EMC ‘kicking themselves’ for not bidding on 3PAR

News Jennifer Scott Sep 8, 2011

The ex-RSA VP and HP storage executive claims 3PAR’s storage virtualisation is the ‘killer’ architecture EMC missed out on.

3PAR was one of the most talked about companies of last summer when HP and Dell went head to head in a bidding way for the virtualised storage company. However, it appears another vendor was looking at the opportunity.

Chris Johnson, vice president of the storage division in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for HP, let on that EMC had been interested in the firm but the price may have been to rich for the storage giant.

“I am certain [they were interested],” the executive, who used to be a vice president for EMC-owned security firm RSA, told Cloud Pro. “I wasn’t involved in the acquisition side of things… but I think EMC has had a very good acquisition strategy, RSA being a classic example. Then there was Documentum [and] more recently Data Domain, so they were looking at everything as well.”

“I think Dave Donatelli and HP made a very strong play for what turned out to be the killer disruptive architecture. I am guessing maybe it out priced where EMC thought it was, but I think they are kicking themselves now, honestly.”

Referring to 3PAR as “the jewel in the crown” of HP’s storage offerings, Johnson claimed owning the technology was now helping his current firm win customers over from EMC.

“Some of the big environments of the future, the virtualised environments… is where 3PAR is really designed for,” he said.

“The kind of customers that are first movers in that market, the service providers and the telcos, are going to market with cloud services or are trying to prove out cloud services internally. We are putting 3PAR [in] and these are all historically EMC customers.”

Johnson claimed a number of large telcos across Europe had signed up in the third quarter to take on 3PAR technology, and although growth rates were already huge, HP was planning on 300 to 400 per cent growth for the virtualised storage technology alone.  

“3PAR… is a little bit like EMC was in the late 90s,” he added. “In the late 90s I was selling EMC Symmetrix as a wrap and really customers, it wasn’t so much that they liked the technology [or] that they wanted the technology, they kind of needed it because it gave them such an advantage over anything else that existed in the market.”

“3PAR seems the same, feels exactly the same as those days. It is disruptive… it is proving itself with a lot of features… it is very different. With the whole virtualisation and cloud play, it is designed for that world, rather than designed for the more monolithic age.”