Not since the invention of Tupperware has storage ever been so sexy. A bidding war between Dell and H.P. over the past few days has seen the two tech giants leapfrog each other several times over the small data-storage company 3PAR, with the latest an offer by H.P. of $30 per share, or roughly $1.88 billion.
So why all this hullaballoo over terabytes? At stake for the two computer companies is an entry point into this growing cloud computing market. If you’ve ever used Google docs or any other web-based software, you’ll have had a taste of the power of cloud computing. It is basically a system where computational power or software is provided on-demand through the internet.
For companies not large enough to afford the physical data centers that companies like Google use to power their services, virtual data centers created through cloud computing becomes an economical alternative. What 3PAR provides within the nebula of cloud computing is the specialized storage space that makes it all possible.
Right now, this commoditization of computing is primarily utilized by mid-sized or small businesses, but could potentially transform the computer experience for the individual consumer altogether.
As a tech friend pointed out, imagine everyone running around with iPads and only tapping into a cloud computing service to run more powerful programs like Photoshop or computer games. Companies could therefore begin offering cloud computing as a utility service for the mass market much akin to our current electric and cable subscriptions.
Just what we needed, another monthly bill.