[Updated 8/23/2010: HP has now put in a bid on 3PAR. 3PAR's blogger, Marc Farley, has put together a good summary of why 3PAR is compelling to the larger vendors: There's something about 3PAR]
I’ve started, and abandoned, a couple of blogs in the past. It wasn’t until today’s announcement that Dell was to acquire 3PAR, that I figured I may as well cut to the chase, install some software, and dive into it again.
I worked for 3PAR for 2-1/2 years, up until about this time last year. I really enjoyed working at 3PAR, and loved the technology they brought to market. I left for my current employer, Fusion-io, not out of any issues I had at 3PAR, but purely based on the pull of new technology. But I digress.
3PAR brings a lot of great technology to Dell, not only in terms of the individual parts and pieces (thin provisioning, wide striping, ease of provisioning through internal virtualization, integration with VMware products, and more) but also as a great fit from a system perspective into the Dell storage portfolio.
Furthermore, as an outsider to the Dell/EMC relationship, one could easily see that Dell’s past acquisition of EqualLogic was in a space that EMC didn’t strongly compete in, and Dell continued to sell EMC CLARiiON. So while the Dell/EMC relationship was stretched in the past, it wasn’t strained to a breaking point.
But in hushed conversations with customers, I’ve heard stories about EMC sales folks taking Dell/CLARiiON customers direct or flipping them to Symmetrix. While this is hearsay, it sounds plausible, and even unavoidable to a certain extent. EMC is the only credible sales force that can sell the Symmetrix family of high end storage, no reseller is going to be wildly successful with that product set. Dell, therefore, couldn’t compete at the high end against HP (their real competition with respect to servers and the rest of the enterprise) . The 3PAR product adds a great new high-end to their portfolio, at the risk of straining the EMC relationship.
I know that Dell must be ready to accept that new challenge. I’m looking forward to see what EMC’s reaction will be over the coming days and months. Competition is good for the industry and good for the customer base, and the competition in the high end of the storage market just got a bit more interesting.
What’s your opinion? Please leave a comment below!