back to article Dell throws in 3PAR towel

Dell has admitted defeat in its attempt to buy 3PAR. The latest bids for the suddenly most-desired cloud storage product company in the world, 3PAR, were $32/share from Dell, trumped in hours by a $33/share bid from HP. This is more than twice Dell's original bid of $15/share and makes 3PAR worth more than Data Domain when EMC …

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Victory for Dell?

Havent they just suceeeded in forcing HP to overbid massively whilst leaving themselves the chance to bid for another cloud storage company of which there are several.

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Boffin

RE: Victory for Dell?

Agreed, I think hp paid too much, but the bad news for Dell is there isn't really another cloudy storage company like 3PAR waiting to be bought. For hp it is a double win - they get 3PAR which they can use as leverage on Hitachi, and they stop Dell getting a serious storage capability. It also doesn't look good for Dell on Wall Street, which mostly doesn't really have a clue about technology, but just sees Dell losing bidding wars to hp, EMC, Joe's Burger Bar.... For investor's it doesn't make Dell look like much of the Wintel powerhouse it actually is when it is seen being outbid every five minutes.

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Pick a SAN, Any SAN

Don't want an MSA. How about an EVA? Don't want one of those? How about a lovely LeftHand? Not to your liking? Fancy a 3PAR? Or how about an XPS?

SAN for all seasons indeed.

HP storage strategy - what storage strategy?

For the love of God, will somebody buy NetApp and integrate it into their wider products and services.

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Boffin

RE: Pick a SAN, Any SAN

".....HP storage strategy - what storage strategy?...." Agreed, their storage portfolio is overflowing with poorly named products that overlap, with a rather confused and siloed marketting message, and that's even before we get down round to looking at the sprawling mass of storage software they have. It also isn't helped when hp keep changing software product names, which they seem to do randomly on any month with the letter E in it.

".....will somebody buy NetApp...." IBM, maybe? Or CISCO? Can't see hp going for it now. IBM would certainly not stand idle and let someone else buy NetApp. A wildcard option could be Snoreacle - they need a proper and proven storage offering, and it would let Larry forget about the NetApp lawsuit against ZFS. It's just that it's hard to see Larry being serious about hardware of any type. But definately not Dell, not if they can't afford to bid properly for 3PAR, how on Earth would they be able to pay out for a larger storage comapny like NetApp?

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Anonymous Coward

Smart move by Dell - there's something I've never said before!

Don't need to buy them now - damage has already been done to HP and their lack of credibility for their EVA offerings.

Hopefully they'll stop making it in Early Learning Centre My-First-Little-Array colours and styling.

Cue Pratt Bryant boring everyone to death.....

Can't wait to see him eating humble pie when he realises 3PAR ain't all that

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Troll

RE: Smart move by Dell - there's something I've never said before!

Ooh, do I detect a hint of bitterness? A bit upset that The Kings Of Print of once again proven that diversity gives you the wad to go shopping? Don't worry, you may get over it one day! Until then we'll all still enjoy laughing at you when you froth and rant.

".....Hopefully they'll stop making it in Early Learning Centre My-First-Little-Array colours and styling...." Oh, so having a fully-featured web-GUI is far too easy for you, you'd rather use a CLI and the old, pony-tailed sysadmin styleee? Well, if that's what keeps you happy (and hopefully quiet) you could always try the SSSU application for EVAs that allows you to script events. Well, that would be if you actually got a chance to work with EVA, I'm guessing from your tone that your one of those bitter Sunshiners or an IBMer? Maybe upset that your Nseries (rebadged NetApp) got rejected for an EVA?

".....Can't wait to see him eating humble pie when he realises 3PAR ain't all that." Never said it was, but the analysts seem quite keen on 3PAR, and peeps I know that have the kit seem to like it. Personally, I'll stick for now with EVA and XP (and some MSA, 'cos the ickle b*ggers are actually better suited than the EVA 4400 in many cases) until I get a chance to play with some 3PAR toys. Unlike you, I'll be keeping an open mind.

