- Associated Press - Monday, August 16, 2010

THE DEAL: Dell is buying data storage provider 3Par Inc. for $1.13 billion.

THE REASON: Dell has been beefing up its storage division as part of a broader effort to sell “cloud computing” services, in which companies pay Dell and others to have software delivered over the Internet on a subscription basis. Storage for data and files is a key part of the cloud equation.

THE FIELD: Dell faces stiff storage competition from NetApp Inc., EMC Corp., IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co.