September 2, 2010 -- The fat lady seems to have sung. Dell exited the 3PAR acquisition stage with the following statement by Dave Johnson, Dell's senior vice president, corporate strategy: "We took a measured approach throughout the process and have decided to end these discussions."
After what appears to be a lot of under-the-covers negotiations, HP ended the drama with a $33-per-share, $2.4-billion acquisition offer (see "Dell Ends 3PAR Talks After HP's $2.4 Billion Bid" on Enterprise Storage Forum).
After what we've seen over the past couple weeks, I'm hesitant to call this a done deal, but that appears to be the case.
So HP gets 3PAR's crown jewels of virtualization, cloud computing capabilities, storage/data tiering and thin provisioning (not to mention ASIC technology). The question now is: How will HP fold 3PAR's systems into its existing disk array lineup? 3PAR overlaps big time with HP's venerable EVA line, and to a lesser degree with the high-end systems that HP OEMs from Hitachi Data Systems. Something has to give, although it will probably be awhile until HP provides details.
For Dell, the question is: Now what? Many observers have speculated that Dell will go after another disk array vendor (Compellent, Isilon, Xiotech?), but none of those companies are a replacement for what Dell had in mind with the 3PAR bid. Maybe Dell will turn to networking (Brocade?). Or software (CommVault?).
Dell put its cards on the table, and finally folded. For now. Which table will it sit down to next?
In a side show next to the three-ring HP-Dell-3PAR circus, litigious Crossroads Systems yesterday filed a patent infringement lawsuit against 3PAR and, according to an article on PC World, D-Link, Rorke Data, Chelsio Communications, DataCore Software, iStor Networks and American Megatrends. According to that article (see "3Par Faces Lawsuit as Bidding War Continues"), the suit involves a patent for a storage router that provides virtual local storage on remote storage devices.