/SP&L

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah right

Who said anything about features? And who was talking about EVAs? Guilty conscience there?

Obviously you've never even SEEN a 3PAR box. Perhaps you'd better read what's there rather than falling back on the knee-jerk insecurities.

Yes I have had the misfortune to use EVAs and 3PAR boxes - mainly as they were getting thrown out for lack of scalable performance. Even some of the "improved" EVAs have ultimately seen the skip.

And wrong on both counts there too. Neither a Sunshiner or an IBMer but definitely someone who will vehemntly oppose any HP kit being deployed in projects.

Not much wrong with Netapp boxes when deployed in the correct place. How did they manage to feed your insecurity complex?

You are a mess of insecurities aren't you? No wonder - only having PH-UX (which hasn't ever evolved from SysVR3) "skills" which really aren't in much demand in the real world.

Now you don't even have Mark Turd to look up to! What a nice guy he was! (cough cough)

You're in great company.

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FAIL

RE: Yeah right

"......Obviously you've never even SEEN a 3PAR box...." Nope, never touched one, just going on what I've read and some other users' favourable impressions. Not sure I will touch anything 3PAR soon either as we're pretty sold on the XP and the EVA arrays.

".....Yes I have had the misfortune to use EVAs and 3PAR boxes - mainly as they were getting thrown out for lack of scalable performance....." Strange, I haven't heard many people complaining abut EVAs not scaling, though you do need to swap controllers out at points in the growth if you started with an 4x00 model and wanted to go all out. Are you sure it's not that you just got the whole sizing thing wrong in the first place?

"....Neither a Sunshiner or an IBMer but definitely someone who will vehemntly oppose any HP kit being deployed in projects....." So just ant-hp then. No biass there!

"......Not much wrong with Netapp boxes when deployed in the correct place. How did they manage to feed your insecurity complex?...." I used to think the old NetApp kit was great when it was NAS filers, it was when they tried to push up into block storage that it all went a bit pear-shaped. But, in my eyes, they have redeemed themselves by beating up on Sun over ZFS. ;)

".....You are a mess of insecurities aren't you?..." No, not really, I just know what I like, and that doesn't include rampant FUD, marketting that verges on flat-out lying, and sales techniques that are lifted from the worst second-hand car lots.

".....No wonder - only having PH-UX....." Oh dear, I think the mask slipped a bit there! Don't be surprised if people still ask if you're a Sunshiner. After all, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck....

"....."skills" which really aren't in much demand in the real world....." Well, the good news is I've found a comfie niche with those same skills, so I'm not really too worried about the rest of the World. Have fun down the Job Center with those Slowaris "skills"!

"....Now you don't even have Mark Turd to look up to!...." Personally, I didn't think much of Mr Hurd in the first place. I have long taken glee in winding up friends at hp by telling them Carly Fiorina was the right choice after Lew Platt, and all Hurd seems to have done is follow in Carly's footsteps. Donatelli as Hurd's replacement would definately be interesting and (hopefully) different, but I suspect hp will carry on being a profitable venture. Especially in the print bizz. I bet that winds you up!

/SP&L

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Anonymous Coward

Pot Kettle...

> So just ant-hp then. No biass there!

Oh right - so you're the model of unbiased criticism are you?

>......Obviously you've never even SEEN a 3PAR box...." Nope, never touched one, just going on what I've read and some other users' favourable impressions.

If you had, you'd know what I meant by that comment - please learn to read what is written and not what you'd like to see there.

> Strange, I haven't heard many people complaining abut EVAs not scaling, though you do need to swap controllers out at points in the growth if you started with an 4x00 model and wanted to go all out. Are you sure it's not that you just got the whole sizing thing wrong in the first place?

No - most of them were installed and configured by HP's Professional (ahem) Services

I have the great honour of switching them off and ripping cables out. Great fun

> but I suspect hp will carry on being a profitable venture. Especially in the print bizz. I bet that winds you up!

