3PAR, a Fremont, Calif. provider of data storage virtualization hardware and software, is apparently headed toward a public offering, revealing on its Web site that it is searching for someone to help it with the IPO registration process
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3PAR company chose the underwriters for its IPO “a month or two ago,” according to a market analyst cited by VentureWire (subcription required), which first reported the story this morning.

The company has raised $183 million in venture capital over the past eight years.

3PAR’s products are based on a technology known as “thin provisioning” which allows an enterprise to allocate data storage space in the amount that is needed, when it is needed, rather than holding large amounts of empty space in reserves that often go unused…..

3PAR has taken investments from a wide range of firms. Beside AllianceBernstein, Integral Capital, Mayfield and Worldview, other investors include Menlo Ventures, Open Field Capital, Van Wagoner Capital Management, Anschutz Investment Company, iGlobe Partners, Oracle Corp., Symantec Corp. Net One Systems Co. Nissho Electronics Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc., according to its Web site.