NEW YORK, (

TheStreet

) -Wasting no time,

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

raised its offer for

3Par

(PAR) - Get Report

to $27 a share, beating the $24.30 bid

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

issued earlier Thursday.

Shares of Web-based data storage specialist 3Par -- which closed down 3% at $26.03 -- immediately surged 7% to a new all-time high of $27.70 as investors place bets that an even richer bidding war is developing.

HP's all-cash bid exceeds Dell's most recent offer by 11% and represents a deal price of $1.69 billion.

Earlier Thursday, Dell proposed a takeover offer that was a mere 30 cents a share more than HP's $24 offer. The move was seen by investors as a sign that Dell wasn't interested in engaging HP in a heavy bidding war. The stock slumped after the Dell offer, but still remained above the highest bid.

Dell originally offered $18 a share or $1.15 billion for 3Par earlier this summer.

The eagerness to acquire 3Par reflects the interest by Dell and HP to get a hold of more products in the so-called cloud data services arena. The interest has now increased 3Par's market value more than 50% in one week.

The takeover scrum also has caused a bit of speculation about future deals that may come about should the consolidation trend take off in storage. The

top deal to watch for

so far is a possible pairing of storage partners

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

and

EMC

(EMC)

.

--

Written by Scott Moritz in New York.>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Scott Moritz.>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/TheStreet_Tech.>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.