No - you seem to think I care about HP. That surely is not the case. And a company that only makes profit on selling vastly overpriced and anticompetitive ink cartridges isn't really an IT company.

But it's a good job the PHUX runs on all the platforms that HP sell isn't it? What? It doesn't?

Surely some mistake there. Their "prime" Operating System doesn't run on their base platform? How 70s.

I'm sure you're not worried about the rest of the world but you sure will be when the dinosaurs still running SysVR3 - sorry - PHUX - go out of business (and they surely will)

Great thing about not being too partisan is there are always other avenues to explore.

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FAIL

HP Integration

Should take no time at all of HP to integrate 3Par into their stack. I expect the usual level of integration as seen with their other products. Take off the 3par badge, put on a HP badge. Do a bit of powerpoint magic and hope people don't ask too many questions.

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Happy

RE: HP Integration

".....Take off the 3par badge, put on a HP badge....." You're forgetting they also will need to change the names of all the software to completely illogical monikers that have nothing to do with the role the software actually plays (and give it a pretty hp webface). For example, if there is an implementation tool that does the first-time installation of the 3PAR array software, it will be rechirstened something like "hp Storeageworks P5000 Incubation, Generation And Innovation Suite", rather than something simple like "hp 3PAR Deployment Wizard". It will get worse when they drop any 3PAR product names and give it a non-sensical product number like P5000.

".....Do a bit of powerpoint magic...." Only a bit? Come on, you know it's going to be at least a sixty-slide deck! I swear there is someone in hp solely being paid on the number of PP slides they generate. Prepare yourseld for the Death By Powerpoint that will be an hp New Product Introduction! The unamusing bit is the NPI will probably be a complete waste of time packed out with marketting bumph and containing only about 5% actual real technical value. Expect the word "cloud" to appear at least every second slide. Our hp rep admits the internal decks he has to sit through are almost as bad as the customer ones he inflicts on us, so at least we can take comfort in knowing the reps will be sufferring before us.

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Unhappy

Won't somebody think of the end users!

There's been lots of discussion to whether this is good for 3Par, HP, or Dell, but I haven't heard much discussion of how it will affect the end users. As a customer of Lefthand (pre and post HP), and a 3Par customer I'm dreading what HP will do to 3Par.

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Anonymous Coward

You should

Be afraid, be very afraid.

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Anonymous Coward

Dave's $2B ego trip

Great outcome for Dell.

3PAR won't be properly integrated before 2012. On the other hand guess how much effort will be invested in to continued EVA and XP development in 2011 and later?

HP's enterprise storage sales should start falling immediately as current customers switch new purchases to HP competitors and new prospects wait and see. I doubt they'll ever recoup the 3PAR investment.

Freaking hilarious!

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Troll

RE: Dave's $2B ego trip

"Great outcome for Dell....." Whilst I agree there was definately an element of ego at play, the fact that Dell played so hard at the bidding game and didn't just fold early implies that they really did want 3PAR, and that this is anything but a victory for Dell. I suspect you might be able to see that if you were a little less biassed....?

".....3PAR won't be properly integrated before 2012....." Hmmm, well seeing as it can already be integrated with the XP arrays and controlled via the XP software, I'd suspect it will be very easy to integrate. The real challenge I see will be how hp sells it, but they seem to have done a reasonable job of keeping MSA, EVA and XP from competing against each other, and the MSA has overlapped the low-end of the EVA range for a long time, and the EVA has overlapped the low-end of the XP range for even longer. But I suspect Mr Donatelli is probably the man for the job, he is at least experienced in storage.

"....HP's enterprise storage sales should start falling immediately...." I think that's just your wishful thinking. Personally, we're expecting the new EVA range soon, but that hasn't stopped us buying the current x400 arrays as we simply can't afford to put purchases off that have already been delayed by last year's spending squeeze.

".....Freaking hilarious!" Yes, you are.

/SP&L

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Integrate into HP XP Storage?

