We dug back in the On-Premise IT Roundtable archives to bring you an episode originally recorded in 2016, but incredibly prescient today. The roundtable discusses how IT companies can differentiate in an age of increasing commoditization. They look at examples like DSSD, Kaminario, and SimpliVity as ways to differentiate hardware, albeit at a considerable expense of time and resources. They then turn to software, and discuss the wave of SDS products that turned out to be features. The discussion is fascinating because many of the trends identified in this discussion have now played out in one form or another.
Hans De Leenheer writes on his blog: When HP bought 3PAR in 2010 ($2.3b) I was really happy. I really liked how the architecture has been designed from the ground for up and it was an acquisition HP needed. There was only one big problem: the 3PAR “green zone” that HP created (not 3PAR!) – […]
Nigel Poulton comments at Technical Deep Dive: Seriously, I thought the uber-modern architecture of 3PAR was supposed to make adding innovative technologies easier. Could it actually be that the architecture of the box is hindering the adoption of important technologies like flash as a cache! I mean seriously, how long does it take to catch-up […]
HP stumbled mightily in 2011, and it had nothing to do with product or people. Even sales remained strong, though the PC business is changing. HP’s mighty stumble was a crisis of confidence due to a chain of shenanigans at the very top. This culminated with the short reign of LÃ©o Apotheker, leaving HP to reassure the market of its strategy.
One of the amusing aspects of being self-employed is watching all the giants battle it out. Every company is gunning for someone, but the amazing thing is that they rarely have each other in their sights: NetApp is gunning for EMC who’s more focused on HP who wants to knock off Oracle who’s fixated on IBM. It sounds very “high school romance” but this is deadly-serious business.
The news came out this morning that Dell is in exclusive talks to acquire network storage specialist Compellent for just under $900 million. I will leave it to the real reporters to track the ups and downs of the story; what piques my interest is the value Dell gets from Compellent’s technology and the challenge it poses to the data storage industry.
Today is the (a?) day of reckoning in the 3Par saga, with Dell widely expected to make a counter-offer higher than HP’s bid. But this mega deal, like the Data Domain war before it, sends a strong signal to the enterprise IT world: It’s open season on data storage companies! But the rising superpowers are also likely looking at networking as an area of expansion. The game is afoot!
The ongoing battle for 3Par by HP & Dell tells us much more about the state of the IT Industry than just the desires of two companies to acquire some interesting storage tech. It signals an acceptance that storage is a key feature in the future direction of the IT industry â€“ more important than networking and almost as important as the virtualisation platform itself.
After years spent focusing on personal technology, businesses are increasingly turning back to the enterprise. The corporate IT market is much more dynamic and competitive, with a few very large “superpower” companies discovering their power to drive purchasing decisions. If a supplier can create an integrated “stack” of hardware and software, they can push product purchases that might otherwise be overlooked or postponed. This is the main reason that enterprise IT acquisitions work so well: Where a small company must fight to sell their product, a large one can hitch it to a much more strategic sale and have it pulled along.
The 3Par acquisition is a slam dunk at under $2 billion. The company has great enterprise-grade SAN technology and a proven ability to sell into high-end accounts but lacked the revenue to go it alone. A major enterprise IT vendor like HP or Dell (not to mention Oracle, IBM, or even NetApp) will kick sales into high gear. But there’s an amazing short-term win to be had for whoever acquires 3Par!