Dell to buy 3Par in $1.15bn deal

Dell's acquisition of the virtualisation-ready utility storage company will strengthen its enterprise storage portfolio and build its presence in Silicon Valley
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor on

Dell has agreed to acquire 3Par, which specialises in virtualisation-friendly utility storage, for approximately $1.15bn (£734m) in cash.

California-based 3Par, which was set up in 1999, sells storage arrays with advanced data management tools, such as thin provisioning and dynamic tiering, that promise to let customers avoid using and paying for storage that they do not need. It sells software and hardware such as its InServ servers and the InForm operating system. In addition, its technology is geared toward multi-tenant cloud-computing, Dell said in its announcement on Monday.

The purchase, which is subject to regulatory approval, will allow Dell to build on its existing storage portfolio, a spokeswoman for the company said. It is aiming to reduce its customers' overall storage costs by 50 percent using 3Par's technology.

"Dell plans to make 3Par an integral part of its... storage portfolio, including PowerVault, EqualLogic and Dell/EMC. With 3Par, Dell will offer innovative systems and customer choice at every storage tier, from direct-attach to highly-virtualized, clustered SANS," the company said in its statement.

Dell acquired EqualLogic in February 2008 for its mid-range arrays, and it has had a storage partnership with EMC since 2001. Dell also has its self-developed PowerVault range of products.

3Par's director of social media Marc Farley said the acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of 2010, will be good for Dell. "The EqualLogic acquisition was a starting point for [Dell], and they appear to be looking to become a much more serious enterprise storage player now with 3Par's technology and products," wrote Farley in a blog post on Monday.

Farley added that the acquisition would also give Texas-based Dell a presence in Silicon Valley, where 3Par is headquartered. The company said in its statement that it does not intend to move 3Par's operations elsewhere, and that it plans to invest in more engineering and sales for its new subsidiary.

"The way I understand it, [Dell] want to have a bigger presence here in the valley, which is about time," wrote Farley. "As much as it might seem in Round Rock, the technology world doesn't revolve around Texas, and it's important to have a corporate and development facility here."

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