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3PAR, EqualLogic file for IPOs

The emerging storage companies file S-1 forms with the SEC, though some experts warn they could be headed for a volatile market.

3PARdata and EqualLogic became the latest storage companies filing an initial public offerings (IPO) of stock. 3PAR filed its S-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on 14 August and EqualLogic on 9 August. 3PAR indicated with its filing that it expects to raise up to $100 million with its IPO. EqualLogic indicated profitability.

Both companies look strong, according to analysts, but they warn that strong products do not necessarily translate into Wall Street success, especially with the stock market's volatility for the remainder of this calendar year currently registering at the highest levels in two years. "They are sailing into rough waters," according to John Webster, principal IT advisor with Illuminata. "EqualLogic benefits from VMware, and we have already seen what VMware's done [with its IPO]. I would predict different results for them [than for 3PAR], just based on that."

According to Tony Asaro, senior analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), the struggles of another emerging storage player, Isilon Systems, following its IPO late last year could also influence the outlook for 3PAR and EqualLogic, since the companies are in the same high-tech category. (Isilon shares plunged 35% in late July after Isilon reported a net loss in the second quarter and cut its forecast.) "Because of Isilon stumbling, it's not quite the same glowing opportunity [for 3PAR and EqualLogic]."

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