Why would they - I expect a phased cross-over from HDS to 3PAR (now HP) kit. Existing HP XP kit will can be well supported by HDS under contract to HP when HP decides to drop it. The line about HP XP being HDS kit 'with HP software' is 99% rubbish - it's extremely close to native HDS.

@James : "HP storage strategy - what storage strategy" has been so true for far too long - but the question is now answered. In the near future, it will be HP:3PAR for anything above teensy-SAN.

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Anonymous Coward

So many haters

So in turns.

1. You say HP have overbid but Dell were prepared to pay almost the same valuation. Isn't something worth what people are prepared to pay? Plus are there really alternatives that are at the same advanced stage in their development and with such a strong product line? I don't think so and the general market consensus agrees. Considering just how much of a premium it looks like 3PAR has gone for, the market is actually relatively behind HP's motives. If you google HP 3PAR you will find a raft of opinion that can see why HP values 3PAR at this level.

2. Apart from NetApp, this criticism can be levelled at every vendor! IBM has DS3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 8000, nSeries, SVC, XIV, SONAS, etc, for example. I've seen information suggesting that HP's product line is moving more towards a NetApp-type commonality so I'd expect 3PAR functionality to be absorbed rather than the product just be sold as is.

3. I wouldn't say a lack of credibility more a lack of scalability. The EVA has ended up as a lower midrange solution, HP need a more scalable solution that isn't in the 'enterprise' price bracket. Plus who can blame them for wanting to own their own high end solution rather than rebadge? HP is obsessed with owning the IP at every level of the IT stack.

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Re

1.) I agree that the free market determines the value of a product or company. I think the 'overpaying' element here is based on ROI of the acquisition. Will HP get as much or more money back as they invested in 3PAR? Not sure, it is pretty close to some of their current offerings.

I think a large part of the value that HP and Dell were putting to 3PAR is based on the benefit of the other not having it. Did HP want 3PAR or did HP want Dell to NOT have 3PAR? It is sound business strategy either way, but I think keeping Dell down in the hole was a large motivation for HP's purchase.

2.) Yeah, lots of people make dumb model names. Unfortunately it is all but required these days due to the responsiveness of the computer market. Everything can be tailored to fit specific needs and identifying those variations becomes a pain.

3.) HP is following the GE model of days gone by. "If you aren't number 1 or number 2, buy number 1 or number 2. Otherwise, get out." It has worked very well. Hurd's leadership brought immense value to the company and they have gained market share like nobody's business.

The only problem I see with this is the threat of overextension. HP must make sure that they do not grow too large to manage, or get involved in too many industries. They're wrapping up their server investments after taking number 1 overall in the server market and locking down the holes in their offerings. Meanwhile they're getting into networking and working on becoming a larger presence in software. They want to be an all in one solution to everything, from the desktops and printers in your office, to the servers running your ERP software, to the software itself.

The software will be the tricky part, they have no easy way in to the software market right now.

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72mill for nuffink

"Dell will get a $72m bid termination fee from 3PAR"

Sounds like Dell won out there - not that I know anyfink about such things.

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Happy

RE: 72mill for nuffink

I suspect the real winners were all the lawyers involved. Dell lawyers say "We lost, here's our bill for $x million." Hp lawyers say "We won! Here's our bill for $x million." Should be a few 3PAR shareholders smiling as well, especially if they got shares in the company early.

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72 mill

So by the time 3PAR have paid this the HP bid isn't really any more lucrative. So looks like 3PAR wanted HP over Dell after all. Frankly, some of Dell's demands during the final negotation seem ridiculous.

HP will have this integrated in a flash. Ibrix and LeftHand were absorbed in the blink of an eye.

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Coat

Three's a charm

HP buys 3com, then 3par - if I were 3ware, I'd be watching my back!

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Happy

RE: Three's a charm

"All your 3s are belong to us"? Maybe Hutchinson Whampoa are hopeful of offloading the 3 network.....

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