Two weeks ago most of the world had never heard of 3Par. Now, it has been the center of tech headlines and doubled in value thanks to a bidding frenzy between Dell and HP. HP appears to have the edge right now, but the good news for whichever tech giant ultimately loses the battle for 3Par is that there are other virtualised storage providers out there.
The leapfrogging bids, and billion dollar spike in value make it seem that the very future of Dell and HP are at stake in the struggle to acquire 3Par. 3Par would expand the services offerings for either company - enabling more diversification from the waning server and desktop hardware sales revenue, and providing a cloud-based storage offering that is appealing to many business customers.
Both HP and Dell need to focus on the goal, though. At some point, the skyrocketing bids for 3Par represent a burning desire to beat the rival company and "win 3Par" more than a strategic investment. The fact is that there are other virtual and cloud storage providers out there, and some of them can be snapped up for far less than $2 billion.
I spoke last week with Vineet Jain, CEO of Egnyte. Egnyte is a small Silicon Valley-based company launched in 2006 that has some innovative cloud storage solutions of its own.
At the VMWorld conference, Egnyte is introducing ELC - Enterprise Local Cloud. Egnyte ELC can be deployed as a virtual appliance on any VMware Virtual Machine (VM), allowing organisations to deploy a hybrid cloud storage solution on existing infrastructure and enable cloud data to be accessed at local network speeds.
Jain describes the advantages of Egnyte ELC. "Egnyte's Enterprise Local Cloud gives organizations the ability to provide their users with fast, reliable access to documents while they're on the road, in a branch office, or working from home - without dramatically re-engineering the entire storage environment. Earlier large organisations were locked into big iron deployments. Now they can leverage virtualisation to achieve low-cost file serving and cross-office collaboration."
Egnyte's hybrid cloud technology combines the accessibility and flexibility of cloud storage with the robust performance offered by local storage. Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst at the Enderle Group explains "Hybrid cloud technology is at the intersection of two major trends in the IT industry: virtualisation and cloud computing," adding "What this integration means is that large organisations can finally deploy cloud storage solutions that give their users ubiquitous access to documents and information without giving up the reliability, availability and robustness of local storage."
Virtualisation and cloud storage are both hot technologies, and will be crucial elements of providing solutions and services for organisations like HP and Dell. But, 3Par isn't the only game in town, and Egnyte is just one example of the diamonds available in the 3Par rough.