The desire to acquire 3Par technology was obvious considering how competitive the market has become, but HP's win isn't necessarily Dell's loss, analysts said. Dell has a good relationship with EMC for high-end storage offerings and could continue to build that relationship. EMC offers Symmetrix enterprise storage arrays.
Dell could also evaluate other acquisition candidates, but that is no easy task given that there is no clearly proven option, Reichman said.
Companies such as Compellent or Xiotech are likely the best options at this point, but neither compete directly in the top-tier enterprise storage market today, Reichman said. Dell could also try to acquire EMC or NetApp, either of which could be a tremendously expensive and complicated deal. Or Dell could decide not to expand into the enterprise storage market, and to some extent lose credibility as an enterprise player, Reichman said.
"This is clearly what HP is hoping for by denying Dell 3Par," Reichman said.
Dell spokesman David Frink said that the company already offers a full range of low- to high-end storage products that address all markets. The company has also been adding intellectual property to improve its storage offerings. The company in July bought Ocarina, which makes hardware and software to reduce the amount of storage capacity enterprises need.
Dell will also continue to look at acquisitions in specific areas through which the company can improve its product offerings, Frink said.