Dell has announced its intention to acquire 3PAR, a storage infrastructure vendor whose products are designed to support virtualised computing environments.
The deal, worth around $1.15 billion, is the latest in a spree of enterprise infrastructure purchases by the hardware manufacturer.
In July 2010, for example, it acquired data centre management software provider Scalent and data deduplication supplier Ocarina Networks. In February, the company bought network-attached storage software supplier Exanet and systems management company KACE Networks.
It appears that the company is attempting through acquisition to become a systems and services supplier in the mould of IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Last year, it bought IT services company Perot Systems for $3.9 billion.
Dell has recently faced heavy criticism of its accounting and reporting practices.
Earlier this month, the company paid $100 million to settle a claim by the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had failed to disclose payments received by chipmaker Intel in exchange for using its chips exlusively.
Following the SEC investigation, two of the largest trade unions in the US called on its board of directors to ditch founder Michael Dell as chairman. Last week, however, shareholders voted to keep him on in the role.