virtualisation firm will help it compete with more traditional ‘monolithic’ storage arrays.

"We have aligned our storage offerings over the last several years to provide our customers choice and value," said Brad Anderson, Dell senior vice president, Enterprise Product Group. "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, rounding out our industry-leading solutions portfolio."

Dell said 3Par’s virtualised storage offerings, which feature dynamic tiering and thin provisioning, are ideally suited to the emergent multi-tenant, ‘private cloud’ environments many of its customers are now adopting.

"3PAR has consistently provided customers with the ability to do more with less," said David Scott, President and CEO of 3PAR. "With Dell we combine a powerful, virtualized storage platform with an outstanding distribution network to deliver this value to an even broader set of customers."

3Par’s most recent quarter had it making revenue of $54.3m, up 22% year-on-year. The firm posted a GAAP net loss of $1.8m.

Dell said 3PAR has designed its products to minimise upfront and ongoing capacity purchases, and to reduce power consumption and energy costs: "3PAR’s multi-tenant, clustered storage architecture is the underlying technology platform for IT organizations to build agile and efficient virtualized IT infrastructures for flexible workload consolidation. 3PAR provides rapid provisioning and predictable performance for customers facing ever-increasing storage capacity requirements."

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Dell said it plans to make 3PAR an integral part of its storage portfolio, including PowerVault, EqualLogic and Dell/EMC.

3Par says its storage can save companies money thanks to its built-in thin provisioning software, which minimises the use of pre-allocated, unused storage capacity that is a common problem with legacy storage provisioning methodologies employed by traditional storage systems. Its thin provisioning software lets an application consume only the storage it actually needs, only as it actually requires that capacity for written data.

3Par storage

"Because our systems allow storage to be consumed only as it is actually used, a greater percentage of the overall system capacity can be used, which increases capacity utilization rates and reduces the amount of physical storage that customers must purchase, house, administer, power, and cool," 3Par explained.

3Par conceded in its annual report 2009 that, "Two of [our] competitors, EMC and IBM, have released clustered modular storage systems that have some limited architectural similarities to our storage platform. As the storage market opportunity grows, we also expect competition from emerging private companies and networking and telecommunications equipment suppliers that increasingly compete with our product offerings."

3PAR was founded in 1999, went public in 2007, and is headquartered in Fremont, California. It began shipping products in 2002. Dell said the transaction is expected to be accretive to its non-GAAP earnings in its fiscal 2012.

 

 

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